Christmas Memories

I love the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my faves. Not necessarily for the family time, because I don't really like my family. I mentioned that last week. So no need to rehash that.

I want my kids to have a tradition. We would put the Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving.  When I was growing up we always did Christmas Eve with moms family and Christmas day at home and at dads Family. We would open presents for our house on Christmas eve.

I hate that the girls are 13 and 9 and we don't have a routine or tradition. We always alternated what family we would spend the holidays with. Which made it easy when we got divorced because we just kept the same rotation.

This year we are having a little struggle. Its my year to have the girls for Christmas Eve. Ok thats not the problem. Thats awesome! Here are some of the issues.

Greg refuses to be anywhere for Christmas Eve but with his mom. I've always had ex husbands that would alternate holidays because they realized I wanted to spend time with my family too. Greg will do Thanksgiving with me, but not Christmas. This makes me feel weird. It doesn't hurt my feeling exactly, but I can't put my finger on exactly what I'm feeling.

Emmy doesn't really care. Abbey said she likes Greg's parents and his brother but when everyone is together (he has another brother that comes in from NC and two nieces and their children) she feels like she is an intruder. I understand I feel like that on some level too. They are all really nice to me (and the girls), don't get me wrong.

See I think some of Abbey's feelings come from the only Christmas we spent with anyone that wasn't either their dads family or my family. Ex husband number 2 only lasted 8 months. There were lots of things that were wrong but one of the biggest was how my girls were treated by his family at Christmas. to make a very long story shorter I will say that his family lived in the same town as us and yet they had 3 separate Christmas gatherings. Gathering #1 I never really understood what it was about. They told me the day before the event saying they thought they told us when it was. I had plans and I refused to change my plans. A couple days later was Gathering #2 which I THOUGHT was the kids would be exchanging the gifts with the kids whose name they drew. What it turned out to be was his sister allowed her grandkids to open all the presents she and his mom (the great grandma) bought the other kids that were there. Meaning every kid there opened about 30 presents each, in front of my kids. My girls were confused and hurt and started cry. I tried explaining to the girls what was going on. Inside I was fuming. How could they be so thoughtless that they couldn't see that allowing this would be hurtful to my kids? When I found out that the adults talked about it prior to us arriving and even when the parent of one of the children pointed out how hurtful it would be still decided to do it, I nearly lost my mind with anger. Its several years ago now and I'm still mad about it. The ex was oblivious. When the girls told him how he felt he was defending them, until it came out that they knew it was insensitive and then he demanded that it wasn't going to effect us....Yes it did effect us. He never grasped what we were feeling. His family never apologized.  They see that they did no wrong. Its not a matter of presents. The girls didn't want for anything. But to have it pointed out in front of a crowd that you are different and don't belong and are basically just an intruder interfering with their family function....it hurts. It was their way of saying, you may be married but you are not our family.

Greg and I are not married. That's no secret. So where does that leave the girls and I at his families function? I understand that the girls are scared to attempt this again. They'd rather do Christmas with family people we don't like instead of people we like.Greg and I have talked about what to do. We've decided that there may be times that we don't spend Christmas together. I think this feels weird. I've never known a committed couple that spent Christmas apart. But if he isn't willing to give a little what else can I do? His ex girlfriend spent every major holiday with his family. As much as I dislike my family I want to feel like its somewhat fair for my end. What would you do?

I bought an Advent calendar to decorate. I can't wait to get it set up. We've never done that before, but its something I'd like to start. We set our Christmas tree up already, which caused a stir amongst some of my friends. Apparently they think I should wait until after Thanksgiving. Bah! I also took the girls (and Correy Abbey's boyfriend) to the Kentucky Horse Park to see Southern Lights. We haven't done this in a long time.

2 comments

  1. As a kid, we spent it with my mom's family (my dad's whole family is in India, so, non-issue.) and I hated every minute of it. I put my foot down at 14 and we haven't seen those assholes since, which pleases my dad greatly. But Christmas Eve and morning were always just me and my parents, and that's how it is now. I love it. There's nothing wrong with staying home with just your girls. You won't have many years like that.
    And Ex #2 is a f-ing ass and so is his family. I'm mad just reading that.

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  2. We plan on decorating after Thanksgiving too. I'm excited!

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