Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

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All a Single Mom Wants for Christmas is...

I recently took my daughter to see the new Grinch movie. I really think the Grinch has been remade so many times, I’m not sure we need another one. But, there was one aspect of this remake of the old classic that stole my heart.

Cindy Lou Who was being raised by a single mom.

It was never explicitly said that there was no dad in the home, but it was quite obvious. From the lack of a male in the home to the utter exhaustion as the mom worked long hours and poured everything extra into her kids to Cindy Lou Who’s quest to meet Santa so he could make her mom happy… the movie screamed single mom.

It was actually a beautiful portrayal. Mom—no matter how exhausted she was—always had a little love to pour into her children. Despite her less than perfect circumstances, she was happy, content. Her home was full of laughter and love. And even though finances were obviously a concern, there was no lack of anything.

It certainly brought back memories of my years as a single mom.

The story line centered around Cindy Lou Who’s attempts to meet Santa—a desire born from her desire to do something special for her mom. She wanted more than anything to alleviate some of her mom’s burdens, to let her have something special of her own. And it was the love Cindy Lou Who had for her mom that eventually melted the Grinch’s hard heart.

As I reflected on the movie, I began to wonder what it is that single mom’s really want for Christmas. So I asked. Here are a few of the things single moms want the most this Christmas:

To feel like I have money and time to do all the things that need to be done.

To spend some time just having fun with my kids.

All of my kids under my roof for a few days just having a good time.

To be able to relax knowing all the bills are paid.

Uninterrupted sleep.

Gas money and gift cards for fast food so I can have a night off from cooking duty.

Bills paid for a month.

A spa day just so I can unwind for once.

More time with my kids.

Enough money to take a trip with my kids and make memories.

A clean house.

Some time away with my girlfriends.

Presents under the tree.

To know it’s not all going to fall out from under me.

A real friend who loves me just the way I am.

My kids to open their hearts and come back to me.

To have all my kids together at my house at the same time.


For God to protect the hearts of my children and use their trials as an opportunity to know him more intimately.

To be able to provide a stable, loving home for my kids.

One sweet mama just wants more because there never seems to be enough of anything. More time. More energy. More money. And definitely more of Jesus

As I read these dreams, my heart aches for each single mom. I know the pain. I know the hurt of broken dreams. I know the fear of financial instability. I know the anguish of just wanting time with your kids…without the stress of this life.

Most days, single moms seem to have superpowers. We fly through our day, juggling work and kids and home and all the responsibilities that rest squarely on our shoulders. Others watch and wonder how we do what we do. But the truth is, we often collapse at night and cry ourselves to sleep, knowing our to-do list never seems to get any shorter, wondering if we did enough to love our kids, wishing we could just have a few hours to relax and forget our burdens.

Just a couple weeks ago, I was talking with my daughter. I began to cry as I expressed my remorse for the way our lives turned out. I told her how I always thought I’d be the mom who did fun crafts and had healthy home-cooked meals and fresh-baked cookies when the kids came home from school. The reality is I have worked so hard, such long hours, that my kids are often left to themselves to find something for dinner. I rarely have the energy to do anything with my kids, let alone have the creative juices to be a Pinterest mom. The tears flowed so freely as I apologized for all of my short-comings.

My sweet girl just looked at me and said, “I really like the mom I have better than the mom you just described. Besides, I don’t need cookies after school every day.”

There’s a bond between a single mom and her kids…one you just can’t explain unless you’ve been there. It’s a hard road, but it’s also one that can be very blessed. But single moms carry huge burdens.

This Christmas season, I encourage you to look at this list, this “All I want for Christmas is…” list from some of the single moms I’m blessed to know. Maybe you know a single mom. Maybe you and your church can take a few hints from this list and bless a single mom in your area. There are many burdens. We don’t want the latest and greatest in technology or a Michael Kors purse. We want the best for our kids. We want a break financially. We want a few moments of rest.

Maybe you can help grant a single mom her dream Christmas.

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