There’s a trend going around in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods of “the wine fairy”. It’s turned into a bit of a competition over who gifts the most creative and lavish gift baskets. How thoughtful, right? To cheer an unsuspecting family up! But I can’t take on any other added expenses right now, I gulped instantly.

It’s so wonderful to witness the good in the world amidst all the chaos around us. I’m seeing people purchasing teachers Amazon wish lists and buying gif cards to support small businesses. I’m seeing free family portrait sessions given by local photographers and neighbors rallying to help strangers in tough times. I especially love how friends are brightening their friends’ days up with little pick me ups. (Let’s be honest, staying home is driving some of us mad and that wine delivered to the door sure helps.)

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And while I would love nothing more than to shower my amazing mom friends with surprise goodie baskets delivered to their door just because they have had a hard week, or plan a vacation with them when quarantine is over . . . here’s the thing: 

Life is expensive. And times are hard right now.

Families are losing their small businesses. Husbands are losing careers they depended on, careers they considered to be steady. Moms are quitting beloved jobs to homeschool their kids. It’s pay cuts and cutbacks on hours, and it’s happening on your street and to your friends. Parents are budgeting harder than they ever have. They are putting items back on the shelf and are increasingly aware of how expensive birthday parties and takeout food has become.

It’s challenging, as it’s human nature to want to be givers and thoughtful friends. We want our restless children to have awesome experiences, but lately, it’s too costly for many households. That bouncy house slide in the backyard is a genius idea to have teenagers burn some much-needed energy out, and those DIY homeschool classrooms are sure to be a set up for success. But they are best admired through a screen for many.

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So when your child knocks on a door with cookies for sale, a coupon book, or a popcorn catalog for their band camp fundraiser, please understand families will support when and where we can.  

Or when you see a post online asking for leads on a job, if you know someone in that field, offer a contact. It takes a great deal of pride to ask for help. But many are left with no other choice than to reach out. A couple of my close friends opened their hearts up and asked for prayer regarding the financial hardships they are experiencing. And perhaps it seems taboo to discuss with friends, but it’s a very important topic we need to be aware of with the state of the world the way it is. It’s a sensitive subject that should be spoken about with kindness and grace. It’s a situation that deserves understanding, and most importantly, one we should all be praying for.

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This virus is wreaking havoc on more than our health and mental stability. It’s time we shed a light on the closure notices at local coffee shops and the heartbreaking announcements of local boutiques that have been in business for decades. Doors aren’t just closed in our homes—they are closed across our community. Some of us are struggling, and we’re struggling to tell you.

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