I grew up a ward of the state but the Christmas' I remember were like this Norman Rockwell painting. I would get to see my biological family and spend some of Christmas with them and whatever quarrels would be a truced.. Strangers came to dinner and all were welcome. Many happy memories of Christmas and the traditions..
When I married Adam Christmas drastically changed... My guardian told me she didn't really want me there because I was embarrassing to her new son in law who was a California Senator. Then the next Christmas it was her grand daughter Abby had a rash she was afraid was Chicken Pox and didn't want Mackenzie to get it. Even though no males in Adam's family has ever had the Chicken Pox and Mackenzie was still vaccinated. So I was uninvited then there was the drama we had to go to Adam's grand parents house.. really my first holidays away from family (guardian and biological) and my grandfather had passed away. My sisters nor I wouldn't be able to be close to my biological mom on Christmas. The first Christmas away from family was a disaster it was traumatic.
I quickly learned that not everyone has peaceful Christmas' even when a newborn is there. I learned that Norman Rockwell holiday is just a fantasy ... just a painting. It was hard. It IS hard.
Then Adam took Mackenzie... So my first year without Mackenzie I woke up in a cold sweat screaming. I had a nightmare that Mackenzie woke up and was looking under the tree saying he wanted mommy but I wasn't there. I wasn't under the tree.
The second Christmas without Mackenzie I called Adam to see if I could give Mackenzie presents. I actually didn't know how to reach Adam I took a chance he would be with HIS family. His mother came on the phone and they both told me what a horrible mother I was and how I abandoned Mackenzie (not true). To mail the gifts... little did I know a month later Adam would be dead. So that was the last conversation I had with my husband and there was words of hate exchanged. Something I have to live with.
I still really believed in Christmas... I wanted to give Skylar beautiful and magical Christmas' so I worked hard. Even when money was tight I did things beautiful for her. My oldest sister would have wonderful dinner parties for Thanksgiving and Christmas and that was a blessing until the stress and drama just got to me. I had to limit the amount of people I am around ON Christmas. My boyfriend would just wanna play games and not spend time with Skylar and I so I said fine its just me and her.. From that moment on I said I am not going to be stressed on Christmas, I am going to limit myself socially (which is rare), and I am going to make it magical for Skylar (now for William too).
Since I have married Rick, Huntsville has so many events especially when we were active duty.. Nutcracker Ballet, Galaxy of Lights, Santa's Village.. this that and the other.. It was stressful just trying to see it all. It was stressful setting aside the money for it all. I don't stress about money because I don't want to give it that type of power.. As long as my kids are provided for and the utility and main bills are paid then I will survive. More and more when I reach my emotional limit I call a time out and I stop. I no longer get upset if we miss something. Its disappointing sure but its not what Christmas is supposed to be about. As the kids get older its hard to find them dress clothes for Christmas and afford them. This year Skylar chose a pair of pajamas we found at the Salvation Army and I was just simply supposed to find the matching pair for William which was on disneystore.com but I waited to long. I am very disappointed that my kids now won't have matching pajamas or church clothes but its not the end of the world... If its not super important to them then it shouldn't be for me. I will have to find some alternative. I have had to put Christmas in perspective not just the commercialism but also what I can emotionally handle.