Reforming My Relationship with Christmas

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I have a bit of a confession to make…

I don’t really ‘do’ Christmas and last year (shame) we skipped it all together.  To my mind, Christmas is typically a time of family angst, acrimony and sadness as the true meaning is hidden behind a mountain of discarded wrapping paper and quickly broken toys. Growing up, our family Christmas’s were punctuated by bitter arguments and as a step-mum, Christmas is now a time when my husband has to grieve for the fact that he is being denied yet another opportunity to share time with his children. Hardly the sort of thing to fill you with enthusiasm for breaking out the Christmas tree and tinsel…

However, after that rather depressing intro, I’m delighted to tell you that starting on the 25th December 2013 my relationship with Christmas is going to change. In fact, I even put the Christmas tree up to mark the start of advent.

The reason for this change is simple. Our daughter is now 16 months old and it would be downright selfish for me to deny her the joy that a simple Christmas can bring.

I’ll be the first to admit that seeing the joy in Christmas won’t be the easiest task. We’ve had a very rough year with a redundancy (mine), serious head injury (hubby’s), a suicide, and at the last minute my husband’s ex has decided to deny him access to his kids this Christmas. We are approximately 600km from the nearest members of the family, and my husband starts night shift on Christmas Eve.

It would be so easy to just write Christmas off again this year. Instead, we are going to focus on the positives, starting with a special Christmas breakfast when hubby finishes work on Christmas morning. Our daughter and I will put on pretty dresses and go to church, and there will be a small number of socially and environmentally conscious gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. It won’t be easy, nor overly exciting, but it’s a step towards the many happy Christmases that our family will enjoy in the future.

So, if you are like me and find Christmas a challenging time, I hope that you too manage to find some joy this year.

Do you have any tips for how to make Christmas more enjoyable?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaoticmind75/6895872661/”>ChaoticMind75</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

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