Friday, December 9, 2005

This is normally something I would write about on my ‘other blog’ but since you all read hear and I don’t want to force you to click over to read it there… I post it here.

So, for the record here is… How I lost my Christmas Spirit.

For those of you who don’t already know my life story let me give you a little background.

I grew up with a ‘working’ mother. So early in my life she set a precedent. She was NOT going to spend her Christmas Day slaving in the kitchen cooking a huge dinner. One day a year was enough for her.

Fast forward a few years – I’m married. I find my mother’s ‘rule’ to be a good ‘rule of thumb’. No big dinner at Christmas. Richard (the ex-not his real name) had no problem with this so we went happily on our way.

Fast forward a few more years – my daughter is old enough to know some stuff about Christmas and it’s Christmas eve. Knowing that it was going to be really hard to get her to go to sleep I devise a plan. Step one – go out to eat for a ‘big’ ‘special’ Christmas dinner. Since we were young, poor and didn’t know any better that ended up being Red Lobster. Step two – drive around looking at Christmas lights until the little one fell asleep then go home, carry her to bed and start getting ready for Santa to come. That became our family tradition.

Fast forward many more years. Richard and I have divorced we’ve had a really UGLY custody battle. When the dust has settled we’ve got an arraignment where we’re supposed to trade holidays. Only my kids now suffer from Parental Alienation Syndrome (look it up, it sucks). So rather then force the issue I let them ‘cool’ off. Visits are sporadic and visits during the holidays, out of the question.

Fat forward to now:

Over the past few years the kids have slowly gotten over the PAS and they are on a pretty normal visitation schedule. Only, the holidays are still an issue.

Every year at Thanksgiving, Richard manages to have some relative visiting him. On Christmas – when every other year I’m supposed to have the children for Christmas Eve and be able to put them to bed, then wake them up and watch them open presents in the morning… we run into ‘The tradition’.

Sorry mom, we can’t come see you because we have to go to Red Lobster with Dad. It’s a tradition. First of all, it was MY FUCKING TRADITION! :P Secondly, do you think Richard would have the balls to say, “Hey, enough you need to go with your Mom and start some new traditions”? Well if you’ve learned anything about my ex by now you know the answer is.. No.

This year is no exception. Richard’s mother was visiting at Thanksgiving so the kids stayed there for dinner. As an incentive to get them to come over Christmas Eve I offered to break my ‘rule’ and cook a full on T-day dinner with ALL the fixings. But no… We can’t do that. So for the fifth year in a row I don’t get to see my children on Christmas morning.

Worse, my oldest has told me that she’s taken a job over the winter break and thus – I may not even get to see her Christmas day.

So, I’m sorry folks – I have run out of Christmas cheer. Which really sucks because it IS my FAVORITE holiday.

This year, I’m afraid I’m going to have to say Bah Humbug


  1. Aw, Shawn, I'm sorry. I don't know what else to say. I'd love to go to Red Lobster with you on Christmas Eve. :)

  2. I'd go to the Lob with you also, but I'm allergic to the stuff. But I'll still wish you a Merry Christmas, and a better healthier New Year!

  3. Oh sorry girl. I hope you're able to get back into the is your fav holiday after all :) I'll certainly wish you a Merry Christmas!! ((HUGS))

  4. Bleah...I'm right there with you!! I used to love the holidays and lately they've been nothing but family drama, heartbreak and working on customer networks. Maybe you should burn down the Red Lobster and force them to eat your dinner? :) Just kidding of should set a better example than arson...get the health department to shut it those cold meds aren't supposed to make me says things like that are they?


  5. I hope things can get better for you :-).

    Good luck


  6. Oh Shawn. I am so sorry. Sometimes people just need to get over themselves and step up (meaning the ex)...

  7. Man, Shawn -- that does suck.

    How about doing some random act of kindness -- something to fill your time and your heart.

    Grrrr on the ex....


  8. Do all ex husbands go to the same school of "Selfish Bastards" or what? Believe me I do understand.

  9. That is rough Shawn. I feel your pain. I was talking to a friend of mine who is a lawyer a while back and he said to me that the court systems are clogged up with couples fighting over the children/holiday schedules. It's like it takes totally rational adults and turns them into bickering morons. It's sad. It amazes me how the xmas holidays in particular can be such a hard time of year for so many people. It has become such a HUGE thing. It's not just people with kids's people who are alone...people who have lost family members...people who have divorced. The holidays just amplifies all of the sadness in people's lives. What say we all just say fuck christmas and go somewhere hot where they don't celebrate it :)

  10. Please don't get me wrong on my last comment. I totally have the Xmas spirit. It just hurts to see so many people I care about struggling through the holiday season.

    I'd give up Xmas just so we could all be smilin'


  11. I can feel your pain. When I was a kid, I went through a pretty nasty custody battle and had to spend Christmas with my Dad's family. Of course, that all stopped when he decided to become a Jehova's Witness. I rarely see my Dad now. I think I still harbor a lot of resentment towards him over the custody issue (and the fact that he was a terrible father). I hope at least you can enjoy all of the holiday goodies. I'm already paying for them and it's only midway through the month!

  12. I'm sorry. I totally know where you are coming from. I went through the same issues with my ex and my oldest son. However, my ex showed my son how big of a jerk he truly is by not contacting him for about 4 years now. I also work in a law office and see the fighting first hand. It's truly said that grown-ups can act so immature and selfish. Keep your head up and believe that things will get better!