For as long as I can remember Christmas has been my all time favorite time of year. As a child I would lay awake for hours on Christmas Eve hoping to hear the distinctive sound of sleigh bells and reindeer hooves on the roof. I’d finally succumb to sleep only to wake long before dawn rarin’ to race down the steps and see what Santa had brought.
But even as a child it was about more than the presents. It was the sights, the sounds, the smells. It was time with family and big holiday gatherings. I loved every second of it. Including the chaos of Christmas shopping.
As a parent I have always gone out of my way to make Christmas as magic as possible for my children. At the first hint of a chill in the air my mind is racing with decorating, baking, gift buying and I’m humming Christmas carols. I don’t care what I get for Christmas. The looks on my kids’ faces Christmas morning is the best present I could ever receive.
This year, try as I might, I can’t find that feeling. This year I want to ignore the impending holidays for as long as possible. I have no Christmas spirit. I avoid looking at Christmas displays and decorations in stores. I don’t want to hear Christmas carols or see Christmas advertisements. I don’t even want to think about Christmas in the abstract. When I do, when some commercial I didn’t mute quite fast enough reminds me of it, my eyes well up with tears because I know this is it. Our last Christmas as a “whole” family.
I hate him for that more than anything else. I can forgive him not loving me enough to be married to me. I can even forgive his vile, cruel, heartless behavior. But I cannot, and will not, forgive him for destroying my family as I know it and thereby changing the dynamics of every holiday from here on out.
I don’t want his and her holidays. I WANTED to save my marriage. HE didn’t. I didn’t want a divorce. HE did. HE should suffer. HE should have to make all of the sacrifices. HE should be the one who has to give things up. NOT me.
But I have no choice. In the name of fairness I have to share my kids with him on holidays. In my ever so humble opinion there is nothing fair about it.