It’s that time of year again… For me, every Christmas without children was a reminder that another twelve months had passed and we were no closer to having our own family to share it with. All the tinsel, mince pies, trees and cheery carols sent me stomping off muttering “bah, humbug” under my breath, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to still enjoy the festive season – you just have to make sure that you do it in your own way.
The first rule is that you really don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, whether it’s family parties, Christmas lunch with your siblings and their children or the annual trip to the pantomime. If there are things that you know you are going to find difficult, you can say no. There’s no point at all in feeling utterly miserable because you feel obliged to attend other people’s celebrations. It’s also OK to leave early if you are finding the whole thing upsetting. Never feel guilty about any of this as real friends and close relatives will be understanding – and if they aren’t, that’s not your problem.
If you’re inundated with invitations to events that involve children, why not hold your own adults-only party, or get together with some other people who don’t have children whether by choice or by circumstance.
Remember you don’t have to brave the High Street if Christmas shopping is just an endless reminder of what you don’t have. Online present shopping has never been easier.
You could consider an alternative Christmas. Would it be fun to get away altogether for the Christmas week? Holidays at Christmas are not always as expensive as you might imagine. Would being useful at Christmas help? Charities which work with the homeless are often looking for volunteers over the Christmas period and this can be a way of turning your situation into something positive. What about a long walk or cycle ride on Christmas Day? Or perhaps a lovely peaceful day with just the two of you at home? Don’t forget that this is your holiday too, and you can make the most of some time off together at home regardless of the season.
But most important of all, be kind to yourself. It’s key to everything. Whatever you feel like doing is what you should do, and that way you will find that you can head into the new year feeling positive and refreshed. Don’t forget, this is your Christmas too…