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Alone at Xmas, what would you do?

(103 Posts)
middlemuddle Fri 08-Nov-19 23:31:24

ExH and I have 3 DCs and separated last summer. I am a care leaver so have no family at Christmas to go to, and I don't like to go to friend's houses as I feel like I'm intruding (I've done all that in the past). Last Xmas I said to exH that I'd like to have them in the morning & he could have them in the afternoon because I didn't want to spend a lot of time alone. He lives with his parents and they have a lot of family over on Christmas Day. In the end I think he only had them 3hrs max, but that was his choice- I didn't stipulate any timings.

I know it's his turn to have the DCs on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day morning but I feel heartbroken at the thought of waking up alone without them. I'm withdrawing from anti-depressants atm so I'm feeling my emotions again, and this is making me feel quite upset. Would I BU to suggest same arrangements as last year? Is it being selfish?

Bunnybigears Fri 08-Nov-19 23:34:56

You can always ask and see what he says. The few times I have been alone at Christmas (different circumstnces) I have volunteered either at homeless shelters or Christmas dinners for the elderly. I find it takes your mind off it completely.

middlemuddle Fri 08-Nov-19 23:48:50

That's true, but I'm just wondering if it's shitty of me to suggest is all.

Volunteering is a good idea. I might see if there are any care leaver xmas events I could volunteer at. I think my local area do a Christmas dinner for them.

ColdPlayDefenceLeague Sat 09-Nov-19 00:17:48

DC get to sleep in their own beds Xmas Eve and, seeing as you're on your own and your X has family, they have Xmas lunch with you then he can have them for the rest of the day.

Unshriven Sat 09-Nov-19 00:24:39

What do the children want?

If they'd like to be with their father, and a bigger family, it would be unkind to deny them that because you want company.

Can you not join his family?

ColdPlayDefenceLeague Sat 09-Nov-19 00:35:57

If they'd like to be with their father, and a bigger family, it would be unkind to deny them that because you want company

What a very unkind thing to say to a woman who has explained that, as a care leaver, she has no other family and has been suffering from depression.

middlemuddle Sat 09-Nov-19 00:37:14

I don't want to join his family & I wasnt invited last year anyway. We don't speak as I can't stand my MIL.

I'll ask the kids when they come back tomorrow but I think it'll be a hard question for them that may upset my eldest. They are 7,5&3. Still, it'd be better to know their thoughts.

SD1978 Sat 09-Nov-19 00:47:55

It's not fair asking the kids- they are young and don't want to upset anyone. I'm sorry- but this is part of being separated, and it sucks but you had them last year. I know but sucks he has a big family- but they will get to have different kind of Christmas this year with more people around which they may enjoy. You can always ask, but I would t say yes - I'd would also want to spend the morning with my kids, having missed out the year before.

AcrossthePond55 Sat 09-Nov-19 00:49:06

Honestly, I wouldn't ask the children. They're too young to make that decision without feeling that they're having to 'choose' between Mummy and Daddy. At their ages it's a decision for the adults to make. Besides, what happens if they say they want to stay home and their dad says 'no, you had them last year it's my turn this year'.

I understand your fear of feeling lonely. As others have suggested, find things to do; attend a carol service or concert, see a panto, serve at a soup kitchen, make a list of movie & shows to watch and just get in your pjs with some comfort food and watch them. It will be hard this year, but it will get easier in the future if you 'power through' this one.

MarianaMoatedGrange Sat 09-Nov-19 00:49:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

GreenTulips Sat 09-Nov-19 00:56:54

Sleep in
Have a nice breakfast
Get last min prep done
Buy your favorite food
Have a bath
Play some music
Accept invitations or see in anyone wants drinks and nibbles at your Christmas Eve
Make a buffet tea when the kids get back

It’ll be a few hours

emeraldravine Sat 09-Nov-19 01:03:51

Jesus. Do NOT ask the children.

You have an arrangement in place. Stick to it.

user1486131602 Sat 09-Nov-19 01:03:57

My parents were divorced by the time I was 10.
Here’s my advice, for what’s its worth!

We always had xmas eve and day with mum as she had no other relatives.
Boxing Day etc going to etc.....

Then xmas #2 at my dads on New Year’s Day!

I’m sure that’s not an ideal situation unless you’re a 10yr old!
2 christmases every year!

When things aren’t quite so raw for you all it will work out. Good luck

user1486131602 Sat 09-Nov-19 01:05:12

* Boxing Day going to the grandparents etc.....

