Friday, 11 November 2011

It’s official… Christmas is cancelled…!

Seeing as I have been having a miserable week this week, I thought I may as well finish on the same note.   I’ll put a big black mark through the diary and strike this week off as one to forget.  Then hopefully, I will return to my usual positive self next week…

Christmas, chez Lara Lakin, has now officially been cancelled.

And the reason?  The kids are going to be spending it with their Dad, and I won’t see them at all that day. 

I have to confess to being one of those people who love Christmas.  I love the decorations, the tree, wrapping presents, and having the kids running around, yelling and screaming with excitement.  I also love the food and preparing the vegetables the night before, whilst drinking mulled wine.  And I have, for the last 15 or so years, been the person who has done all the cooking.  It’s exhausting.  But I still love it.

Since becoming a parent, the day has started with being woken at some unearthly hour to hear the sound of little voices whispering animatedly as they discover what Lara, sorry, Father Christmas has put at the end of their beds!  Hearing the sound of paper being ripped frenetically and the squeals of muffled laughter.  The very idea that they should wait until 7.00am, so I can see them open their pile of goodies, is a triumph of hope over experience!  And I feel very sad that this year I won’t be part of their day.

I am sure I am not alone.  I have no doubt that countless other divorced parents, mothers and fathers alike, will be in the same position.  But what makes me sad, is that for other divorced parents, it is a day when they put their differences aside, and share this special day with their kids.  Last year, this is exactly what happened.  But this year, I have been told, in no uncertain terms, that we have got to take it in turns.  And there is nothing I can do about it – other than look forward to next Christmas, when it will be my turn to have them.

I have told the kids that we will have ‘our’ Christmas on Boxing Day.  And as I don’t want to be completely miserable, I’m going to try and look on the positive side.

As much as I love Christmas, it’s hard work.  Cooking a turkey, which then sits festering in the fridge for a week, peeling endless potatoes, sprouts and carrots.  I will not have to do any of it this year. 

I also feel strongly that as I won’t be there to see them open their stockings, their father should do them this year.  And I’d be lying if I said that the thought of him having to buy all the stocking fillers, and wrap them, which he has never had to do before, does bring an evil little smile to my face!

What’s more, the kids have never got excited about the traditional Christmas meal.  So when they come home on Boxing Day, I will do kids party food for them.  Cocktail sausages (on sticks of course), jelly and cupcakes.  It will take far less work and be enjoyed infinitely more.

I have had a number of offers from family and friends, to spend Christmas Day with them.  And I feel bad that I just don’t want to be anywhere but home.

To me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without the children.  So I will sit at home, possibly with a couple of friends who don’t have children themselves.  I will watch all the terrible repeats on TV.  I might even push myself to watch the Queen’s speech!  And I will try to give myself a break - something I rarely do.

But Christmas itself is cancelled.  It’s official. 

Signing off from my week of tiredness, grumpiness and crap.

Yours, as ever.  Lara Lakin


  1. Hugs to you. I well remember this situation, and the feelings that go with it. In my case, I argued that the kid was with me and that she should be with me Christmas Day, and could go to him on the Boxing Day. Strangely, I won. And my girl had two Christmas Days to enjoy. xxxx I hope you have a peaceful day and can't see why you can't have your own Christmas Day with your children, just a day out of time! xxx

  2. Meh, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Because of a loose parenting plan my husband NEVER gets his kids for Christmas. EVER. We've tried talking to the children but their mother "supports" them in their idea that they don't want to be here for Christmas. We are good people, spoil the children rotten, and love them with all our hearts. We've never done anything that would make them NOT want to be here. But their mother can't stand of spending Christmas without them and puts her foot down every year, then makes the children feel guilty if they DO express the idea of wanting to come here because she would be ALOOOOOONE and SAAAAAAD. So he never, EVER gets his kids for Christmas. We have tried to rationalize with the children and make them see that it makes Daddy feel alone and sad too, but they say he is a strong man and can handle it. Well, we told them, that's what adults do in trying situations, they simply handle it as best they can. Nonetheless, the kids have admitted they prefer their mother's house because she let's them sleep in and laze about all day, watching movies. They said that's their tradition and our "selfish" request to see them every other year breaks that tradition. So no kiddos for us. Ever. My husband is incredibly hurt and angry but is supposed to "deal with it". So be grateful you have your kids sometimes, rather than never at all. Just my "bright side" opinion.

  3. Dear Anonymous

    Wow! Your husband clearly has a hard time, never being allowed to spend Christmas with his kids. And you sound very angry.

    But I'm surprised that you should tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself. I'm actually not sorry for me. I'm sorry for my children.

    My ex-husband was invited to spend Christmas with his children last year. He happily accepted. It was my understanding that it was the one day of the year that we could put differences to one side, for the sake of our children.

    Having chosen to spend only one day with the children during their entire Christmas school holidays (he pushed off on holiday after Christmas, without them), he has decided that this is 'his year'. Whilst he was invited to spend the day with his kids last year, he has not reciprocated.

    Like your husbands ex, I could have made a scene and insisted that I have them. But I didn't, because I think it is very important that they have time with both parents, even though I'd happily have them the whole time.

    I hope, when your husband's children are older, they will see the situation in a different light, and choose to spend time with you.

  4. I'm happy that you are able to think far enough ahead to make a change in your tradition. The "party" idea is brilliant. If your ex is anything like my ex was...he will find that the children will miss their routine as much as you do. He will spend a lot more trying to "buy" their love and "prove" to them (and himself) that he is a better parent. But kids are usually quick to pick up on the premise of 'divide and conquer'. As a tidbit of advice from one survivor to another....don't get sucked into the competition. Try to put the kids ahead of the fray and make an all new way of enjoying the holidays. Odd years you celebrate in the boxing day alternative and the even years you do it the other way. They will most likely decide as they get older that they prefer one over the other and as long as both of you agree to not "make them choose" you will come out way ahead! Merry Christmas and best


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