Holidays Sans Family

Well, another “Baby’s First” for me… here I am, having just turned <i>mumblety-three</i>, and this is the FIRST Christmas morning ever where I have been totally alone. Last year, Daughter Person showed up around 10am and spent the rest of the day with me.  This year?  Alone.

yeah, but without the annoying kid or the crooks in the window

I say this, not to elicit sympathy or support, but merely as statement of fact.  I’m okay with this.  It’s all part of the transition process.  Christmases can never be the same as they were, really.

Drawing on the example of the delightfully delicious Daisyfae, I have been taking the morning alone to reminisce a bit.

Christmas as a kid, I grew up near the family farmhouse.  Then, there were very few family members who were not living within a 50 mile distance.  The holidays were a mass of humanity, from babies to ancients.  Not being sexist, but the ‘farm family’ mentality was that the womenfolk did the cooking and the menfolk did the farm work.  And could those women cook!  Yes, the standard ‘meat and ‘taters’, but the desserts and side dishes were to die for.  Grandma and Grandpa had one of those nifty farm tables that started six foot by three feet, but had enough insert leaves to require killing at least one tree and would extend to some 24 feet long at least.  And still that was not enough to hold the entire family.  It was barely enough to hold all the over-21 adults.  The rest of us were relegated to the next room where the older teenagers got to sit at the deputy, adjacent, assistant dining room table and the younger kids (which I qualified for) seated at one of three or so card tables set up nearby.  It was delightful and comforting and…home.

Then, the ‘globalization’ of America hit.  People started moving all over the country to go to jobs they wanted.  We lost that family feel at holiday times.  It was still a good time, but not quite as all-encompassing as it once was.

I, too, followed jobs across the country and, starting my own family, had quite a few holidays at my own home with very few people.  It was still wonderful, especially when the Boy and Girl Childs were younger and still mesmerized by the magic of Christmas.  Yet, I still missed the old extended family holidays.  Even when going to where I grew up or where the ex- grew up to be with the remnants of the families, it wasn’t the same.

Maybe that was all part of the training for me to face this day.  I probably could’ve finagled an invite to one of my cousins’ places.  But there’s still that thing about not being the same as the extended family dinners way back when.

And I’m doing okay with it.  A few twinges, of course, but I’m not despairing or melancholy.

Besides, I won’t be alone all day long.  I have been invited by Dear Friend to go hang at her house later today and will definitely take her up on that.  Not because I’m feeling lonely at Christmas, but because it will be just a good time with people I enjoy hanging out with.

You make ‘family’ wherever you can.  And I am content with how today will unfold.

May this post find your holidays fulfilling and happy for you.


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11 Responses to “Holidays Sans Family”

  1. Dennis the Vizsla Says:

    Glad you’ll be hanging out with friends later. We’re planning to do the same. Merry Christmas!

  2. hisqueen Says:

    Merry Christmas…enjoy the eggnog and cookies w/ Dear Friend

  3. nursemyra Says:

    Happy Xmas gnukid…. may 2010 bring you much joy and good health xx

  4. TBFKAMP Says:

    Being sans family at Christmas can have its advantages. For some reason the ‘season’ often brings with it its own share of friction … poison under the mistletoe, with not just the turkey getting carved. Perhaps a blessing in disguise? Hope you had a happy day with DF either way x

  5. daisyfae Says:

    Merry Christmas! Last year was my first “alone” and i loved it! Just another damn day – with booze!

  6. silverstar98121 Says:

    I’m here alone, too. Of course, the dog is with me. I think of this time as my vacation to do whatever I want. The house is clean, the baking done, and I have a Santa sack full of books to read. I’d better get cracking. I need this down time. Hope you had a good day. I did, so far.

  7. Mitzi G Burger Says:

    Splutter, cough, wheeze. I am alone because my systems have shut down to remind me I am mortal and subject to occasional germs. The common cold imposes a solitude all of its own. I will be alone next year for a year’s worth of Jewish holidays unless I drive to Melbourne or Canberra. A welcome rest from an unforgivingly busy calendar. Wishing you well, Gnukes.

  8. thegnukid Says:

    dennis – it was a blast. just relaxing, eating and drinking too much…merry christmas

    hisqueen – i did (though there was no eggnog…had to do with Scotch). and the cookies? yum!

    nursemyra – and to you too…i could use a year of good stuff

    TBFKAMP – i didn’t really miss family now…checked in with the sprogs to wish them well and see that they were doing okay. i do miss those old, full family dinners, but realize they are truly a thing of the past and won’t repeat in my lifetime.

    daisyfae – and that’s exactly how it was for me, too. a few twinges, but calls to the kidlets assuaged those. and the booze was delicious, thank you!

    silverstar – now that sounds delicious as well. no stress, books, cookies… hope you enjoyed.

    mitzi – so sorry to hear you’re feeling poorly during the holidays. that sucks. but thanks for the wishes and more back at you.

  9. S. Le Says:

    I reckon it was a bit odd for you then? I’m trying to get used to there not being any excitement around our Christmas tree until Christmas NIGHT. The children have all grown and come around Christmas afternoon. So strange. Ah well. At least they still come around!

  10. Rob Says:

    Your description reminded me of all the Christmases past at my in-laws. I married into a farming family, so to speak. The gatherings were never quite as populated as yours seem to have been, but the food. Oh, the food. I can recall having to sit (lie) down (in the front room, of course, where all the menfolk went) and try to digest that huge mountain of food I’d just ingested.

    Those were innocent times, in retrospect.

    I don’t think I’ve ever spent a Christmas alone. I’m not sure how that would be.

    Glad to hear you got through it, though.

  11. thegnukid Says:

    S. Le – a bit odd, yes. depressing? nope, not at all. but definitely weird. i know the kids will be back some year. or i can go haunt them as well. guess i’m not alone, huh?

    rob – yep, that’s it. the ‘eat until you feel like you’ll pop and then find a place to go into a food coma’. miss those days. and i agree…there was an innocence to those times i will never recapture. thanks, my friend.

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