How $10 (and an amazing Mom) made two boys happy on Christmas

Today I wanted to share my favorite Christmas photo. This is me and my family in 1980 or so. And yes, I have a twin brother in case you did not know. I wrote about this picture four years ago, but I felt it was time to revisit the image since this is always a powerful reminder for me of what really matters during Christmas. I hope it’ll be encouraging for you too.

favorite christmas photo - by sacramento appraisal blog

How $10 (and an amazing Mom) made two boys happy on Christmas:

Let me introduce you to my grandparents, mother, and the four-year old version of me and my twin brother. This photo was taken during a time when my family had very little money as my mother was a single parent doing her best to work full-time and raise us boys. We lived a modest lifestyle out of necessity, and so when December rolled around, there wasn’t much to cover Christmas gifts. My Mom had a total of ten dollars, and since she was too proud to accept additional funds from family members, she made do with what she had.

When I look at this post gift-unwrapping picture, I see two extremely happy boys and an amazing mother who stretched out ten bucks to provide both of her sons with a superman t-shirt and cape, Mork & Mindy egg, coloring book, and soccer ball.

Maybe it’s just subjective sentimental goo, but this photo gets me thinking about what really matters and even how I can enjoy the coming week. There are some real nuggets of truth here: Family time is so important. Money doesn’t make us happy. Humble circumstances can teach us valuable life lessons. Moms are amazing. Christmas is not about the gifts. Financial hardship doesn’t have to steal our joy. Life is good. There is much to celebrate and be grateful for. We need to savor the time we have with our kids.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours!! May you find tremendous joy and peace (and not too much drama) with your family and friends over coming days. And on a different note, thank you so much for hanging around here on the blog this year and for enhancing my life. I am truly grateful for you. I’ll be taking the next week off to unplug and get some much needed rest. I cannot wait to connect again in early January. Blessings to you and your family.

Question: What is your first thought after reading this post?

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  1. says

    Love the photo & the insight reminder of what’s truly important! Didn’t realize you have a twin…what fun!! Have some well deserved time off to enjoy your family! Merry Christmas!!

  2. ricardo says


    Very cool pic and story. Seems like your Mom gave you a strong sense of what value is all about. Happy Holidays


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