I could have said A Single Parent’s Christmas with teenagers but it’s not my turn to have the kids for Christmas this year.
We’re not very religious, although I did once take the kids to church on Christmas eve, but Christmas to us as a single family is more about the Spirit of Christmas. Or maybe the Spirit Christmas is meant to have? Adults seem to spend all year getting over Christmas, complaining that it’s getting closer, and then gearing up for it. It’s not exactly something most adults look forward to – well maybe the day, but not the season.
Seems that Christmas induces a lot of stress, financial difficulties, family interactions can get quite heated. You only have to look at what happens around the world during the Festive season. So not looking forward to when the teenagers have partners and/or kids, it just takes the ‘Who gets who, for Christmas’ to a whole new level’
I don’t mind having a Christmas celebration before the day. We usually have a nice meal – not often turkey, ham, pork, and certainly not all three. My kids love pork but really don’t think much of the other two. In the past they have asked for salami on Christmas day!
We don’t do Christmas Pud, or Christmas cake – so I usually make an ice cream log with mango pieces, pistachio nuts, and peppermint pieces.
Sometimes we exchange presents. But sometimes we exchange IOU’s about what we are going to do for each other, because money is never in plentiful supply around Christmas for some reason, in our house. May have something to do with the timing of things like the car registration and the electricity bill.
But what do you do when you don’t have the kids for Christmas?
I find the worst of it is the expectation that you have to go somewhere and be somewhere with lots of people. Lovely to be thought of.
I don’t mind people on Christmas Day……just not before lunchtime!
I’ve never been a morning person, and never will be. I’m more than happy to see people after lunchtime on Christmas Day, when I’ve had time to have my perfect ‘Not my year’ Christmas. And that is, a huuuuuuuuge sleepin. Followed by cheese and tomato on toast, coffee, in my pj’s with the cats and dogs, and a lovely view. Perfect peace and quiet. I usually put the car around the back of the house so people don’t feel obliged to invite me over to their place for Christmas morning.
I just realised when I was talking about this that in the past a huuuuuge sleepin was the best present because I was always up early, rounding up teens for school, for sport, for shopping, for anything. And now that I have a P Plater in the house, and only one teen needing to be dropped off and picked up…………….I’m not going to be quite so feral about the sleepin.
I’m still not a morning person remember, so I will probably have a little sleepin, then sit around with my assorted animals, after wishing the chooks a Merry Christmas I will be – hopefully – eating some of my own tomatoes and eggs, and maybe even some of my own sourdough bread (if I stop being so lazy) and sitting back with the dogs and cats and admiring my beautiful view, my awesome garden, and thinking about nothing in general or particular.
I’m not totally antisocial! Well, not after lunch anyway!
I think what I’d like to do is help out with Christmas Dinner’s for those who are homeless, or homed, but not cashed up enough to do a proper dinner for themselves. Not sure we have that locally, and driving for an hour and a half to help out might tax my fuel budget. But we’ll see.
The Spirit of Christmas? To remember that life’s not about what you have, what you can buy, what you can give. It’s about people, and it’s about a happy feeling. Whether it’s because people are decorating their farm gates with tinsel, their suburban yards and houses with lights, whether it’s giving a present to a person on the shopping mall christmas tree, It’s about being glad for what you have, who you are, and why you’re here.
Not much presents here this year either. I think the start will be a Kiva Gift Card each. www.kiva.org You can spend $25 for a gift card. The person receiving the gift card can then choose a recipient from the hundreds of people needing a microloan to finish their education, start a business, or improve a business. They will pay it back over time, and then you can relend the same money again and again.
Choosing a recipient is as hard as choosing a present in a shop – so many you want to pick. For $100 we can have 4 gift cards and as well as giving something to each other, we can then give the same present to 4 other people in the world right now. Then we can give it again and again.
And you know? Teenagers are not just about what electronic appliances they can get…….you might be surprised to find out how important things like helping other people, making things better for the world as a whole, is to them. Teens can be very deep – just that you don’t always hear about it. There’s a lot more goes on in their head than the media, or us oldies give them credit for these days.
If Christmas is about Caring and Sharing, then Kiva is an organisation that helps make that possible all over the world.