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#457116 - 12/20/13 01:47 PM Christmas without family
HopeDiesLast Offline

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
My husband and I are spending Christmas alone this year. We have never spent it with his family but we mostly drove up North to visit my folks. But since I started therapy, my willingness to endure family functions because that's what everyone does has been steadily declining. So this year, we said, no, thanks for the invitation, but it's been a stressful month, we need some time alone. So far, so good, right? Only - now we're all alone for Christmas, we don't really have surprise gifts (because we tend to ask each other before buying anything) and while it's good that we don't have the usual trauma stressors, I'm still not looking forward to the holiday season. Does anyone else have this problem? What do you do to make the time special and joyful after all?


Edited by HopeDiesLast (12/20/13 01:47 PM)

#457119 - 12/20/13 03:13 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3853

Enjoy the holiday. It sounds like you made the right decision to spend time together. As you have read many families have much drama during the holiday season and as you deal with healing and therapy peace and quiet may be what is needed.

Just enjoy your time together--talk, play a game, take a walk--enjoy a nice dinner.

Wishing you a joyous Christmas.


#457124 - 12/20/13 03:57 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4286
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
when we were first married, my wife and i moved across the country from both our families. we were glad to have that excuse to not be there on holidays. i don't think our marriage would have survived otherwise. hers was very controlling and mine was the first source of my abuse.

we found great ways - though unconventional - of enjoying our time together. we slept in and made ourselves a special breakfast, lingered over gifts with our favorite music on. we often went to a movie - no lines and usually had the theatre to ourselves - no annoying talkers near us. we lived in an area where parks were often crowded - but not on Christmas! we could go out to eat instead of cooking everything for just two. hotel buffets were great and had all the fixins. when we got a little older, we sometimes invited friends who were also alone over for dinner - or combined the efforts at one home or another - each doing part of the food. it is also a chance to take younger or single people into a family setting. be creative - do whatever you want - make your own traditions!


Edited by traveler (12/20/13 03:59 PM)
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#457128 - 12/20/13 06:59 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest

Congratulations on making the decision to do what's right for you and your husband. I understand the feeling of being happy with your decision, but still having a twinge of sadness about it at the same time.

Now is the time to focus on the two of you. It may be a chance to strengthen your connections as a couple. Sleep late or get up early, have breakfast in bed or have candy canes for breakfast. You can linger over coffee, read the paper, talk to each other. Maybe you can go for a walk or a workout. If you go to church, it may be a good time to connect with your religious community.

The idea is that it'll be a break from the normal routine and your chance to do what you want. You're not bound by family or conventionality. Make the day your own and create memories that you can look back fondly on.

Good luck

#457136 - 12/20/13 10:41 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
On The Fringe Offline

Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
It is just the bride and I this year. I am looking at the lit tree and she is in the recliner beside me.

It is still Christmas smile
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

#457161 - 12/21/13 04:43 AM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
focusedbody Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 542
Loc: NY

Maybe you'll redefine what's special and joyful.

I think being more honest with oneself can lead to there.

Lose the drama; life is a poem.

#457183 - 12/21/13 04:59 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
HDL, I hear you.
Christmas to me although not overtly stressful, just doesn't have the same something it did when I was younger. That seems logical I guess but what was once a time of great anticipation and excitement has become almost a burden to deal with.
This changed for me the year my mom died, and also the same year my grandfathers had a stroke Christmas Eve. So a few negative associations.
I decided this year is the last I will feel this way.
My wife and I are taking up a transcending type of meditation. Basically TM without the $1500 price tag, and without the wacky mysticism.
It is an inexpensive ($25) self learn course called Natural Stress Relief.
It can be ordered online, and learned over 3 days.
There is plenty of information on it, and can be reviewed and ordered at....
Given the studies done about the positive effects on sufferers of PTSD, and the simplistity of it, it is worth a try, for us.
For what it's worth, I offer this to you and hope you can find some joy your time together.
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

#457235 - 12/22/13 06:48 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
HopeDiesLast Offline

Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
Thank you everyone. I think our plans are in accordance with what most of you wrote, so instinctively we're trying to do it right. I'm really hoping it will be a quiet and peaceful time for us, even though it doesn't yet look this way (hubby is in the hospital right now after an accident, nothing too serious, but worrying enough).

I feel intense loyalty towards my family, even when they don't deserve it. So in my mind, I see them on their own, with their tree, the neighbors talking why the kids haven't come to visit and I feel guilty. I try to let go of the responsibility for everyone else's happiness and take over responsibility for looking after myself but it is hard for me.

#457424 - 12/26/13 01:36 PM Re: Christmas without family [Re: HopeDiesLast]
sugarbaby Offline

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 382
We used to run ourselves ragged trying to visit everyone over the holidays. Then we just said (to ourselves) "screw that!" it's Christmas for us too!! Now we just do what we feel like. No guilt and no drama.

You can have Christmas alone. It's ok. smile


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