A Quiet Christmas

A Quiet Christmas  - our elf

Lesser spotted pointing elf.

As you know, we do Thanksgiving in style but scale down Christmas. This year we had nearly twenty people over for Thanksgiving; at Christmas, it will just be the three of us. Last year there were four of us as we have my best friend over for Christmas. This year we’re going to Dublin to celebrate Three Kings as I can’t get away from work to travel over Christmas. I work in a pharmacy, we’ve been open on Boxing Day before now.

I didn’t use to like Christmas. I hated it. Then for a while, I was apathetic about it. Now I like, love it even. Mostly the buildup. It’s easier for me now I have bethend and my son. He’s only sixteen months now but next year he’s really gonna be into it. Plus now I’m more involved with the village community and we do the village Xmas fair every year and go to church and I do things at work. It’s a nice time of year for me now.

I still struggle a lot with New Year’s Eve but that’s another post.

Broken Homes

A Quiet Christmas  - our tree

Our tree

My mum, my sister and I, my sister kids are all from ‘broken homes’. I don’t really like the term broken home much as is indicates that there was something wrong with the way we grew up. It indicates there is something wrong with the way my sister is bringing up my niece and nephew. Just because parents divorce or kids are in single-parent families doesn’t automatically make a home ‘broken’.

It does go some way to explaining how we feel about Christmas though.

When families split up it splits up holidays as well, and sometimes you get separated from your kids at Christmas. We didn’t spend Christmas with our mum for well over a decade. Longer for me, nearly twenty years. It tore my mum up when were kids and now she doesn’t like Christmas at all. She goes out of her way to avoid it some years. My sister always has her son but not always her daughter and that is really hard on her.

So she doesn’t really want to do Christmas every year and doesn’t want to come over to ours either for dinner or to do presents. At first, I found this really annoying, because it’s Christmas, we’re supposed to be a family together.

But we never have been in the past, not like other families. Not like my wife’s family; which is what I was trying to emulate those first years we were together. Why should we start trying to be something we’re not now? I just want her to be happy and I just want to see the kids at Christmas.

Christmas Eve Compromise

A Quiet Christmas  - me and Snappy

Me and Snappy at the fete

Over the past few years, we’ve managed to come to an agreement that works for all of us. We get together on Christmas Eve and have dinner and swap presents and celebrate Christmas then. Last year was the first year we had dinner properly – at our local pub – and this year we’re repeating it. At my sister’s suggestion too. It’s becoming a tradition and one I want to continue.

This way we get to see my mum and sister and the kids, and then they can do whatever they want on the actual day. And so can we.

I know my wife struggles with the quieter Christmases; she comes from a big family who may not all get along but do at least get-together. I have a large fractured family. In the past, we’ve taken in strays for Christmas, friends and friends of friends who’ve had nowhere else to go or anyone to celebrate with. Perhaps when Snappy is older we will do that again.

(Somewhat) Quiet Christmas

I’ve four straight days off this year. Well, three and a half. So we’ll see the family and have a quietish couple of days with Snappy. Go to church, opening presents, eat a lot of cheese.

Life is never really quiet with a toddler. let alone one who shrieks like a pterodactyl.

We will watch out Christmas film and specials playlist over those few days too, I’ll share that with you next time.

What about you? Does your whole family get together or are there just a few of you and your tree?.

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Queer, weird, geek, poet and now parent.

21 Responses

  1. hannah wood says:

    We only have a small family and dont do anything too big,as we don’t see my Husbands side.

  2. Sarah Bailey says:

    It sounds like you have a Christmas that really works for you – as a child we used to have big family Christmasses, now it’s just me my other half and my parents. I miss those fun ones which were big, but times change and we sadly lose people.

  3. Kara Guppy says:

    Sounds like you have reached a great compromise. We spend Christmas at home with the kids and then have a big family get together on boxing day

  4. I spend Christmas with all of my direct family so my parents, nan, auntie and grandad and it’s always nice but I know my brothers girlfriend struggles as her parents are seperated so she doesn’t always know where to spend the holidays x

  5. Its nice to have just the family during Christmas and not a large crowd, makes it that more special. Hope you all have a lovely trip to Dublin.

  6. Laura H says:

    There’s only three in my family so it’s always quite small too! Fun that you guys focus on Thanksgiving πŸ™‚

  7. We do things differently to others at Christmas too, I think whatever works for each family is what matters. Have a blessed Christmas xx

  8. Hannah says:

    I think its good to have a quiet Christmas. I love opening presents and watching tv all day

  9. I totally get how you feel about Christmas – my Christmases from a ‘broken’ home as a child have definitely impacted upon how I want to spend Christmas now. I hope you have a lovely time all together on Christmas Eve x

  10. Lynne Harper says:

    We have a blended family. my older kids take it in turns to see their dad at xmas. We always go to my mums and have done so for years and we do the day exactly the same as when I was a child. We love it πŸ™‚ Boxing day we return for more food

  11. Hannah says:

    We always have a quite quiet Christmas. I hope you have a good one x

  12. Jemma Celery and Cupcakes says:

    Your Christmas plans sound lovely, it’s nice that you have found a balance that works for you all. Have a wonderful time x

  13. Linda Hobbis says:

    We spend Christmas altogether – my elderly parents come to ours for Christmas lunch but it’s a quiet affair. I enjoy the build up rather than the actual day itself. Family problems don’t just vanish because it’s Christmas do they? I hope you have a lovely time.

  14. Nina says:

    It’s just me, my mum and my dad at Christmas. I’ve always wanted a bigger family event but it’s not been possible, unfortunately. I’m glad you’ve figured out something that works for you all though, that makes the whole holiday so much easier.

  15. I guess we all like spending Christmas in different ways ,it does not really matter as long as what you do makes you happy.Fr us its a time to catch up with family, eat, drink and catch up with chat and gossip.

  16. Annie B says:

    A family is a family and whatever size its family. It’s all about just being together and giving thanks.

  17. I do agree that being divorced or separated means being broken family. Good to know about your Lovely Christmas plans.

  18. Dannii says:

    Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me now I have a daughter and I can’t wait until she is old enough to truly appreciate it.

  19. Jake Ferrer says:

    I live with my mom and dad and 4 siblings and my husband and 2 kids. So we are a lot. We always celebrate Christmas as a family and we share this with our aunts and cousin.

  20. There is nothing wrong with a quiet Christmas! You do whatever works for you! I hope you had a good one!

  21. Amy Deverson says:

    I had a fairly quiet Christmas this year too, but I loved it. Lots of cheese and mulled wine!

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