It’s my first Christmas as a single mother, and so far I feel I’m making it. Complicating things is the fact that we got married at Christmastime and there are a lot of memories/traditions attached to this holiday. Still, it’s been a pleasant season so far and acknowledging some of the melancholy has helped me to be authentic and still enjoy the fun.
It was hard when M came over to divide the Christmas ornaments and décor. Many of the ornaments we collected or gifted one another and have memories. I tried to go into the process with a loose hand and an attitude of just creating a fresh start – so I gave him the tree topper and tree skirt we purchased during our first married year. He took some of the others, even some for the children and I just let them go. They need memories at his house, too.
I’m trying to encourage lots of fun and connections with the little ones, so we’ve started a new tradition of an advent calendar where the children take turns opening a small calendar box each day. They very much look forward to it and the ‘treasures’ are small – chocolate coins, candy bracelets, dollar items, etc. So far, the favorite was a candy cane that ensued with a large box of candy canes for a Candy Cane Hunt! It was so fun and something we’ll certainly do again.
I still have to face the sending of my children to their father’s for the whole week leading up to and most of Christmas Day. I’m dreading it, but I plan to spend that time working extra hours and wrapping our few gifts. I will miss them terribly!
I miss M, too. It’s strange to do things a new way and not share the memories, excitement and gift-plotting with someone. Then again, I remember the conflict that the holidays always brought. The arguments over the tree, presents, plans that excluded those I loved, anger about the gifts…I’m thankful to be delivered from that.