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linni54 12-30-2012 11:51 AM

Families and Christmas
 
Hi Everyone

I'm linni and am from the UK. I work as a school administrator, and am a very mature student of social work, going into my second year. I know I'm veering on the mad side!

I hope you all enjoyed a Christmas that means a lot to you. For me, it was a topsy turvy one, but then the year has been a topsy turvy one! During the festive season friends and I got talking about what Christmas means to us all. For most it is the gathering of family and friends, whether at home or away.

For us, we are just a threesome, myself, husband and son who is 24. We used to have Christmas at home until he was 8 and then we started travelling at Christmas time, mainly through the United States, but have been in othe places too, such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

I am an only child and son is an only child. There is always pressure because of being that only child. They say what goes round comes round and it certainly did for me this year. When I was my son's age I spent a Christmas in Greece, when I was working out there, and another time in Austria with a boyfriend. You can imagine that my parents' upset that there only child wasn't with them over Christmas.

Now it was my turn. My son, at the last minute, announced that he was going to spend Christmas with his girlfriend and her family, who lives some distance away. He had been overseas for 10 months and came home in the summer. Conseqently they haven't spent much time together. However,I was devastated. For the first time in 16 years we hadn't planned to go away this Christmas due to circumstances, but I assumed he'd stay home and he would join her or she would join him after Christmas or for New Year.

Long story but I ended up taking a short holiday in her hometown, and stayed in a nice hotel, hoping to share just a little of her family's Christmas. It didn't go down terribly well, as I hadn't met them before, but at least I got to see something of my son. I think the family were a little bit surprised that I had left my husband at home, but he had very little time off work this year, so it wasn't possible for us both to go.

I couldn't stand the fact that there would only be the two of us, and not only that, the three of us weren't away as we usually are. When there are two or more children in a family, it's easier because if one is missing the others can make up for it.

Does anyone in a similar situation know what I mean? I know I crossed a few boundaries but I love Christmas and I just wanted our little group, however depleted to be together. However, Son wanted to spend time with his girlfriend, enjoy times out, and experience a traditional family Christmas, which he doesn't really remember having.

Selfish of me, but we all have issues and life can be so hard at times. I can't accept that things have changed and are changing. Oh why didn't I have more children.....! :cry:

xmas365 12-30-2012 03:41 PM

Welcome!!! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Christmasstar 12-30-2012 04:48 PM

change can be hard and letting our children go to lead their own life can be hard too. Apologize and move on, who knows, they may marry and have a whole parcel of grand kids for you to enjoy.
By the way, the number of kids you have makes no difference, you miss the one not there just as much.

I come from a large family, 5 brothers 1 sister,we all got married and have 17 kids between us. Now some of those are grown and married and the next generation has begun with 10 great grandchildren for my mom. In all there are 54 of us. We live in the USA, across Canada and a few of us live close enough to visit regularly.

Despite this, I have had my Christmas's alone and they have been lonely. I have learned to share that time with others in need so that what I missed did not seem so bad.
You just need to come up with new traditions and new strategies of coping. It is easier these days with email and skype as you can still be in contact, even face to face when you cannot physically be together.

momnan30 12-30-2012 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christmasstar (Post 493484)
change can be hard and letting our children go to lead their own life can be hard too. Apologize and move on, who knows, they may marry and have a whole parcel of grand kids for you to enjoy.
By the way, the number of kids you have makes no difference, you miss the one not there just as much.

I come from a large family, 5 brothers 1 sister,we all got married and have 17 kids between us. Now some of those are grown and married and the next generation has begun with 10 great grandchildren for my mom. In all there are 54 of us. We live in the USA, across Canada and a few of us live close enough to visit regularly.

Despite this, I have had my Christmas's alone and they have been lonely. I have learned to share that time with others in need so that what I missed did not seem so bad.
You just need to come up with new traditions and new strategies of coping. It is easier these days with email and skype as you can still be in contact, even face to face when you cannot physically be together.

Christmasstar- this is a beautiful and well said response to a painful situation faced by many.
I agree, no matter how many children, etc. there may be awkward, lonely Christmas years and sometimes, as poignant and bittersweet as they are, they make us appreciate the blessed and happy ones even more!

aLEKSA. 12-30-2012 07:40 PM

Hello and Welcome Linni :???:

irishsnow 12-31-2012 05:41 AM

Hello and Welcome

:welcome:

linni54 12-31-2012 08:41 AM

Thank you Christmasstar for your valued thoughts and views, much appreciated. As you say, no matter how big or how small the family, everyone has issues they have to deal with, and you're right, I do need to find coping strategies. I thought I had found some, but they didn't include Christmas! Thank you to everyone for your kind and welcoming replies. Linni x

Bradmac 01-01-2013 02:47 PM

I can only imagine how terrible empty nest syndrome can be. Hang out here with us...it'll help!

Welcome to MMC, Linni! cheesy

'Tis the season 01-01-2013 05:03 PM

Hi linni54 and welcome to the forums. Your story really touched me. I'm kind of on the other side. I've always travelled home on Christmas Day to be with my mum with my wife doing likewise. We both come home in the evening but next year we want to have our dinner together so we are going to take things year about. I'm an only child and I know my mum is going to be really upset. This is turn is upsetting me. Christmas is a big thing for us and my love of it comes from my mum. It's hard to break traditions we love but life's a changing shifting thing, sometimes for the better and some times the worst but it always changes. Whatever happens with your situation I hope you find contentment and happiness in the future.

Storeytime 01-01-2013 08:51 PM

Welcome Linni!

I have four kids, two grown with families of their own. My two children who are still at home are nearing the time when they will be leaving for college, etc. I am dreading that day. My whole life has been built around my family for 23 years now. I'm sure we will still gather as much as we can on Christmas, but I'm sure the days are coming where it will be harder for the entire family to gather. I understand completely about you going to see your son. I would probably do the same.

Well, welcome aboard. The great place about being a member here is that there is no better place to find people who can relate to your Christmas experiences, both good and bad, than here at MMC.
:welcome:


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