Posted by Naomi Gurt Lind

In December of 2008, I found myself in an unprecedented position. My husband was out of work and had no prospects we could see and our sons were ages four and one. In the preceding months, we’d gone from being bookstore people to being library people, from restaurant people to home-cooking people, from toy store people to hand-me-down people. We’d cancelled our traditional December trip to visit my extended family in Michigan because we couldn’t afford to travel. What is customarily an exciting time of celebration, family get-togethers, and gifts was shaping up, for us, to be a time of uncertainty and isolation.

Through the kindness of a friend, I received a gift card to a local store that carried children’s clothing, toys, and books. One afternoon, I went there while my husband stayed with the boys at home. It gave me such pleasure to shop for gifts for my sons! I must have spent an hour in that store, calculating how much I could afford, speculating what each boy would like, weighing the options, and imagining the boys’ faces as they opened their gifts.

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