Discussions recently have, of course, focused on the nuttiness that seems to go hand in hand with Christmas when you're single/re partnered/post coupled.
For every story I hear, there's yet another stupid example of the frailty of humans and our (apparent) lack of ability to 'move on', 'get over it' and 'embrace the season of goodwill'.
It makes me very sad to hear of children who have to have a change over in well lit public places , or parents who split up the day with military operation to ensure everyone gets 'their share' of the Day. Families who don't speak to each other grieve me even more - and that includes factions of my own.
I'm all for escaping if that's what you want to do. Christmas in a small nuclear family, or spent alone, if that's your choice - go for it, I say - but be honest about it. Make it your choice. And don't be making everyone else feel bad because of it.
Frankly it makes me want to run away and avoid Christmas (or any other event that will require blended families to pretend to all like each other) altogether. Except that in mine, other than for one or two people, it works fine. Christmas morning is always spent at my house with my kids, and their Dad, who invariably ends up making breakfast in my kitchen. Lunch with one part of the family, and dinner with another part, and usually involving at least three or four mutations of the blended family at each event.
Yes, it's possible. It still absolutely sucks, because even after 40 years, there's still a small girl in me that would like to have Christmas with my actual Mum and Dad - and for my kids to have the same. I'd be lying if I said I was completely fine with how life has turned out, but there's no point in dwelling, nor continuing to rehash a past that few can remember properly anyway -so it becomes a wee hurt that gets pulled out and inspected for a few days a month, and then put away with the thankfulness of spirit that allows me (and my kids) to move freely between parents, step parents, currents and exes, and everything in between.
On a slightly related note,
Tonight I spoke to my 'host mum' from when I was an exchange student 30 Christmases ago. I'm hoping she'll come and visit again soon. It's one of those amazing friendships that picks up each year where it left even if it's a year between conversations. And there was much news to share.
I was asked recently, by someone I'd not heard from in quite a long time, how life was, and what was new for me. I answered in a non committal, played down way - no, no news, and no nothing new. Life goes on. Busy busy. Insert cliche here.
Later, I was bemused at myself...why did I do that? I had loads of news, almost all good and much worth sharing. But at the time, I was mid pre-Christmas hooha (as above) and sadly, this overshadowed the rest. So as I sit here, late on Christmas Eve, I am able to not only breathe in and out, and look forward to the day tomorrow (although it's very weird that tonight the little Engineer has chosen to spend the night with Dad and not here in his own bed - albeit that there's a notice of redirection for Santa on his stocking) - but I am also thinking about all that cool 'news' that makes up life since last Christmas...I'm looking forward to an exciting new job, a new look house, life with a teenager, some new community things I want to get into, some amazing trips away to semi-far flung places, and so it goes on.
True, life may not have worked out like the fairytale that I think all kids - all people - think they want. But overall, it's pretty good. And the ability of most of the people in my life to be able to put aside their 'stuff' and embrace the season of goodwill, makes this time of year bittersweet, but still something to (MOSTLY::)) look forward to.