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Christmas Is Not What It Is All Cracked Up To Be...

Christmas Day is not what it is all cracked up to be...It has all become nothing but a big, commercialized mess, and it seems all that people care about is spending, spending, spending. All they care about is buying the biggest and most expensive gifts for their loved ones or friends, and to hell with those who are struggling. It seems that each year the poor or disabled people get screwed.

I know from experience. I am a 11-year-old boy with spina bifida, and I live in low income housing because my family can't afford anything better. Every month it is a struggle for mom to pay the bills (and it seems that most of the bills are mine, what with my stupid medical problems!), and mom also has to take care of my two little sisters and my baby brother; and by the time she gets to them, there is hardly anything left; and then I wonder why mom and dad are always fighting or why dad is always hitting the bottle...We hardly have anything for food, and we often have to the soup kitchen for a good, home-cooked meal or go to the thrift store for some decent (if used) clothing because we can't afford to buy the stuff at the stores. The stuff they have at the stores, even the so-called "discount" stores like Wal*Mart or Target, are way too expensive for a family like ours to be able to afford!

My name is Prentice Rico Alvarez, and as I said I am 11 years old. We live in Detroit, Michigan, and we live in housing for poor people. Our neighborhood is not that great: there is much in the way of gang- or drug- related activity, and we hear gunshots quite frequently at night; and we don't feel safe here. We would give anything to move to another place, but we can't afford to; rent takes up most of mom's check (she works as a dishwasher at a Mexican restaurant), and dad can't keep a job because he has a drinking habit that he can't seem to give up; and dad turns mean and nasty when he drinks. He has hit mom and he has hit my little sisters; but if he ever hits my baby brother, I swear, I will kill him. I love my baby brother, and I can't bear the thought of dad hitting him or doing something much worse to him! Seeing him hitting my mom or my little sisters is hard enough; and I keep telling him to stop; but he won't...

Anyway, as I was saying earlier, I hate Christmas. I used to love it when I was little (that was when times were better, and that was before dad took to drinking), but now Christmas has come to be nothing but a big pain in the ass, especially to a poor kid like me. All the time, I see these stupid people spending money they don't have, or they keep on saying that they are gonna' give the money to charity and to help the poor; but it seems that they don't even get around to it, and it seems that every year, the donations for the poor people get less and less or smaller and smaller; and more and more people get screwed. I know. I wanted a remote car last Christmas, but I didn't get it. All I got was some stupid clothes or some stupid handheld game I had no interest in, and I was very disappointed. And my sisters, all they got was fruit and some dumb old used dolls, and they were the crappiest lookin' things I had ever seen in my life! Oh, my baby brother got some nice toys and clothes; but he was the only one who got decent stuff, only because he is a baby, and you know how everyone feels so sorry for the babies. That is fine, but what about us OLDER kids?? Don't we matter, too?? Don't you think we would have liked something nice instead of getting something we really didn't want or need??

But what I REALLY had my heart set on was a new wheelchair. Do you think I got that?? NO...I didn't get SQUAT. The wheelchair I have now is so rickety and old, it is getting harder for me to get around, and my mom can't be carrying me around; I am a big boy, and my mom can't be carrying me around, not with her bad back and stuff! I really could use a wheelchair..any wheelchair would do, new OR used! It doesn't matter; but I really need a new wheelchair, and the sooner, the better! I can't be spending my days being carried around like a big baby or using my stupid crutches or rolling on the floor in order to get around!

I put "w/c" down on my Christmas list this year for the Salvation Army Christmas list, but I doubt I'll even get that. I'll probably end up getting some stupid useless toys or some dingy-lookin' clothes again; it seems that is all I ever get at Christmas!

What I probably hate most about Christmas is when we go to the stores; the people see us poor folks, and they give us dirty looks, like we are carrying some awful disease or something, and they act like we got bugs or fleas; and most of these people won't even give us a second look. They also won't give us any food or money, and yet they will go and buy for their family or friends; and that really hurts me. They make mad or ugly faces at us, and I have heard people tell my mom to go back to Mexico because she doesn't speak much English, and that bothers me too. They call her a stupid "wetback" or much worse, and it makes me mad, especially when they make mom cry! All mom is doing is trying to make a little money to try to help us kids out, but with my health problems, money is very hard to come by, and people don't really understand the struggles she has to go through.

She not only has to take care of a baby boy or two little girls: she also has to take care of a boy who is disabled and can't get around like most kids; and caring for someone like me is expensive. (I have had many surgeries, and I still go to the hospital for treatments from time to time.) And it seems that Christmas time is the worst time for our family because we can't even afford a tree or presents for the family; so we often go without. You would think that someone would feel sorry for us, but it seems that they would rather forget about us and go about their stupid business and worry about themselves.

This is why I hate Christmas. Now you know. As far as I am concerned, Christmas can shove it. I don't need it. It has proven to be nothing but one big disappointment after another, and I don't want to pretend to be happy when I am not! This Christmas cheer is really starting to get old, and I'd just as soon as forget about it altogether! To me it is nothing more than another useless day in my life.    
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