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Estrangement

Christmas alone

(51 Posts)
Gingerrice Thu 03-Dec-20 00:08:48

My daughter and son's family have both informed they will be in their fathers bubble this year . We have been divorced 10 years and in the past have ' shared' them over Christmas though none of my sons ever come to stay overnight at mine always preferring their dads place. Admittedly he has a much bigger house with ensuite bedrooms etc so why wouldn't they? But this year it really hurts that none of them even asked me if I would be alone and just made their plans almost secretly. In fact I only found out when I asked my son if I could meet up with him and he admitted that he was hiring a car and would actually be 3 miles from my house not 2 hrs away as I had thought. I am not sure how I will get through Christmas Day and will not even tell my friends as I feel such a failure . This has been such a horrible year due to a bereavement and Covid I am really struggling. I would love to hear from anyone in similar position to know I'm not alone at least.

Lolo81 Thu 03-Dec-20 00:30:36

It’s natural to feel hurt, but by not telling your friends who may actually want to spend the festive season with you, you’re only setting yourself up to be even more hurt. My old granny would have called it cutting your nose off to spite your face!

How is your relationship with your children normally? So you spend a lot of time with them?

Unfortunately a lot of families are in this position this year. You can’t really do anything about it, but what you can do is make the best of the situation you’ve been dealt. I urge you to speak to friends and try to make your own plans.

Hithere Thu 03-Dec-20 00:45:45

This is sadly the second post so far this year, I suspect more to come

What lolo81 said

tanith Thu 03-Dec-20 07:32:26

It’s ok to feel sad but as the other say make your own plans there will be many of us alone at Christmas I will be one but I shall cook myself a roast, eat what I like and connect with family on FaceTime.

Humbertbear Thu 03-Dec-20 07:55:58

I have spoken to several friends who are not in their children’s bubble for Xmas. I suspect that if you talk to your friends you will find there are others in the same position. Our DS has told both us and the other GPs that we are not required over the holiday. I suggest you talk to your friends but also make plans for treating yourself over Xmas. Stock up on your favourite food and drink, buy a good book and plan what you are going to watch. Also factor in a couple of walks.

Daisymae Thu 03-Dec-20 08:02:04

I would talk to your friends and get it out in the open. You may find that talking about it helps get it in perspective and more manageable. I would have a plan for the day, make the most of the things that you have and do something that will keep you busy and engaged. I am sure that there will be posters here on the day too.

MaggieTulliver Thu 03-Dec-20 08:02:58

Agree with the others OP and would be interested to know how your relationships with your children are normally. Am confused as to how many children you have? Yes, you should let friends know you’ll be alone and see if you can visit. Maybe you have a friend who’ll be alone or who doesn’t have much family? There’s absolutely no shame in telling them - real friends would never judge you. All the best.

Dorsetcupcake61 Thu 03-Dec-20 08:25:28

I do sympathise gingerrice. I think Christmas can be a minefield most years, but this year is particularly problematical with bubbles and worries about infection.
I think there is so much hype surrounding Christmas and the sometimes unrealistic picture of saccharine family harmony to feel as though no one has considered you must feel incredibly hurtful.
As others have said it would be helpful to know what your relationship is normally like with your childeren. Childeren can be thoughtless and selfish. Or it could be a communication issue. Maybe you are not one to make a fuss and they assume you are fine with the arrangement.
I understand your feelings about friends to. The response of I'm spending Christmas alone has been met with sympathy/concern by some of my friends. They are very lovely and offers have and will be made. I will see my daughters on the day,from a distance. I'm perfectly happy with that. I dont think it's worth the risk for a roast dinner! I've had countless very busy Christmas Days,and I'm sure there are more to come. There will be video calls as well.
However theres a difference between initiating a situation and feeling pushed to one side.
All I can suggest is open and calm communication between you and your childeren.

Astral Thu 03-Dec-20 08:31:40

Maybe your children already feel guilty and struggled telling you.

Its an awful situation but please don't spend Christmas alone if you don't have to.

You will only be punishing yourself and your children further.

Iam64 Thu 03-Dec-20 09:22:59

Gingerrice, its understandable to feel upset but there's no reason to feel you're 'a failure'. Christmas is always stressful as families try to fit in seeing every one. The whole bubble notion has always seemed impossible to me, unless your family is a very small one.
If you have a couple of close friends, talk to them.
If you are alone on Christmas Day, remind yourself you are one of many people spending Christmas quietly.

Please do not follow the advice not to spend Christmas alone "if you don't have to. You will only be punishing yourself and your children further". The OP is looking to hear from others who are spending Christmas Day alone. Her children have decided not to spend Christmas with her, so if she is alone, how on earth is that 'punishing' them?

GrammarGrandma Thu 03-Dec-20 09:40:43

I think there is a world of difference between being alone as a couple and "alone alone" as one person. I understand the OP's hurt and count my blessings that I will be with DH. Can the Gransnet alones organise a zoom get-together over coffee and a mince pie on Christmas Day? I would join you but we are moving house on 11th and I've no idea what i'll be doing on the big day.

polnan Thu 03-Dec-20 09:47:35

I am feeling slightly guilty, cos my two boys and families, well Christmas Day with one, Boxing Days with the other, well part of the days..

I have friends who will be on their own, and I so wish I could do something to visit them at least...

