Gransnet forums


On Christmas Day I will......

(140 Posts)
boheminan Tue 10-Nov-15 09:51:21

....get out of bed around 9.00am, slouch downstairs in my dressing gown, make a couple of slices of toast. Sit and look out the window at grey skies and rain. Think about my children and their children, wonder what they're doing and wish them a lovely day. Hope the phone will ring. Cry.

I know this from experience of the last two Christmas Days.

I also know what the response from some GN'rs will be - 'go and do voluntary work', 'go for a long walk', 'reach out', 'stop feeling sorry for yourself'. Thank you but it doesn't really help.

Being on your own at Christmas, when you ache with the pain of wanting to be with those you love most, is an indescribable feeling.

Somewhere else on GN it was suggested that those of us in a similar situation (and there will be more than I realise) should meet up here in Wonderland and go for a long, mad sleigh ride!

I reach out to say you're not alone, there are others who dread the Family Festive Season - will be having no turkey dinner, no opening presents, no decorations...

Here's an alternative. Put on your paper hat girls and jump on the GN Sleigh, then hold tight!

Coming to a stop near you on 25th December 2015 grin

aggie Tue 10-Nov-15 09:58:50

I will be down stairs at 7am to give OH his tablets , run in and out the shower , hope the carers will have time to say more than hello , give OH his breakfast , ring various sons and daughters to persuade them to talk to him grin vacantly at next lot of carers , might get a doggy bag from DD............... does that sound any better ?

Charleygirl Tue 10-Nov-15 10:01:28

Being on my own on Christmas day does not really bother me as I have no family in England or Scotland any more and unfortunately friends are miles away. I can slob around, watch what I want on TV and if I want, have a boiled egg for lunch but I will buy something more up market in case I fancy it. Last year a friend of mine started to paint one of her bedrooms!

There is rarely much on TV for me but I can usually find a couple of programmes in the evening.

boheminan Tue 10-Nov-15 10:03:55

Hope you'll find some time amid your running around to join me on the sleigh flowers

aggie Tue 10-Nov-15 10:06:34

would love to have a sleigh ride smile

rosequartz Tue 10-Nov-15 10:09:49

boheminan do you have a friend or neighbour who is lonely - could you spend the day together?
If not, spoil yourself with some lovely food which you wouldn't normally eat and buy yourself a special treat - a present for yourself.

Although sometimes you can feel lonely in a crowd and it would have been better to be by yourself.

flowers as there is no holly!

sunseeker Tue 10-Nov-15 10:12:19

I usually spend Christmas day alone, it normally starts with a cooked breakfast, then I open the few presents I have, think of DH - have a cry. Think of all the good times we had and how he could always make me laugh. Cheer up when I speak to my brother in Australia. Cook traditional lunch - which for some reason I always eat around 5.00 pm! Watch TV or put on some Christmassy DVD. I don't normally mind my own company but do find special days are hard.

This year will be different, I am off to Australia to help celebrate my mother's 90th birthday!!

Bellanonna Tue 10-Nov-15 10:23:23

sunseeker. Good on you. Have a wonderful time sunshine

whitewave Tue 10-Nov-15 10:32:52

If any grans lived near each other they could get together and have dinner in someone's house with everyone providing something.

soontobe Tue 10-Nov-15 10:33:10

Good on you for doing this boheminan, and for portraying what it is like for some people.
I do think that it is one of those things, that unless you experience it for yourself, you dont properly appreciate what it is like.

Teetime Tue 10-Nov-15 10:42:05

Well I shall definitely be checking in here on Christmas day. DH and I are alone which is the way he likes it (I don't) and it will be like a Sunday with bells on! I will be thinking of my Dad and family that cant (wont) be with us and I will cook up the usual Christmas storm in the kitchen even if its only us 2. I would quite like someone else to come for Christmas lunch though nothing like having someone else to appreciate your cooking. We have lived in this town for 5 years now and both engage in several social activities but I doubt we will get a single invitation. We have invited people to us but they are always 'busy'.

annodomini Tue 10-Nov-15 11:29:30

With my DS2's family, I will probably be woken up by two large grandsons, itching to get their hands on the packages under the tree. DS and DiL will do most of the cooking though I might get the job of filling the veggie filo parcels for myself and DS. We may see DS1 and family although DiL's parents are intending to have a family gathering in a rented house somewhere in Wales, depending on their rather precarious state of health. Hopefully, somewhere along the line, senior DGD will turn up! I do enjoy Christmas with family as I don't have to do very much at all!

annodomini Tue 10-Nov-15 11:34:49

Oh, dear! I didn't read through the thread properly before posting and I do sound insufferably smug. I have a phobia (if that's the right word) about being alone at Christmas and it stems from way back, almost 70 years, when I was 6, cut off from my family, in hospital with pneumonia. Ever since then, I have clung to family and friends at Christmas. My family are all aware of this feeling and are happy to accommodate me.

Maranta Tue 10-Nov-15 11:46:21

I've had one Christmas on my own since my husband died and I hope it never happens again. I was determined to enjoy it and gave myself a treat every hour, cooked a special meal and had a drink or too. I did fairly well until the evening and then dissolved! And then on Boxing Day I realised that I would have to do it all again. It's not just the Day itself - we were always used to having extended festivities with all the family that would last all week.

