Doesn’t everyone have a rainy day jar? We’ve had one for years. Some times we are better than others adding to it. We began the change jar with intention. It was supposed to be our rainy day fund. The kind that saves up for spending money on vacation. We used to be really good at putting all our extra change into it from our cars, cushions and wallets.
I’ve noticed the change jar hasn’t grown much over the last 8 years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve rolled coins in at least 8 years. The reason why is we haven’t filled the jar and quite frankly, kind of forgot about it. We stopped using cash for the most part which eliminates the ability to collect change.
The past couple of weeks I’ve done a whole home purge. I’ve gone through drawers, cabinets, closets and purses. Along the way I gathered the coins I found and remembered about the rainy day jar. To my surprise I filled it up. I didn’t immediately have plans for it, rather I tucked it back in the cabinet it’s been hiding in and went along my merry way.
Most know this season has been different. Not just for me but many. For being the “crazy Christmas lady”, I hadn’t bought any gifts until today. Not because I’ve procrastinated but because I’m going to have to be more careful and less frivolous. Now that’s really not a bad thing but it’s a thing. And so as it is literally raining today outside, I had an idea. I decided it was time to pull out the rainy day fund and get to rolling. This concept is obviously foreign to the twins. They are asking what I’m doing and then why. I haven’t burdened my kids with “moms been out of work for four months” and really, they hadn’t a clue until today. I’ve been keeping busy, volunteering, creating and continuing to write and speak. In their minds, I’ve been working and working to them means moms making money. With all smiles and quite proud of myself for thinking of the rainy day jar, I enthusiastically shared when asked that I was going to use it to buy Christmas presents. To me, this is what the whole point of the rainy day change jar was for. But what happened next broke my heart.
Gabby’s eyes filled with tears. The realization and a short explanation that I don’t make money right now hit her like a semi truck. Why I’m not sure. I didn’t make that much when I was employed. But she’s 12 and not oblivious to how much things cost. Her next question shook me more. “Mom, will we have to move?” What? That’s not on my radar but the simplicity of rolling coins to buy Christmas gifts equaled to her we may need to move.
I’m not sad at all about a more simplistic Christmas. I was worried for a while the kids would be upset or disappointed. And they might be. But I am hopeful they are much older and more mature now. I also am banking on the fact we value each other more than things. Sure, it’s nice to spoil our kids and lavish them with things we didn’t have growing up but doesn’t that all get lost in the whole reason for Christmas? We will still eat way too much sugar and good food. We will still sing songs, watch movies and play games. We will still be together with family and friends. And don’t worry? They will still each be getting a few gifts. and thanks to my rainy day jar, I’m not worried about it at all.
Do you have a rainy day jar? If so, what do you use it for? After Christmas, ours will need to begin again. I think I’d like it to have a new purpose.
Living joyfully, day to day,