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