SuchAToDo Sat 09-Nov-19 01:06:10

Op if your ex is having them, you could always batch cook freeze in advance and then heating up some veg and meat etc and have a no fuss Christmas dinner and sit down with a wine and Christmas telly, your dinner and occupy yourself with that

Also if you don't want to eat alone, plenty of places will be selling tickets to eat Christmas dinner out (it will be for all price ranges so look around if you want the cheapest).... also you could volunteer visit at nursing homes/hospital on Christmas day (some of them may not have visitors and be on their own and will.aporeciate having someone to visit them)..also churches will be busy on Christmas day (not suggesting you are christian or have to believe, but it's beautiful for even the Christmas songs and gives you another place to go so you aren't feeling alone

greenlynx Sat 09-Nov-19 01:14:59

You can ask (maybe without mentioning antidepressants) you never know it might suit him better, if he’s ok with 3 hours last year, and it also depends how flexible you both are with arrangements.
Could you do something you can’t do when children are at home, like long bath or reading very late and eating chocolates in your bed or watching movie? Or could you do something as a surprise for them, it’s might be your new Xmas tradition, like special Xmas cake or crafts?
Also quite a lot of sales start on Xmas eve so browsing might be an option.

Toodeloo Sat 09-Nov-19 01:17:37


No family or friends to go to and get my kids back Xmas day some time afternoon. I plan on having a nice long sleep, cooking myself what I fancy for my Xmas dinner, movies on the couch, maybe a bath... lots of relaxing time beige unwrapping presents with the kids and, no doubt, a lot of refereeing triggered by a day full of too much excitement and sugar!

I can see how a day like yours and mine could easily be perceived as lonely. However, I look forward to it. It’s still Christmas, just on my own terms :-) I’ll have that extra bit of time to make everything nice and special and the added bonus of some cuddle time on the couch with kiddos later.

It’ll be alright, op, if you manage to think positively about it. In my mind, it’s brilliant that the kids are getting a lovely time with their dads extended family (which I wouldn’t have liked as much anyway), it’s just as important as the quality time they’ll spent with me at their “main” home.

Pinkfluffythoughts Sat 09-Nov-19 01:43:19

Don’t mention this to your dc!! Too much to burden them with.

Plan some special treats for yourself. A meal out, special food in, long bath, watch a film, go for a walk.

Redwinestillfine Sat 09-Nov-19 01:48:24

Lie in/ carol service/ Christmas telly in your dressing gown there are loads of options. It sounds like you just need a distraction for a few hours then you get the rest of the day with them flowers

Selmababies Sat 09-Nov-19 01:49:24

Talk to your ex and agree when the children will be with him.
If he does want them xmas eve/ Christmas morning, I do all the things that @GreenTulips suggested to spoil and indulge yourself. Play some happy music.
I'd also spend the time getting a little party together for when the children arrive back with you. Make a lovely party buffet tea and blow up some balloons before they get back. When they arrive home, do presents and then play pin the tail on the donkey, blindman's buff, Simple Simon, musical bumps etc etc. When they get tired, settle down and watch a film with them or let them play with their toys while you watch Tv with some chocs and a glass of wine.
Plan something lovely for the next day and make a special lunch with candles and crackers etc.
Concentrate on making the time your children are with you really enjoyable for them, and hopefully you'll find yourself feeling happy too. Don't allow yourself to start imagining that every other family is having a better time than you (they may not be!).

kateandme Sat 09-Nov-19 02:27:22

perhaps word it "what are you plans for this year.shall we keep it the same as last year or..."
i dont know whether asking the kdis first is best because if they say they want to be with you like last then the dad says its his turn it might hurt more?
it cant hurt to ask.but dont be hurt if he says no ok because allthough i sympathise its still kind of his turn isnt it.
could you have a really snuggly lie in.get a movie set up on the eve then on the morning.make yourself a really luxurious breakie then do somebaking in wait for the me the morning will go by quicker i actually think than if they were with you in the morning then you had to let them least you then have something to look forward to them coming...but i know its hard.really hard.
think of all the thing you could do.what little things could you have in place to make it bearable do you think.

nannytothequeen Sat 09-Nov-19 03:52:17

I was on my own last year. Kids with the ex and his girlfriend from 20th to Boxing Day. Mum had died 11 months before. No siblings. The situation very much showed me who my ex was given that he would t let me spend any time with the kids even though I was quite newly bereaved. A useful wake up call for me. Anyway I volunteered to help at a community Christmas dinner. Then I had tea with a friend. Very low key but no time to feel sad.

Derbee Sat 09-Nov-19 03:53:37

Don’t ask the children.


BlueSnuggly62894Rug Sat 09-Nov-19 06:21:58

If you live near the sea or river. Some places organise a fancy dress dip for charity. Everyone dresses up, carnival atmosphere. It's great to watch, even if you don't enter the cold water !

ChileConCarne Sat 09-Nov-19 06:27:35

I remember my first few christmases as a child when my parents had split up. I’d cry myself to sleep on the day thinking about my dad being on his own and ‘lonely’.
My point being, please dont involve the children in this decision at all, please don’t give off any sad or lonely vibes. Put on a brave face for them and let them have a guilt free time.

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