Saturday, December 22, 2007

How National City Stole Christmas

Every Tuesday I see my counselor. Bright and early, rain or shine. She makes me work hard even when I don't want to. Needless to say Tuesdays tend to not be the best day for me. After this weeks session she handed me a small folded piece of paper and told me to read it when I was alone and had time to contemplate.

This same day I called our former mortgage company to find out why funds from our escrow account and an overpayment had not been returned to us as stated 7 days after our closing. This was a large some of money that we were planning to use for Christmas. To make a loooooong story short: we aren't getting the money for 30 days past the close day. Which means January. Which means: NO. MONEY. FOR. CHRISTMAS.

I was devasted. Hysterical. In a very un-Christmas like spirit I told the customer service rep "have a merry Fucking Christmas" and hung up the phone. I cried all night worrying about what I would do for my kids...aside from the few meager presents I had bought and made. I literally made myself sick.

Wednesday I drug my butt out of bed, face swollen, eyes blood shot and headed to work. I sat in the parking lot with a heavy heart waiting for the shuttle and I saw it. The tiny piece of neatly folded paper.

I opened it and read:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
Can I just tell you what a total ass I felt like?


  1. I hope that National City gets off their Grinchy butts & hands over the $ sooner!


  2. Oh, Zoe. That was heart-breaking. I know that feeling all to well, though. Bryan and I always want the kids to just have a nice Christmas. Your mortgage company sounds as bad as mine! Oh, the stories I could tell...

  3. I know that feeling. Christmas is often means little more when it comes down to it. Not to say I wouldn't be totally pissed about the money. You always want to give the kids everything.

    And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
    It started in low. Then it started to grow...

    But the sound wasn't sad!
    Why, this sound sounded merry!
    It couldn't be so!
    But it WAS merry! VERY!

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  4. You know, after Christmas day, when the kids are tired of the shiny new toys, the memories they will have are of the feast, the rituals, and the lovefest of Christmas. Fluff the shiny new toys, and focus on the lurve.
    I lurve you, and so does your family.

  5. You are NOT an ass. It's so easy to get swept up into the "buy, spend, present" part of Christmas. But how nice you had a little reminder of just what it's all about. I'm sure your children will love the presents you have bought so far and made...and damn that stupid mortgage company for making you cry!

    I'm happy and thankful and honored to be able to spend another holiday with all of my loved ones, even though we are very broke this year and unable to buy gifts.

    'Tis the season to be merry. :-)

  6. Oh yes! This year we are so broke I spent my kids' own savings to buy them gifts from SANTA. For other family members we made ornaments and hand prints. That's it. It breaks my heart, but I just have to remember that all I remember as a kid is the "being together" part of the holidays. I don't recall the gifts at all.
    Thank you for this post. So many of us are in the same boat and so many of our children will be better human beings because they weren't raised with silver spoons in their mouths!

  7. Zoe, you broke my heart reading this but then hearing that letter, it is so true and money or not, it is really the essence of what Christmas should be. Too many people go overboard with gifts and their kids never truly understand the meaning of what it is all about. I know that is hard to explain to a little kid though, especially with all the commercialism. Keep your chin up; they will be fine. I am glad to hear that you yelled at her though. It is so pitiful that it takes them that long.

  8. awww...stupid ass mortgage! Assholes..Well i hope you ALL had a wonderful christmas anyway;)

  9. That. Is. Awesome.

    truly. Your counselor has got some excellent timing.

  10. I'm So Sorry Zoe! I hope that you had a Great Christmas besides the fact that National City turned into the Scrooge this year! :( I know how that is though, when you are planning on something and for whatever reason it doesn't come through. I hope that you get it soon! Maybe now, you could use the money for a little family vacation instead of Christmas Presents. That will create even better memories than presents!

  11. sorry you've been having a rough time zoe...while i dont have any kids, i totally understand about being hang in there. and your therapist is obviously a genius...knew the perfect thing to do to speak to you.

    anyway like everyone said...this day you are pressured to make such a perfect christmas & its sad. all you can do is the best you can. i know growing up we never had enough money & my parents really never let it show & just made xmas special...and thats what matters, not all the toys etc.

    so just do what you can to survive this materialistic're a great parent & that is what your kids will remember when they are older, that i guarantee!


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