This year I am hoping I shall be with son, dil and grandchild, but haven't actually been invited yet - they don't plan ahead, but the signs are good!

J52 Tue 10-Nov-15 11:54:51

Over the years Christmas and its various family 'traditions' have changed for us, as I'm sure they do for many GNs.

Older family have gone and new ones have been born. The changes have brought the odd tear.

I have found the best way to preserve my emotional well being and family harmony is to be flexible.

I hope DH and I will see DSs and their families at some point in the day, but have no expectations.

I'll pop on here to give Christmas good wishes.


boheminan Tue 10-Nov-15 11:58:40

annodomini No, I don't think you're being smug. After such a traumatic childhood experience, you certainly deserve to have the most wonderful family Christmassmileflowers

aggie Tue 10-Nov-15 12:14:05

I love company and usually have all 6 children with their OH s and children , but OH isn't fit this year and 5 mins of a boisterous GC leads to a fraught afternoon , so all been talking and decided to avoid us , had offers of a sitter for lunch , but that would mean them missing out so opted for staying put and a doggie bag . I have bribed them , bought them off with promise of doing my Christmas pud and sharing it out smile I am ok with it all , not bothered at all . OH was never the sociable type

Tegan Tue 10-Nov-15 12:45:48

I think I could cope more with Christmas if my family were a long way away but they're not; they just choose to spend Christmas with DS's family or, in the case of DD they have a simple Christmas but then go to their fathers family on Boxing Day. As the in laws were, for many years my only family, it hurts terribly that I'm not with them. They used to make up for it at New Year [which is my birthday] and we used to have a meal then but their village throws a huge party and they go to that now. I guess the problem is that I put on a brave face and don't let on how hurt I feel sometimes. We even seem to be excluded from pre Christmas family trips to various events. I did actually cancel Christmas last year, but will make an effort this time.

boheminan Tue 10-Nov-15 12:48:16

aggie Join us GN'rs in a wonderful, hilarious (judging by previous GN viral get-togethers) sleigh ride - it'll be fun!

Tegan Tue 10-Nov-15 12:49:01

Someone that I worked with once said, at a works Christmas meal [something else I miss now] that Christmas is the one day in the year when you make an effort to spend it with family; a comment that haunts me at this time of year.

boheminan Tue 10-Nov-15 12:55:15

Tegan That's the hardest bit for me too - knowing that my family are all close by but somehow can't find the time to pop in and see me..

hildajenniJ Tue 10-Nov-15 12:57:20

My Christmas has diminished with the passing of the older generation. My mother used to host the family boxing day party, where relatives from all over the country would arrive at our house. We could have 20 people of assorted ages for tea. It was wonderful. When my sisters and I married and had our families we took over, taking it in turns to host the party. Sadly this no longer happens. This year it will be DH, DS and me. I will still make the goose etc., but it isn't the same.

mollie Tue 10-Nov-15 13:05:07

I hate Christmas because it assumes that everyone loves a big family gathering and that's simply not the case. I know it is hard if you don't have family or are excluded from family gatherings - how can you not imagine the rest of the world is having a wonderful time without you? - but it's just as hard on those of us who would really like to spend a very quiet Christmas but feel obliged/obligated to cater for, or visit, family that they'd much rather avoid? I have family members who expect to be picked up, entertained, treated like royalty without making any effort to help, and spend all the blasted time complaining about their life and pushing food around the plate and making comments about not being able to eat or drink this or that because of whichever ailment/medication is the current focus of attention. They complain about the heat, or lack of, about the noise or the overly bright lights or the TV programme that's on... I hate Christmas because it's not happy and cheerful but torture and how I'd love to say 'no' but then that will give certain family members more to complain about to anyone who stands still long enough to listen! Sorry if this sounds a bit bitter and twisted but those of you on your own you can at least do something to make your day better. Short of leaving the country or mass family murder I'm stuck with my lot!

Luckygirl Tue 10-Nov-15 13:13:14

I can hardly bear to read this - I truly am so sorry for those of you for whom Christmas will be a lonely time. I know of no way that I can help or support in this situation, except to say that I will be on here on the day to wish you all well.

Life throws some tough stuff at us, and all we can do is stick together.

I do not know exactly what we will be doing at Christmas, but I do know that the girls will make sure we have company, see the GC and are part of the celebrations. We are fortunate that our DDs have a very strong sense of family - they keep us in the loop and share happy times as a "sisterhood." Reading this thread makes me realise how very fortunate we are to feel secure in that. We have done nothing to deserve it and realise that finding oneself alone in this way is just a throw of the dice. We have been lucky with the throw, but I will be thinking of those who are in a different boat. (Sorry about the mixed metaphors!)


Charleygirl Tue 10-Nov-15 13:17:01

Mollie I think that I will stay as I am, on my own with my cat. I could not bear what you go put up with each year. Come here for a relaxing drink, put your feet up and I promise I will not mention ailments.