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A thread for those of us who may find Christmas difficult and what are you doing to remain positive

(41 Posts)
whatisforteamum Sat 12-Dec-15 13:14:01

Im sure christmas is a tricky time for some of us due to family circumstances or recent break ups or bereavement.
This will probably be our last xmas as a family.DD is planning on moving our in 2016.i doubt dh and i will be together in 2016 after 29 yrs due to his anger issues and general coldness towards me which is showing no sign of improving.I literally hate being here when he is now.
,My df is most certainly having his last xmas due to terminal cancer.my coping stratergy is work which is going well (new job with nice colleagues) and i am being grateful df is still here after a few bad episodes this yr.So i shall mainly work through the season with xmas day off avoiding dhs shouting and sulking.Genrally treating myself to a few treats online and surrounding myself with happy younger fun workmates.
What are your circumstances and how will you get through this time ?

strawberrysalsa Sat 12-Dec-15 14:23:41

My DD is chronically ill and deteriorating quite rapidly. My parents are being unhelpful, to say the least and making it all about them. My DB doesn't want hear about DD because 'its too depressing'. Anyway my DS1 and DS2, my DD and I will be enjoying lots of Christmas food,films and fun without any other family. It was not popular when I told my parents our plans but tough. We are allowed to enjoy doing what we want. I was totally unmoved by my DMs pathetic tales of the ready meals she and DF would be eating all alone.

whatisforteamum Sat 12-Dec-15 19:17:04

oh strawberrysalsa im so sorry about your dd.flowersI cant believe your lack of support off your parents surely they understand.Sadly your dbs reaction seems all too common as ive found with both parents going through chemo.Im pleased you are making it all about your dcs.

Flangeshrub Sat 12-Dec-15 19:26:39

I discovered my STBXH was having an affair on January 3rd this year and I moved out 9 days later. He showed no signs of wanting to save the relationship.

Because I knew this Christmas as going yo feel shit whatever, I told him to have the DC (7 and 5) this year. He will have them all Christmas Eve, Christmas Day till 2pm and I will get them.

I am devastated. I was always so obsessed with Christmas, we (I) tracked Santa every year on Christmas Eve while cuntish STBXH was in the pub. Now I don't have them every other year. I cannot comprehend the sense of loss. I know it's not as bad as lots of other things but only having my beautiful DC 50% of the time is heartbreaking. I went through years of infertility to get them, they are so precious, I never for a minute thought I would lose them sad

Anyway, I'm struggling too. Sorry for those also struggling.

CharleyDavidson Sat 12-Dec-15 19:31:02

Hi Whatis...

Last Christmas I thought that it might be my Dad's last. We hadn't had the cancer diagnosis then, but he'd been poorly that November and we knew there were things that needed investigating. It has been a tough year and I had hoped he'd still be with us, but it was not to be and he passed away 5 weeks ago.

We normally go to Mum (and Dad's) for Christmas lunch and he was proud to still manage it last year despite having been in hospital for all of Nov that year. Mum is determined to still host Christmas lunch, with the help of my youngest sister, who lives at home at the ripe age of 35. We will be there as a family but it will be strange and sad without Dad.

We sisters take it in turns to host a buffet tea on Christmas day and it's the youngest sister's turn. Despite having moved back home after her marriage breakup, she's happy to do it so we will be at Mum's for tea too. Probably with a break in the middle. I'm keeping my mind on my family and having some reflective moments to remember Dad.

I have some recordings of him talking to us, which I'm putting on a memory stick for Mum to keep.

whatisforteamum Sat 12-Dec-15 20:16:47

Hi Charleydavidson the memory stick is a great idea smile I cant imagine how you must all feel and good for you for all carrying on the family get together with your lovely Mum.Ive had a couple of xmas days where ive thought it was probably mum or dads last due to cancer.This will be im sure.
Flangeshrub that must be so hard on you sharing your dcs over xmas especially if it is a time of yr you love so much.What are you planning to do with your time while your dcs are with your stbx ?

springydaffs Sat 12-Dec-15 20:21:10

4th year of working at the homeless shelter since I 'lost' my kids. Been half dead for four years but, here's the surprise, I LOVE working at the shelter! Look forward to it very very much. At least the guests know ALL about crap families and broken hearts. Not that I of course divulge anything about my situ to the guests but I just do feel more comfortable spending Christmas with people whose lives have gone wrong (that includes the volunteers btw) than spending time with people whose set up looks like an advert.
Just finished chemo; radiotherapy will straddle Christmas. No contact with siblings (my choice - phew) so no family except aged parents - I don't have the heart to entirely cut them off - who took a good few months to get the hang of how serious cancer is and have announced they don't want any visitors on Christmas day. Fine by me - which is a good job, really.
Thinking of all us brave souls at Christmas. It's just a day! flowers

whatisforteamum Sat 12-Dec-15 21:01:06

springdaffs what a great thing to do.Ive always paid lip service to helping at a shelter on xmas day and ashamed to say i never have yet.The whole eating too much drinking too much never appealed to me being in hospitality im usually working admittedly for money.I must put the idea back on my to do list.i hope the radiotherapy goes well and it must be a relief chemo is over.Look after yourself as i understand it takes a while to get your energy back.x

