Last year Susan made it through Christmas while being unemployed. She had help from a girlfriend who hired Susan to do office work and then organize her house.
And they only fought once.
This year Susan is back to full time employment but the recession made sure that the husband sees no payday, which is bad because he's the breadwinner. So, they're out on the high wire until things pick up.
In the meantime, except for her children and her three nieces, any person she has ever bought presents for in the past has been slashed from the list. There'll be none for little sister, none for cousin Lisa, none for her friends,
none for the husband, none for her next door neighbors.
None for anybody.
Christmas morning Susan and her little sister's family always meet for breakfast. Forget about it this year, even the price of eggs at a diner is not in the budget.
Susan had previously told the kids that they'd be getting only one gift this year and they'd better choose judiciously.
The morning before Christmas, coinciding with the availability of Susan's paycheck, the husband went out to purchase each child's solitary gift. He was done by 9 am. Did Susan mention that they both wanted the same thing? It's handheld, electronic and not at all shabby, so don't feel bad for them. Feel bad for Susan because she's not getting sh*t except the bottle of wine that she purchased on the way home from work. That, and the knowledge that she pulled Christmas out of her ass for a second year in a row. Hooray for her!
Happy Christmas everybody.