I never thought I would be fearful of Christmas, but this year I really am.
I am fearful and panicked because its the first year I’ve hosted the day at home as a single mum.
My husband died 15 months ago leaving my three sons and I to establish a new life. We have already done one Christmas day without him, but we did it in Africa as far away from any memories of Christmas past.
But we can’t run forever so this year I have decided to face my fears and start creating new traditions with my three boys who are 15 , 13 and 11. This is actually harder than it sounds as we have also moved house.
Although I love our new, much smaller home, by leaving the old one we also left behind my boys’ happy memories. There is also the added difficulty that in the last 15 months, my youngest has let go of the Santa ideal so all that investment in Christmas traditions is now gone too. So no more stockings, or ridiculously early Christmas mornings of unwrapping presents after panicked wrapping the night before. I know I used to sometimes whinge about these things but now I don’t have them as a way to start the day, it does feel more daunting.
So here’s my dilemma: I want to make today feel special and I want the boys to feel like its Christmas, albeit a different Christmas. I want us to do something or make something or play with something that can become our new Christmas thing. I want the food to be right and day to run smoothly and I don’t want them to reflect to much on what they have lost…which is massive.
I am torn with how to do this as it needs to be something they have never done before.
Watch Robin’s interview with Mia Freedman for No Filter here:
So here’s my plan so far…. My cousin is here from Melbourne with her husband and two kids, 3 and 7 months. My boys love little Riley as he’s fun and of course so excited about Christmas, although I’m not sure his baby sister is very aware just yet .
The boys have agreed to share with Riley their Christmas traditions which means they will all sit down and watch Polar Express with him. They will also get up early with him to sort his stocking and get excited when he does about his presents. This is a great start to all our day as it means both his parents and I can all have a bit of a sleep in (OK maybe not, as there is still a 7-month-old in the house). It also guarantees that it will at least start the day feeling a little like Christmas and at least remind them of those good times.
Breakfast will be the same as years gone by when we sit down to home made sausage rolls (pre-made by my sister on a visit to Brisbane about three weeks ago before she headed overseas with her family) ham, mangoes and our special family favourite of Bailey’s and corn flakes for the adventurous adults.