ConfusedLlama Sat 12-Dec-15 21:03:43

Yesterday marked the 2nd year my best friend took his own life, he was very troubled and struggled with all sorts of addictions and mental health problems. He is also the reason I am standing here today with a daughter and a career, he saved my life on more than one occasion. After his death and last year I blamed myself entirely, wishing I had done something anything to stop him. This year, after a heart to heart with his family I realised he'd have hated the thought of me so upset over what ifs. He was always the kind of guy that went screw hindsight. It's done. it's over. Let's move on.

So, this year, in his memory I wrote down all the things I want to do with my life with deadlines of when I need to do them. He had done something similar but never finished his list. He didn't save my life for me to become a recluse, he didn't save me for me to deny myself of everything I deserve. Christmas WILL be a happy one this year, there won't be a forced smile this time.

sugar21 Sat 12-Dec-15 21:14:08

This will be my fourth Christmas since dd2 died and dh and I split the next year. My dm is now living abroad so I shall be working throughout Christmas. The whole thing is very depressing.

whatisforteamum Sat 12-Dec-15 21:52:48

confused that is a good idea doing a list smile
Sugar21 so sorry about dd2 how unbelievably hard for you flowers

regretsihaveafew Sat 12-Dec-15 22:12:26

It will be the first Christmas Day on my own. One of my DIL's posted something very objectionable vile [re: MIL, parenting and grand parenting] on the internet earlier this year. I was devastated, still am, it's been many months of pain and adjustment to what is a bad situation. DS1 is in a difficult position [me and him are fine] but she refuses to apologise despite knowing how much it has hurt me Me and DIL are estranged. I will not see any of them over Christmas. And I have always done my best for them all, not interfered, helped as much as I can in so many ways and love GS's to bits.

However DS2 and DIL2 have just had a new baby and invited me there on Boxing Day. That will be great. Also am welcome there on Christmas day morning but want to settle down here, snuggle in front of the wood burner, and treat myself. I shall be fine, it will be pleasant, peaceful and no atmosphere.

sugar21 Sat 12-Dec-15 22:17:31

springydaffs is right it is just a day. I hope that you can get well springy sounds like you are having a tough time. My dm remarried a man who is only 7 years older than me. No way could I call him Dad, anyway the pair of them are a long way away now.
Sorry about your situation whatisforteamum seems like some of us are not celebrating. I hope things work out for you

I work in an hotel so will be with the rest of the staff who are from all over the world and very nice. Thing is we will have tipsy guests to deal with in the evening. That will be challenging to say the least.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 12-Dec-15 22:23:17

Sorry to hear so many people are struggling sad

I'm not sure if I'd class myself as struggling. I'd just happily fast forward to January. I'll be on my own on Christmas. Until I was 17, I'd never celebrated Christmas anyway, my mum picked her "favourite" children to celebrate with. Then I met DP, whose birthday is Christmas Eve, and spent 8 Christmas' with his family. They showed me how wonderful it can be, and we made a lot of little traditions. We split in March. We're trying to put things back together, but we're not sufficiently there that his parents would host me.

So, I'll be home alone. I forgot to order a turkey and can't find anywhere that can deliver a small one. I'm a bad cook. I had planned to work through but I have so much annual leave left that work are making me take some off.

I've put my Christmas tree up today because it's getting harder and harder to ignore, but I don't feel festive. I feel sad that, when everyone is spending the day with their most important people, I'll be on my own again.

springydaffs Sat 12-Dec-15 23:34:29

Not everyone, Anchor. Yes SOME people are happy at Christmas (no idea of the %age) but an awful lot aren't and put on a show. I've heard some dreadful stories already this year, yet people are going to toddle off and spend Christmas day with these awful people who are vile to them. Yet they do it year after year and think it's normal!

Yes it's sad I don't have a good family but I honestly luxuriate in not having any contact with my poisonous lot - it is a joy! Last year I was ill in bed (before the cancer) all day. It was a gloriously sunny day and I honestly had the best day. So peaceful.

