After years of Bah humbug Christmases, I found myself this year, separated after 29 years of marriage from my husband (permanently) and from my daughter by her choice of home.
My son and l just cracked on in the usual way, waiting to hear what Christmas choices my daughter would make for herself. I assured her it was her choice, I made sure she knew she was welcome and wanted. But I told her that life moves on and we wouldn't die if she made other choices.
Christmas eve and I found myself in bed with antibiotics, coughing up my lungs, off work.
My daughter arrived in the evening, having told me early in the week that she was staying with us, and her Dad had 'plans'. Nuff said. (It actually transpired that he spent all Christmas and new year alone with man-flu. He is consistent each year, without fail.)
We watched tv, laughed and drank some....they went to bed before midnight, to keep it magical, so the teens of 19 and 16 yrs, still love the magic.
At 9am, my daughter landed on my bed with stockings and smiles and much excitement, my son followed minutes later. We all put on soft pjs and drank to each others health, opening gifts in a slightly calmer manner, taking turns, rather than the usual 'let's watch the kids' mode. We've all grown up a little more this past year.
I wept, she wept, at sweet generosity, thoughtfulness and kind words from friends and family. I made the dinner, in a less than an hour, as we are a smaller family now. I cut corners of course, not sure if my heart would be in it this year, no one noticed. Don't know why l hadn't saved my self a ton of angst years ago.
At 5pm I drove the kids to their father's and my daughters house. Our family home. My eyes leaked a little on my drive out of the street, but l sucked it up.
I popped into wish a friend happy Christmas and an hour later I was home.
And I was not alone for long.
For now that is all l can say about that.
Happy New Year!