I Don’t “Fit” Christmas.

I am not a Mom. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt and very recently, a great aunt. I am a wife, a sister-in-law, a cousin and a niece. I got married when I was 38, a little late in life. We never tried to have a baby but we didn’t NOT try either. It just didn’t happen for us. We looked at adoption but the price of adoption was, well, a number we couldn’t come up with.

So, I am not a Mom, I just turned 50 and this Christmas confuses me?

 

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Only half of the crew!

 

With 15 nieces and nephews between my husband and I, there was a time when I had at least one, usually two, children at my house almost every other weekend. They had fun staying with “Auntie.” Let’s face it, you can spoil them when they aren’t your own and send them home! Then there were the college days, “Auntie’s” house was a place to do laundry, get a free meal and a comfy couch to crash on.

Then, they all grew up, started getting married and having their own children. Those children have new “Aunties” to stay with. New cousins to play with…

Where do I fit? My elderly parents have care, one of my siblings has taken over that role and lives near them, full-time. She was married but is not anymore. She likes it that way, I think. She decided long ago not to have children. My other siblings are experiencing their children getting married, their children having babies and becoming grandparents themselves.

Christmas really confuses me this year. I’m having trouble with what it is? I can’t define it anymore. I knew what it was when I was a child, even when I was an aunt. I knew what to do when the nieces and nephews were in diapers and in their teens … but the diapers and the sippy cups went away and the graduations happened. The marriages happened, now in the last three months, two newborns have come into the family. I’m a “Great Auntie” so my role has changed.

I think there may be a simple answer, I just don’t “fit” Christmas anymore. It is time to figure out what Christmas looks like for my husband and I. We will need to figure out our traditions. It is just he and I, after all. So I will ask for his help. And I know he will help me figure out how to make Christmas “fit” us.

IMG_0178~ Jeff and I.

11 comments

  1. Yes, make Christmas your own. I think it’s much easier that way.
    I too never had children. I got married at 41. We didn’t want children of our own, but we wanted to help children in need. We planned to foster and then adopt. (adopting a foster child is much less expensive, we would only have had to pay court cost) We went through the classes and were on the last leg of getting approved to be foster parents…. then I started getting really sick. We couldn’t bring a child into that….especially not a child who has been through so much. It broke my heart. It still hurts sometimes that we couldn’t help a child in that very special way.
    Life just didn’t turn out that way.
    I guess Christmas would be a lot different.
    But we have each other and there is no one I’d rather spend my Christmas with than Stuart.

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    1. Oh wow! I didn’t know about you learning to foster! Getting sick during that time. I’m sorry. That would’ve been so hard. You do have Stuart and I have Jeff. We both got lucky in that department! And as we are well aware of the discord in the extended family, I too would want only to spend my holiday with my husband. (And maybe you and Stuart!) Happy Holidays Wen!

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  2. I think you have done really well putting this into words. I’m at a different life stage to you and yet I also feel that I don’t “fit” Christmas, though I’d never realised that was how I felt until I read your words. I have no partner, I don’t have an extended family that I really know, just people I know of. I don’t think children will be on my horizon. I don’t have friends, and now I don’t have work colleagues at the moment either after losing my job. It’s hard to reconcile how and where you fit when society paints the boxes in a certain shape and you’re a totally different shape. However, you’ve obviously got a good handle on what you’re thinking, whether you realise it or not. And you are a great grandma (congrats!), surrounded by family, by love, by hope and compassion. I really do hope you can enjoy these and your Christmas by rewriting what Christmas means to you. I think we all need to do that at these kinds of points; rewrite the story, rewrite our roles and decide for ourselves what it means to us. Thank you for so honestly sharing. x
    Caz 🙂

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  3. I can very much relate to this post. My husband and I don’t have kids. We have a few nephews and nieces, but we don’t see them at Christmas, so it’s pretty quiet around our house. Christmas used to involve visiting my parents in another state, staying at their house and spending time together around the Christmas tree, but it works better with my husband’s work schedule for us to travel at Thanksgiving, so we just stay home at Christmas. We’re learning how we fit into Christmas, but I think it will involve a new tradition for just the two of us. Perhaps a short overnight trip or volunteering at a place that feeds the homeless on Christmas.

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