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Alone At Xmas

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lilachardy, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Spent my teenage years growing up in a children's home. Every Christmas I would go to my foster parents. Well, they weren't really my foster parents officially any more but I still saw them all the time with a view to them possibly fostering me again. It never worked out that way. As I got older I became more resentful. I would sit at the table and see all these strong bonds e.g husband and wife, brother and sister, cousins, long term friends and although to all of them I would have been foster daughter or foster sister etc I never felt as though I fitted in as strongly. I would get annoyed when the young uns would go off to the pub but I would be left behind with my foster mum and dad. I felt as though they knew I had no where else to go for Christmas so I should be grateful to be stuck at home with them peeling sprouts while all the other had gone down the pub. I went to theirs a few times during university and then just got sick of being there but feeling left out, having to do exactly what they wanted, or not fitting in. Another time my foster parents went off to Australia to visit their tow children who were travelling. That year I was passed to the next door neighbour. They were lovely, but I couldn't help feeling left out again as everyone had gone away. That is just the crux of being the non-foster child. I can't help thinking that in a normal family the sibling to be left behind would feel left out if everyone went away and left them behind. A similar experience was when my foster parents did a treasure hunt for my foster brother and sister to find their main present and again I wasn't included in that. I wasn't bothered about the present, it the matter that they spend the rest of the year saying you are part of the family but then don't include me in things like treasure hunts.
    Another year I spent it with my brothers foster family. That was good as at least I had a special bond with my brother.
    One other year I went to a friend's house in England. I had a lovely time. However we fell out not long after. I just got an impression (in my old age I think this was a wrong impression) that all the time after she would feel that because I was so grateful for her having me for Christmas she had the monopoly on the friendship. It is very wrong to think like that I know, and I was grateful but I don't want to spend a Christmas being grateful for having companionship, things that people have naturally with having a family. I realise, again with old age, that things are not as black and white as that.
    Last year I went home to spend Christmas with my mum and sister and I had never done that before.
    The year before that I spent Christmas with my Malaysian flatmate and his Malaysian friends and we ate Malaysian food. I enjoyed that year
    This year and only yesterday I met my boyfriends family for the first time. I was invited the evening before but knowing load of his relatives would be their I bottled. Firstly I am sick of being the one that has to walk into a room at Christmas were loads of people already know each other and I have to spend the time getting to know people, when really Christmas should be about being relaxed with people you already know. I went last night to his mum and dad's house and met them for the first time. I was still scared. As we arrived something happened to his car. So I had to knock the door myself while he sat in the car. It helped to break the ice, possible fate's way of making things easier for me and helping to take the focus off me.
    This morning we spent time opening presents but his family had got him loads and I only had a few. I know, I know! Of course I am really grateful but it just another example of having to be grateful for what I have got when the person beside you is opening loads of gifts and you are supposed to be equal.
    My boyfriend is great but I could just easily be spending Christmas with an idiot.
    I think this year will be great and I have learnt that people fit into families in different ways. The only shame is I never feel like I enjoy it very much as I have the feeling that next Christmas could be different or spent with other people.
    I must say the very best Christmas in recent years have been the ones I spent on my own. Sounds odd, but I could just be, didn't feel left out and didn't need to get to know people. Then again. I have also realised that everyone doesn't have the perfect family or Christmas.
    I think it is nice to have a boyfriend at Christmas but if he wasn't here or I didn't have one I would have no shame in spending Christmas on my own or accepting another invitation.
    I think our expectations of families at Christmas and finding love at Christmas mainly comes from how we see it portrayed on films and television and I think we should just do Christmas as we want.
  2. Excuse the wrong spelling and grammar in my previous post.
  3. This thread also struck a chord with me too. Although I'm not single, I am not spending Christmas day with my partner, seeing as we are a relatively new couple and his sister is due to have baby number two around this time. I am really looking forward to seeing him on Boxing Day though, and feel this is when my Christmas will really begin.
    As per usual, I am spending Christmas day at home with my Mum and my Grandad and am feeling the usual emotional discomfort I feel with my dysfunctional family. I suppose it doesn't help that me and Mum had an argument a few days ago. She is also mentally ill which can also be a heavy burden.
    I don't have any brothers or sisters, and for as long as I can remember, I have always felt an emptiness / loneliness at Christmas and a longing for the things that money can't buy, as somebody previously mentioned. It's always been a terribly adult atmosphere in my household since I was a youngster, and seeing numbers diminish over the years as many of my elderly relatives have died gives you more time to dwell on these feelings.
    Just read a friend's Facebook update earlier about how she had been 'sufficiently mauled by her sister's dogs, couldn't eat all of her dinner as she had eaten too many nibbles and was now starting on the wine' and thinking how wonderful it all sounded!!
    In posting this, I fear appearing ungrateful. I do realise that I have great friends who I will be meeting up with later this evening, a fridge full of lovely food and a warm house and I should count my lucky stars compared with many, but I just had to post and add my two penneth worth. I just wish we weren't such an emotionally uptight family. Is it so wrong to know that any enjoyment I get out of Christmas this year will be once I leave the family home later this evening?
    Anyhow, wishing everyone a pleasant, peaceful day and a happy, healthy new year.
    Miss Flump [​IMG]
  4. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    It seems like you've all hit the nail on the head - the way we feel all depends on our expectations of what we feel we should have and by putting things into perspective. My relationship started August and finished recently. I feel so much better for not being in that relationship even though it felt rubbish for breaking up and that I wanted the relationship to continue. I also feel so much stronger for being away from that partner. Looking back, I was a whittering imbecile. I was actually fine until he told me that he loved me - very early on, I swear I should have seen the alarm bells then - then I fretted and stressed ever since because I felt he'd said it too early on. But, I battled on, gave him the benefit of the doubt and then out of the blue, he said he couldn't commit. I'm so glad I'm not in that situation now. I'm home with my parents and it's idyllic and more than I could ever wish for.
  5. Too much social pressure to conform to what the media portray as the norm for Christmas. I suppose, if we had different jobs we could volunteer to work on Christmas day and avoid all the carp that comes with the day. I've spent the day alone this year. The first time I have managed to do it in my life (and I'm fast approaching 40). It took a super-human effort to avoid the subject and let people think I had plans but I knew in the summer that I couldn't spend it with family or even friends - and some of the Christmases with friends have been the best but I needed to avoid all the hype. So, I've been to Mass, cooked a rather splendid lunch - lots left over that I'm snacking on, watched the Queen's speech to the Commonwealth, drinking more than I should be but slowly so I don't feel bad tomorrow and pleasing myself with theTV I watch, the radio I listen to and what I do without feeling obliged to do anything. Cathartic and very pleasant. I recommend it to anyone who has trouble with the baggage of Christmas.
  6. I agree that there is so much pressure to have the "perfect family christmas", which doesn't actually exist.
    All we do now is enjoy having a few days off work, eat a nice meal and phone family. Have told all family and friends not to get us presents, we only buy for children in the family.
    The post about growing up as an ex-foster child really made me sad. There are so many kids and adults who don't have a stable family to spend time with, but they are made to feel left out by the pressure to do so at christmas.
    Been to visit 2 friends in hospital this week (they are both likely to be in for some time), and although I think they're both in the right place in terms of the treatment they are getting it still makes you realise that you're lucky to have your health.

