Four years ago, I was preparing for a Christmas of chaos. I had three families to coordinate, my own husband and children, my parents, siblings and children and my (now very ex) husbands mother, sister and children. I had presents to buy, presents to wrap and most importantly time to allocate between three homes that exist approximately two hours apart, collectively ending up four hours from home.
In my mind, the years of Christmas chaos begin to blend and I struggle to remember the specifics of each, but I remember feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, guilty and so exhausted.
Three years ago, I was preparing for a Christmas unlike any I had ever known. I was alone, I was sad and I cried many tears. I had friends to pick me up, to keep me busy and to share their joy, but it was hard. However, when I finally gathered with my family and my children again, I felt a freedom I’d never known. Like the anchor I had been dragging behind me had finally been left behind.
Last year, I was surrounded (in my tiny townhouse) with my family; together with my children and my parents we celebrated Christmas in a whole new way. It was small, it was personal and I loved it. When my children went to see their Dad and his family, I spent a week with the most amazing girl, someone whom I couldn’t deny my feelings for and discovered that after a week together the only thing I wanted, was more.
This year, she is part of the family. Together we setup the Christmas tree, we listen to Christmas carols and we bake (gluten free) goodies. Together, we wrote Christmas cards, we bought presents, we hide the damn elf and we wrap the seemingly endless presents. We will have our own Christmas day and then pick up my boys and make the way to my family to celebrate Christmas all together with the family.
This year, I’m excited to see what Christmas will bring; together our idea of Christmas is evolving by the day and I’ve never seen anything quite so beautiful.