Once you get through one Christmas day alone you realise it's not so bad at all - in fact it's pretty good! It's the taboo of it that's the worst - once you get over that the reality is very different ime.

minmooch Sat 12-Dec-15 23:45:58

Second Christmas since my DS1 died aged 18. The previous 2 Christmases were awful due to his illness (brain cancer). Ds2 will be at his Dad's. My mum died in April. Used to love Christmas but not anymore. Have surprised myself by decorating the house but it feels very empty. I have a good friend coming to mine on Christmas Day - he hates Christmas so we are just going to slob out eating nice food (not turkey), loads of chocolate, tv and drink. Hopefully it will be stress free. Will walk my dog and visit my son's grave.

Jb291 Sun 13-Dec-15 01:24:09

I'm sorry to hear that so many of us are struggling. My thoughts are with all of you. I think it's hard for some people to realise that other people may be really struggling and not coping well with this time of year for whatever reason.

I'm feeling oddly more and more disconnected as we get closer to Christmas. It's as though I have simply flicked the mental off switch and anything related to Christmas just goes above my head. I don't cope well with this at the best of times but now I simply don't want to engage with any of it and can't bear all of the commercialism and hype everywhere I turn.

I'm trying to focus now on what's important, being with those who I love and care about and trying to find a few moments of peace every day to remind myself that this will pass and all of the mad commercial frenzy doesn't matter and it can be ignored. I might go to a carol service which is always nice and peaceful and is a true reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.

Blessings to all those who are struggling. We can get through this together.

PeasOnEarth Sun 13-Dec-15 03:32:37

I'm here too. Sorry to hear of such difficult times, past and present. I have never found Christmas easy due to a rather dysfunctional dynamic through my childhood that meant I found it all very stressful. I've worked a few Christmases (healthcare) and the atmosphere is great, I've also spent a couple like springy at a homeless project and I too felt I'd found my kind.
I lost my daughter 3 years ago and her birthday was just before Christmas. I find it really hard. Last year I was fine in the build up and just fell apart afterwards. This year I'm expressing the hurt a bit more (writing, arty stuff) and I think I'm actually coping better.
Since I met my DH - this is our 4th Christmas - I miss the homeless project. MIL is local and alone so she comes to us. As for my family, I'm spending some time with them on Boxing day, it's a really positive step, I am determined to stay in 'adult' (transactional analysis) but it's hard.

Hope those of you in new painful circumstances get through - it's the hype and media portrayal of it that gives expectations that are utterly unrealistic and then we are disappointed. It's just a day.

whatisforteamum Sun 13-Dec-15 09:42:17

I agree sometimes it is nice to be alone on christmas day.My heart goes out to you all. The loss of a child must make this an unbearably hard time and with adverts music ,trees and lights everywhere it is quite hard to avoid.

springydaffs Sun 13-Dec-15 09:56:13

I must be in major denial bcs I don't notice r the hype too much. - Or I do but it doesn't apply to me. I turn off the really gooey adverts and shout at the radio when an announcer assumes we're all going to be loved up with loved ones. This may sound cheesy but I think of the kids at Christmas, all kids, how excited they are, esp on Christmas morn.
My heart goes out to all yous who are grieving children flowers

whatisforteamum Fri 18-Dec-15 21:50:46

Not such a bad week working like mad and Dad remarkably even came to where i work for a meal with Mum.I didnt meet them as selfishly i dont want to think of him happy there when he goes iyswim.
DH was so aggressive and swearing when he realised the xmas tree he bought was too big.Ds said he could see us splitting up.to which dh told him he would be homeless!! he is 16 i reasurred him this isnt true.work is my saviour though ive been told i cant talk on service now.I hope everyone is not too stressed.

Justdisappointed Sat 19-Dec-15 00:00:15

First Christmas since STBXH left six weeks ago. Taking DD to see my family who have promised support, love and a happy Christmas. I always loved this time of year; putting up the tree, decorating the house, wrapping presents. It won't be the same since he decided to unilaterally end the marriage. Am aware that I'm one of the lucky ones - I can't imagine the pain of losing a child and for those of you who have I wish at least some peace and love at what must be such a difficult time.

SoThatHappened Sat 19-Dec-15 01:56:31

Just joined.

Christmas is worst ever. Single and dont get on with family. I wont be doing anything.

I guess that pales in significance to what some of you face.

Chottie Sat 19-Dec-15 02:39:08

flowers for all of you.....

Usedandabusedimhurting Sat 19-Dec-15 09:22:16

I guess I fit in here.

I will be spending Christmas Day in the Woman's Refuge where me and DD are living atm. It's pretty dysfunctional round here and I think everyone here is dreading Christmas too.

But my positive is that so many people and companies have donated Christmas presents to the kids, and women here that I am going to try my best to make sure me and DD have a good day. We can't afford much but we'll manage with what we have. If it was just me then I wouldn't bother, but I have to for my DD.

flowers for everyone struggling. Christmas is a tough time when you don't have a picture perfect family.

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