  7. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Being single, I spent the day at my parents' house, and this year we were joined by my sister and her family. Family occasions for us are always a little tense, as I don't always find my sister or her partner easy company - for example, there are always comments and jokes about me being single and not having any children. I end up feeling like the poor relation - one holiday there apparently "wasn't room at the dining table" for me (a first - I'd never actually been uninvited before). I do, however, like to spend time with her children, so I make the effort to smile and get along with her.
    Where it began to go wrong was when my sister explained to me that they were looking forward to inheriting my house and money one day (please bear in mind here that I'm only in my thirties, and in reasonably good health!) since I have no children. Somewhat surprised, I quietly replied that I'd decided some time ago to leave it all to other people.
    Her response, in all seriousness, (after a moment of stunned silence) was "Well, we won't be bringing the children to visit you again."
    Oh really? So at the moment you only come to visit me - what? once a year? - because you are thinking of the money you'll get when I die? ....and you'd stop me seeing the children as a punishment for making my own decisions about my own money? Gosh, this time of year really IS all about family and love, isn't it?
    The rest of the visit largely involved her trying to find out who IS going to inherit whatever's left when I eventually snuff it. Cheerful stuff. I came home feeling that Christmas, once my parents are gone, is going to be an empty, bleak affair.
    Thank you, then, to those of you who have posted on here to show that a Christmas on your own is enjoyable.
  8. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    I too spent xmas alone...I was with my parents, but my daughter is at her dads for xmas and I've found it so hard - it was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be [​IMG]
  9. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Then get your rear out of it and do your own things..........you dont have to go to your parents.If your really going to be independent go to another place, town, country , event.........if i was single i certainly wouldnt be mopping around the house or being bored (which you get even when yor with your wife)
    Live your life as life is passing you by...if nothing else you can always help out at a charity and use your time doing other things.
    As to the sister.....greed is a terrible tings and Im suprised she is so callous as to intent and motive,,,,,,,,,I only hope your parents have their affairs sorted out.....because such greed as she exhibited will certainly come to the for when your parents die!
  10. Yes it does ...... Whilst I feel sad for those who have had a less the joyous Christmas for whatever reason ... Do not suggest that family cannot equal immense joy ... We are all different and have different circumstances
  11. Grandsire, that's AWFUL, I am so sorry for you! I don't see why they are making such assumptions anyway, surely many people get married/have children in their 30s? [​IMG]
  12. Grandsire - sounds like it's time for you to completely disown your sister. WHAT a cow.
  13. Yup.
  14. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    As my sisterand her family have flu and my mother is in a home I thought I was going to be reduced to spending the day in my mum's house with no TV (removed in case of burglars) and only a microwave for cooking (oven disconnected). My mum's next door neighbour invited me over, for which I was very grateful, and in the afternoon I went to see my mother. It's just another day really and I'm sure loads are worse off -in fact in my line of work I know plenty of them.

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