Ladyleftfieldlover Thu 03-Dec-20 09:47:47

My OH decided he didn’t want our children and granddaughter coming for Christmas. He is terrified of falling at the last hurdle before he has a vaccine. Younger son is at home during the pandemic so there will be three of us on Christmas Day. We are all meeting up with elder son and his family on Christmas Eve to exchange presents. OH will stay at home. On Christmas Day elder son had to work but his partner may meet up with her brother who lives nearby. I don’t know. My daughter, however had a difficult breakup recently after 7 years together. She has booked a room at the Hilton hotel in London which she can cancel at the last minute. She was very upset when OH said she couldn’t come. In fact he doesn’t want anyone to visit until he has had his jab. I think we are 5th on the list!

jenni123 Thu 03-Dec-20 10:01:10

Last Christmas was the first time in my life I had spent Christmas alone. I was a little anxious about it but as it turned out it was fine. I had my dinner, watched TV, spoke to my children and sister on the phone. Thanked everyone for the gifts. It really wasn't that bad. Probably will be alone again this Christmas. my son works in NHS and I have seen him once since February. My daughter who does not drive and has some health issues I saw in March. I am disabled/housebound so staying in is not a great hardship (not been outside since February) but I do miss having visitors.

Coffeebix Thu 03-Dec-20 10:04:40

I am confused here. The government are allowing up to 3 familiesto mix for 5 says over Christmas, so I am a bit confused why your son and family is not going to come to see you, unless you or your ex-husband are at high risk and keeping to bubbles. Perhaps you could discuss this with your son.

Summerstorm Thu 03-Dec-20 10:08:11

I would normally be fully booked over Christmas with various family members from Christmas Eve to the 27th but I’ve chosen to stay at home by myself for safety sake. I have terminal lung cancer and all my family have children at various different schools. They would never forgive themselves if I caught COVID on top of the cancer. I feel it would be very wrong to put them in that position. Hopefully I’ll last till next Christmas and COVID might be a thing if the past by then

Purplepoppies Thu 03-Dec-20 10:11:21

I am going to be alone, albeit a choice I made.
I had an invite to my dd but I will not pretend to like her partner even for one day....
My dd and grandkids will come here boxing day or the day after.
I have spent Christmas day alone before. Its just a day.
Although this year will be different and difficult, the first one without my mum.
I am so grateful I spent last Christmas with her 💜

mernice Thu 03-Dec-20 10:13:46

Coffeebix you can only be in one bubble. They are in their father’s.

Juneandarchie1 Thu 03-Dec-20 10:22:22

I’ve invited a girlfriend over for Xmas dinner as we both live alone and a lot of families are still very anxious about inviting the oldies to mix with children in particular. Understandable. It is what it is this year, your first priority must be to keep safe.

Barrygirl Thu 03-Dec-20 10:29:06

I nearly always spend Christmas alone and make it a really, really special day for myself. My kids went to their dad's when they were little (we would have a different Christmas day) and now they live abroad. I buy a bottle of expensive wine, eat what I really enjoy, spend a lot of the time lounging around just thankful that I have peace and quiet. I know it's not for everyone, but just try to think of it as a special day for you and treat yourself - no arguments over presents or the turkey, no drunken arguments ... Ring up family and friends and that particular 24 hours will soon be over.

Theoddbird Thu 03-Dec-20 10:30:44

Be thankful that you can see your family. Time of year is irrelevant.

Bennydian Thu 03-Dec-20 10:38:22

Why do we put so much importance on this one day? We are allowing advertising and illusions of the "perfect" family to dictate our worthiness. All of us have been there for our families and will be when asked. Enjoy your day your way. It certainly does not mean any of us are failures. Due to work schedules my "Christmas Day" will be December 21st.

Chardy Thu 03-Dec-20 10:42:49

Many divorced parents are used to Christmases alone when kids go to ex's. It's a time for a bit of piece and quiet, and self-indulgence. I've done quite a few, and enjoy it. What I dislike is other people telling me I should want to spend it with people I ordinarily might only see once a year.
So gingerrice make your favourite meal (preferably in advance), decide and organise what you'd like to do (a little binge watching? some nostalgic old films?) and enjoy the day.

4allweknow Thu 03-Dec-20 10:43:01

Why oh why is there so much emphasis on family gatherings at Christmas. Haven't noticed any mention in postings about going to Church or religious activities for Christmas. Its just a huge commercial exercise nowadays.I can understand your reluctance to tell friends your situation. Most, as friends though would probably be very happy to invite you to join them for a few hours on the day if their Covid rules permit. If any ask what you are doing why not tell them, you don't have to accept an invitation if you don't feel comfortable with it. Plan your day, treating yourself to some little bits of luxury. Go outside morning and afternoon even for short whiles to break the day into small sections. You don't seem surprised at your family's action, only disappointed. As the saying goes, you can pick your friends but not your relations.

Gingergirl Thu 03-Dec-20 10:43:52

This isn’t a blame game but if it was 🙄, did his father realise that by having another household as well as your son’s there, it uses up the ‘quota’ for them all? If your son was seeing just his father, then he would also be able to see you (Max 3 households over the Xmas period). Could it be reconfigured? If not, I think it’s thoughtless...nothing to do with you failing....miserable for you and knowing that lots of people will spend Xmas day alone, doesn’t really help does it. That said, I’d just wade through it...hopefully find a friend in a similar position...and mention to my son, that I was feeling a bit lonely.