This has been a hard year for many people. Most people I know, including me, lost their jobs this year and they are still unemployed, as am I. I am a single mother. For the past couple of years, I made decent money as a courthouse researcher. Work got slow and after Hurricane Ike, I lost my job altogether. Being an independent contractor, I do not qualify for unemployment. So, I do little jobs here and there while looking for full time employment. With Christmas coming in a few days, money is really tight and I know there will be no presents under my tree. Mainly because I can’t afford a tree. My youngest is 15 years old. This makes it a lot easier for me to explain why there is no tree, presents or turkey. I thank God that I have an understanding son. Even though I know he had his Christmas wish list, he has done all that he could to make me feel better about not being able to get him anything for Christmas. My son has been given invitations to go and spend Christmas with friends, but has declined. He knows that family being together is more important. It may be somewhat tough this Christmas, but things could always be worse. At least we have each other. There will be no fancy Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but there will be something to eat. Therefore, whether it is chicken or chili for Christmas dinner, I thank God for my understanding son.