It’s hard to believe that the Christmas holiday is just over a month away. It’s time to start thinking about who wants what for Christmas, where we’ll spend Christmas Day and who’s going to cook what for Christmas dinner.
People are expected to be joyful and excited at this time of year. But really, I think that the thrill of the holidays is reserved for those people who still believe in Santa Claus. For the rest of us we are too busy worrying about the logistics and expense that December brings to fully enjoy it.
Between my husband and I, we have two grandparents who have lost their spouses. They live alone. I know that the holidays are a tough time for them (even though they would never admit it). Nana Ellie lost her husband Michael back in 1998, and Grandpa Milo lost his wife Theresa in 2005.
Milo at least, has his cat Patton to snuggle by the tree (if he gets one this year). But Nana Ellie is alone. They both have retirement money coming in every month, but the holidays add unneeded stress to their already limited budgets. Every year we tell them “Just come and see us! You don’t need to bring anything, we just love seeing you”. But, they never listen. They would be ashamed to admit that they just can’t afford it.
We would love to spend Christmas with all of our relatives. If we could time warp back to our single lives it would be so much easier. But now we have kids. I can’t stay over at my mothers house and wake up on Christmas morning, stumbling down to have coffee and bagels with her and my Nana anymore. We have our own 4 am wakeup call to be home for. I feel bad, but sadly, it’s more important to me to make my childrens Christmas perfect. I just can’t be in 3 places at once. (Even if that is what my kids believe).
Thankfully, my parents have a house with a couple of spare bedrooms (one of them used to be mine). So, as has become tradition, Nana Ellie will be staying with them for a few days. I’m pretty sure that Milo will be driving down to my husbands parents house for the day. But I’m also pretty sure that he won’t stay the night. Everybody crosses their fingers every year for good weather, since Milo will never accepts a ride from anyone.
I’m hoping that we will have time before the new year to bring the kids to both of their houses for a visit. I worry about them both, and the mood that the holidays and the shorter days of winter bring. But we never know what’s going to happen. Tis the season for flying by the seat of your pants!