This Year I Didn’t Get A Christmas Tree, Or What It’s Like To Spend Christmas Without Your Children

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This year I didn’t get a Christmas tree.

It wasn’t really a conscious decision. I’d planned to get our tree the weekend of the 13th but after spending those couple of days in London with old friends (hungover, decease post the annual Christmas pilgrimage to Shoreditch House for Espresso Martinis) a busy garden center was really the last place I wanted to be.

Then it didn’t happen that next weekend and by the time life slowed down enough… well, doctor it actually didn’t ever slow down enough. Suddenly it was the 23rd of December and what would be the point in getting a Christmas tree then?

I think, symptoms though, the main reason I didn’t get a tree this year was because I knew the children wouldn’t be around to enjoy it. That’s why I didn’t haul my box of decorations out the garage or locate my fairy lights. I didn’t really want to celebrate Christmas without my two sidekicks.

Having children makes Christmas so special. They are what it’s all about. And I feel like I went from being a child at 24 to celebrating Christmas with my own children, so I didn’t have many years of Christmases without them. I’ve never really gone out to the pub with friends on Christmas eve and returned to my parent’s house belting Christmas carols at 1am, I’ve never spent Christmas day snoozing on a sofa with a hangover before gorging on cheese (note: I do always gorge on cheese, though).

So this year felt very strange at all. I didn’t want to think about what Christmas would be like without Elfie and Hux and so I just didn’t think about Christmas at all. I just pretended it wasn’t really happening, and work complied by being crazily busy enough to let me bury myself in it.

Dropping them off with their dad on Christmas Eve was predictably awful but I did it without crying before going to get a bikini wax to take my mind off Christmas without them (FYI it totally worked). And then off to the pub – hooray! I finally got there on Christmas eve! – for Prosecco with family.

Waking up at my house alone on Christmas morning felt strange. Not bad, not good, just strange. It just felt like a normal day. I opened some pressies at my parents’ house, Egyptian cotton bath sheets, Diptyque candles and John Lewis pjs, THRILLED :), and then we journeyed up to Rutland to my aunty and uncle’s house.

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And despite the children not being there we had a really lovely day. We ate delicious turkey (thank you aunty Jinny!), drank red wine, scoffed cheese, played games and rang bells (yes, really). I have to say though I am glad it’s now the 27th December which means it’s just 360-odd days til I can have a blow-out Christmas with them next year.

In the meantime I’m making the most of my adult time: catching up on sleep – very much needed after a hectic December – going to the gym, seeing friends, spending time relaxing at home. Planning my next moves. As cheesy as it sounds I love the new beginnings that come with a new year and 2015 is definitely going to be The One. The year I find my work/life balance, the year I get properly fit, the year I turn 30.

Let’s have it…

 

22 Comments
  1. You never fail to make me want to jump through my screen and hug you. As always, facing big changes with gorgeous amounts of dignity and class. Please don’t face your 30th in the same way. As 2015 will also be the year of mine and I will greet it as god intended. Messily.

  2. So lovely to see you got through this happily. Sounds like you dealt with it brilliantly. I’m dreading this being me. Possibly next year. My ex came round for two hours then ‘had somewhere to be’ which made my blood boil for L but a actually meant I didn’t have to deal with not seeing her. I hate the thought but that’s life for us now hey! I shall probably be revisiting this next year ;) xx

  3. Totally feel your pain. This year was t first year without my daughter and I agreed (in a moment of trying to be the bigger person) for her American dad to take her back to visit his family for 2 whole weeks. I dreaded not being with her as you are so right – once you have kids Christmas steps up a gear to this magical time. You’re braver than I though to actually brave Christmas, I’ve run away to India for a very anti-Christmas! Well done you! :)

    1. Urgh, I know the drag of being the bigger person. Being a split-parent family I’m very conscious of everyone being as happy as possible which I think is often in contrary to what makes us happy!

      The next time I face Christmas without my babies I plan on being in Thailand :) x

  4. It sounds as though you’ve made the very, very best of what could have been a very sad time – but honestly, there’s no excuse for no tree! I’m lucky that so far I’ve never been without Flea on Christmas (the downside of that is i spend Christmas with my ex) but when she’s away on Christmas Eve or for decorating the tree, we Facetime and she supervises things – hope you got to talk to your girls and had a wonderful festive season regardless.

  5. Can imagine it being tough but sounds like you made the very best of it and had so much love and support around you making it a happy day still…Your presents sound divine too and you look utterly beautiful as always. Happy New Year and lots of love x

  6. I can imagine how hard that was. I was lucky enough to have the kids to myself this year, but I expect He will have them next year, and I will have to experience my first Christmas without them. :-(

    1. It was tough but I’ve been trying to see it as ‘different’ rather than ‘depressing’! I think the next time I’m without them over the festive period I’ll head off somewhere crazy like Thailand, then I will miss them less x

  7. Oh hunny I would have done the same thing. It was my best friend’s first christmas without her kids as she recently separated from hubby. She did the same. Its different when christmas isn’t about the kids. My parents separates when I was three. I have always been at one or the others for the holidays so I know what it’s like from the other side of it. You are so strong and amazing and I am glad you still had such a great christmas. It’s about being surrounded by people you love. I think we have had our xmas every year with someone different, someplace different. Its like our tradition to not have a tradition. Lovely photo.

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