Things are never quite the way they seem.

Like many people, Christmas is a difficult time of year for me and I’ve spoken about that before. It takes a lot of effort and I had not been able to work up any of the enthusiasm of Christmases past. But this has been a year of new beginnings and Christmas was no different. Last year, although I spent Christmas with the Incredible Hunk it was very low-key. I didn’t feel settled or confident enough to make any suggestions about how to spend the day and wanted to get it over and done with as soon as possible, frankly.

This year I started thinking about it a bit more. It sucks that something I was once so into has become something I now endure. It made me deconstruct it a bit and think about what Christmas actually means to me – yeah, I know, looking for meaning is so totally not usual for me. I have never understood separated parents who bicker over having their Christmas celebrations with their children on Christmas Day itself. A day is a day and if you cannot get along well enough to spend Christmas Day together with your child then surely someone can have Christmas Eve and someone Christmas Day. There is no child who has ever said “Gee, I wish I didn’t have so many Christmases”. No kid is ever going to complain about celebrations spanning days rather than hours. And in my big picture way it made me think of those stories you hear about children with cancer whose parents have Christmas in August, or whenever, just so they can celebrate one last time with them. Because, for real, painful as it is, not spending time with your child on December 25th and having to celebrate Christmas another day is way, way down the list of the worst things that can happen to you as a parent. Just as age is just a state of mind in terms of its ability to define you, so too is Christmas undefined by its date.

Although there is clearly some religious background to celebrating Christmas it has evolved into a cultural celebration. I am not celebrating the virgin birth of Jesus Christ when I celebrate Christmas, blasphemous heathen I am. So, although I understand that for many people Christmas is a celebration of religious significance, that is not what Christmas means to me. And it’s not about getting presents; for me it is truly more blessed to give than receive. Giving to people I love, yep, that comes into it, but not just material goods. Definitely showing people I care about that I care about them is a huge part of Christmas for me. Time spent, good food, good company, good music – all those things.

This year I wanted, genuinely, to enjoy Christmas. Maybe not every second but to not just endure it. Accept the things I cannot change; change what I can; know the difference. I began putting thought and effort and energy into reclaiming Christmas and I was doing pretty well, all things considered, I thought. I bought a tree and some decorations and decorated it with the children. I purchased presents and discussed food with the Incredible Hunk. And I started to enjoy the thought of our first ‘real’ Christmas together and the potential to start new traditions. Then on Christmas Eve eve Son Number Two started vomiting. By Christmas Eve morning I’d gotten the bug and by that evening the Incredible Hunk had it. It meant that the Incredible Hunk’s children were better off staying with their Mum and not spending time with us on Christmas Day – aarrrrggghhh! Just another curve ball thrown by the fickle finger of fate. Pretty sure violent expulsion of stomach contents and keeping the man I love from his children, who I also love, is NOT what Christmas means to me. Ah well, the best laid plans and all that.

We ended up celebrating a few days later, all of us, together. The kids had fun, which is surely the main thing. It was not the way I planned it but nothing usually is. The moral of the story is to work out what matters to you at the end of the day. What really counts. Then hold on to that, and let go of everything else.

Travel safe x


25dec12 052



Zippity Do Dah

Just so you know, I am over being sick. It has gotten to the boring and frustrating stage. That being said it is a glorious day today, all sunny and shiny. Since Daughter Number Two has gone out with Baby Daddy and his girlfriend (the same one he told me a month ago he was sexually incompatible with, he must like that in his women) I can get out for a long walk without fear of tiring her little legs. Irritating illness aside I’m feeling pretty good. Looking at the rest of the year stretched out before me there are lots of things to look forward to.

Son Number One has a respite camp, overnight to a theme park, next weekend. If I pull a few strings I could have some grown-up time before the chaos of the school holidays. I’ll barely know what to do with myself, but I’m sure I’ll think of something – I’m clever like that. Towards the end of next month I have a big trip away with Son Number Two and Daughter Number Two. I am very excited and looking forward to this. Son Number One has elected to stay at home, and having time and energy for the younger two can only be a great thing for all of us. Plus the fun of travelling and exploring! Yeeha!!

Then Christmas, which I’m looking forward to more this year than I have in a very long time. As you know Son Number Two really struggles with the whole deal. As do I. The build up with decorating the tree, the day itself, all swirling with the ghosts of Christmas’ past. So, this year we are making new traditions and I’m doing my own thing instead of worrying what would suit everyone else best, including Baby Daddy. Should we not have already moved we will be taking off a few days before Christmas. When we get there I’ll buy a cheap tree, we’ll get a few decorations and make the rest. I’ll organise presents that end too, which will make it an interesting challenge for me. I’ve been saving all my reward cards I get for filling out online survey’s to put towards food and beverages. On the day itself we will eat and drink and play and do whatever we like, together. It will be a big ask, pulling it all together at short notice, but I’m confident of my abilities, and I’m actually looking forward to the challenge. It will be different to our usual Christmas, but that is primarily the point! And I’m excited for it, with none of the dread it’s caused in recent years. I have no doubt it will go much easier on Son Number Two; and Daughter Number Two and Son Number One will be happy so long as we are together, there are presents, and there is food. Which is what it is about. The important stuff.

Happy Birthday to me!!


As an adult I’ve always really loved Christmas. I enjoy spending time with people who are dear to me and making them feel good. I enjoy giving presents and eating good food. I love making it a magical time for my children.


My enjoyment of Christmas has dimmed a bit since Daughter Number One died, but over the last 18 months I have been trying to put the effort into it that I have in years gone by. Although I have the children’s presents on lay-by and have been paying off a hamper scheme all year my preparations have been tinged with frustration. There are three reasons why. I will have to juggle Baby Daddy spending time with Daughter Number Two. I am torn between wanting Nana with us to celebrate Christmas and thinking she will probably be stressed by being away from her aged care facility in unfamiliar surroundings, with three active,  noisy, excited children. Lastly, I will not have the Current Person of  Interest with me, and since he is one of the people I care about that is kind of a bummer for me. I have been a bit sulky.


Today I realised something. The Current Person of Interest is coming to visit for my birthday. My birthday is at the beginning of December and traditionally the first weekend in December is when we decorate our Christmas tree. So, he will be here to help decorate the tree with us. I’m one of those fanatics who makes the festive season stretch out as long as possible and in many different ways. Daughter Number Two will be wearing Christmas themed outfits from early December right through to New Year. Each year I have an outfit theme for the obligatory photo with Santa for the children, and they get brand new outfits for the same.


When I realised that the Current Person of Interest will be with us to decorate the tree I realised he would be here to help kick off our Christmas celebrations. I can show him decorations that I have had for years, some that Daughter Number One made for me. In a real concrete way he will be part of my Christmas. And that will make it a very Merry Christmas for me!