Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A new year ...

2009 is now a memory and what a year it was! For our extended family, it meant new beginnings with four new babies! That’s what made my holidays so special this year. Seeing the holidays through a child’s eyes can really put things into perspective. Most little ones are as pleased with the packaging – ribbons, bows and tissue paper – as they are with what’s inside!

Spending time together meant more than exchanging large, elaborate gifts, as it should. We watched the faces of grandparents and great-grandparents light up as they held the new little ones in their arms. Their faces shone brighter than any star atop a Christmas tree. It was priceless.

Most of my family and friends had to scale back the spending this year due to layoffs and salary decreases. My husband didn’t get paid for the two weeks he had off surrounding the holidays, so that will make the next couple of months a little tight for us. We won’t spend as much on entertainment as we normally do, and we may have to charge a thing or two or dip into our small savings.

We’re looking forward to the tax relief that the new baby will bring, which reminds me that we’re still catching up on those hospital bills. This is the first year that I’m actually eager to file our taxes. I really wish that we could have earned the tax credit for making our home more energy efficient with new windows, but the initial investment was too much for us. We bought a new car - well new to us - but that won’t qualify for a tax break either.

The state of the economy and concerns about the future may have taken a back burner during the joyful month of December, but they will soon resurface. A new year brings new worries and possibly New Year’s resolutions. For my husband and me, it may involve spending less and working more. While I’ve held multiple jobs before, it’s not going to happen this year with the new baby. However, my husband will work as a referee during the summer and fall to supplement our income and believe me, we will need every penny.

Although times have been a little tougher financially, we still have our heath and happiness. Our home is overflowing with the joy of our new baby. He’s changing and learning every day and we’re excited to watch him grow.