Christmas Separated

Yeah, this is going to feel a bit weird.  This will be the first Christmas that I’m on my own…ever.

Girl Child is doing a stellar job of trying to support both her mom and me.  She is, admittedly, a bit conflicted about how best to do so.  I have tried to minimize pressure on her by suggesting that, “Christmas is not just a day, it’s a shared moment… whenever you and I can share that moment, that will be our Christmas.”  Which will likely mean that she’ll spend Christmas Day with her mom.  And, honestly?  I am good with that.  I’ve made a life choice to maximize my potential for happiness in the long run.  Yet, as said in the opening line, this will be a bit weird. 

Still, I want to try and have Christmas.  I may not be in the holiday mood (I’m not, really), but at least wanted some of the trappings to help me get there.


No trappings.  Other than a new ornament bought on a whim and some Santa placemats, I had nothing holiday-ish.

I had to go back home to [scary music swells] The Spouse and get some of the Christmas decorations. 

On the advice of many friends, I didn’t give her much warning of my intentions.  Rather, I called about an hour before I wanted to be there.  I knew that Daughter Person would be out that evening (getting her CPR certification, the little life saver).  This would avoid having that bit of extra emotional impact on hand.  I also knew The Spouse would be highly unlikely to be otherwise occupied [biting my tongue here to avoid saying “…sitting around doing not much of anything…” – – damn!  Said it anyway…] so I figured I could avoid some drama.  Surprised The Spouse with my request, but she said to come on over. 

One of the first things she asked, in a rather accusatory tone, when I got there was, “Did you tell Girl Child we were doing this?”  

I replied (I think gently), “No, I knew that she was at CPR class and thought this the best time.”

She countered, a bit vitriolic, “So, you were going to leave it to me to tell her?” 


<heavy sigh>   

No clue, but thought it best to let it go and not engage in a useless fuss.  I’m thinking that my refusal to rise to argue set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Dragged all the Christmas boxes down to the living room and started through them one by one.  Most of the non-ornament stuff we could easily split… stuff that was her family’s or given to her by her family and vice versa.  Then there was the stuff we bought together over the years.  Except in very few cases, those were equitably split. 

Then, the ornaments – – –

Oy!  This would be difficult.  Again, some were family.  I laid claim to my Mom’s ornaments right away.  The Spouse didn’t fuss.  Likewise, there were a couple from her family… yep, take ‘em. 

The rest?  I used a technique that worked out well when my siblings and I were splitting up mom’s stuff (albeit we were not at odds with each other).  Whatever was wanted by both of us was put on the dining room table [GnuKid’s hackles rise still that she got the dining room table… grrr].  Kid’s ornaments… ornaments with stories attached (e.g., the manatee ornament)… ornaments from places lived (e.g., a White House commemorating a job I held near Washington DC)… all on the table.  Then, deferring to her to take the first turn, we then went back and forth picking out favorites…

I thought there’d still be issues and tears, but it went amazingly well.  Okay, I did cheat some… whenever an ornament came out of the box and she expressed interest, I claimed interest too even if I hated the thing.  Figured she’d use a turn to claim it and that’d leave me more ornaments I really wanted to choose from.   

When done?  I got a lot more than expected.  Had to leave a few I really liked behind, but got some I truly wanted… including a crèche scene with Christmas Kangaroo…

There was one that neither of us wanted.  A spun fabric ornament with some sappy Hallmark verse on one side and on the other side?   “Couple’s First Christmas” 

I took it…not as one of my picks… just to get it out of sight.

So… what to do with it?  And, before you say it, I’m sure it would fit up there, but may need lubrication.

Some ideas I had or were given to me?   

          Hang it on the back of the tree, upside down (sort of like the international signal for distress by flying the flag upside down)

          Have a party and ceremoniously burn it

          Put it on e-Bay in hopes that there’s some poor couple out there who married the same year we did and are looking for “just the right remembrance” of their special day (just as I’m looking for “just the right forgetfulness”).



