Christmas and the single parent.
It is very very hard and ridiculously complicated. Thankfully my children will wake up on Christmas morning at my house. But then, after our pressie-fest, they have to leave. It is still painful. I have a friend that will be doing the single/kids/who is having them when thing for the first time this year and it makes we want to cry because I know how unbelievably heart wrenching it is to not be able to give your children the text book happy nuclear family Christmas.
I have been doing the single Christmas thing for a few years now. Watched how other friends deal with it. One friend disappears for two weeks every other year, abroad – somewhere they don’t celebrate Christmas and does something entirely different so that she doesn’t feel sick about not being with her children. Others do what I do and spend it with close family – we always share Christmas day so that it’s not too awful – they either wake up at my house or I pick them up at lunch time on Xmas day so thats good.
I’m still feeling a little bit dysfunctional though. It’s still hard, down the line, even if the children get used to two separate Christmas’s. I am really, really looking forward to spending time with my family over Christmas, but my children won’t be there…..and that is just weird.
BUT I DON’T WANT TO GO AND BUY THE TREE BY MYSELF and carry it home on my own. I bought a lovely fake black one last year in order to specifically avoid bumping into happy families in garden centres but my children have told me it’s revolting and I can’t possibly use it. That it was depressing and miserable looking. Well. I disagree. I AM depressing and miserable looking. What’s wrong with that. Get over it. “It looks like an Emo” they say. I don’t want to put up baubles. Or lights. OR ANYTHING YET. WHY IS EVERYONE IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT ALREADY?? I am not. Not at all. I CBA to find the bloody Christmas decorations which are in a box somewhere in the shed. I can’t get excited about untangling the stupid lights and I certainly am not looking forward to the Christmas decoration argument and whosE bit of tree looks more like “Christmas sick” than twinkly fluff….
So. Any advantages of being divorced at Christmas?
– You don’t have to spend time with in-laws
– You don’t have to unwrap a shit present
– You will be closer to your children as a result
– My rules. Except the kids ignore them.
– We can eat what we want.
– I can eat two tins of Quality Streets on my own when they have gone.
– Effect on kids
– No big present
– Sick after two tins of Quality Streets
So my “How To Survive Christmas” top tips aren’t very well formulated yet. I must give it some more thought.
1. Stop being nostalgic and get that image of the nuclear family Christmas out of your head.
2. Invite friends round. All the time. Every day. At least three times a day so that you don’t have to stop offering drinks to everyone.
3. I’m thinking about taking the children to a food kitchen to help serve other less fortunate people their Christmas meal.
4. I’m going to give my kids something African this year, after my recent trip – maybe a monthly food programme to help feed a child for a year…..
Anybody else got any good ideas?