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12 Responses to “Christmas Separated”

  1. silverstar98121 Says:

    I’m in the “burn it ceremoniously” category. But I’m glad you got some of what you wanted, and what you needed. And that it went relatively well.

  2. Rob Says:

    Interesting take on this issue.

    Last Christmas was our first Christmas together. For completely different reasons, obvious to those who know our story, we just went out and bought all new ornaments.

    I figure the elder girls will eventually want the ornaments that were selected and loved by their mom. Until then, they reside in a tote in the basement.

    I’ve never really liked this time of year. I hope you make it through the next few weeks. Small consolation, but you have us virtual’uns out here to lean on.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours gnukid.

  3. nursemyra Says:

    can we see a photo of the xmas kangaroo creche?

  4. Stephanie of Stopbouncing Says:

    Okay, is GirlChild really going to be upset about the ornament divi or it is something The Spouse would tell GirlChild to upset her?

    Glad things went amicably and you’re welcome to join our Pouting Party over at the Bailey’s/Nog.

  5. thegnukid Says:

    silverstar – it’s a small step forward, but it gives me a slight sense of normalcy… i, too, am leaning towards burning it, though changed my mind and wish to do so UNceremoniously

    rob – yep, i admire the way you went with yours. new start? new ornaments. came to that conclusion as i was putting up decorations. i need to make this ‘mine’ more than ‘old ours’.

    nursemyra – well, ahem, there’s just the ONE ‘roo. but he fits in well with the rest of the set (not counting the nonmatching sheep which i put on their backs, claiming an anthrax attack). pictures in the works.

    stephanie – Girl Child would be upset by what it represented, not by the actual separation of the ornaments – – in other words, i feel she thinks they should ALL be on the same tree (in the same house with two parents) still, though knowing logically that is not possible for dad’s happiness. and a Pouting Party? i’m there… time and date and i’ll hop in the ol’ plane… 😉

  6. UncleKeith Says:

    I want the ornament.

    When my assassin squirrels finally get you, they can leave the ornament on your body. The police will immediately suspect your wife.

    The squirrels and I will get away scott-free. What does scott free mean?

  7. leavingevangeline Says:

    Haha! Uncle Keith makes me laugh almost as much as Gnu does!!

    Gnu- I don’t know what I’d do about “the” ornament. It depends on if you have ANY sentimental attachment at all…if so, then just toss it in some box so you have the sense that you can take it out any time you want…even though you know you won’t. If you really hate all that it represents…then I’d smash it to pieces with something large.

    Holidays/Christmas are never like the ones sold to us in movies, tv, commercials, etc…which sucks…but, on the other hand…should make you feel better to know that lots of people will be miserable with family, or without.

    I’d gladly trade places with you for this one day…you can come hang out with my nutso family and I’ll go relax with a bottle of champagne in your quiet home.

  8. thegnukid Says:

    uncle keith – ah, reverse psychology, huh? that’s right, i’m keeping it now. and will barricade my house against the squirrels d’assassin (though i do like pinning my death on The Spouse). and ‘scott free’ means you use no toilet paper…

    evangeline – i’m leaning towards the ‘smash it to pieces’. or have it just mysteriously disappear. and let’s compromise… you come relax here and we’ll split a split of champagne!

  9. daisyfae Says:

    i’m thinkin’ the ornament needs to meet my potato gun… not the pussy-assed “potato plug gun” that many folks have, but the gun that launches full sized idaho stud-spuds…. yes… we need to take this ornament out to do some badassed job that needs doing. the windows on the local police station taunt me… does “Couples First Christmas” want to get medieval on Smokey the Bear’s Donut-encrusted ass?

  10. Parenthesis Says:

    Remnants and rubble of a life shared …

  11. nursemyra Says:

    nicely put Parenthesis

  12. kyknoord Says:

    I vote for eBay. People will buy anything.

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