Christmas - What does it mean to you?
Christmas – What does it mean to you?
By Tony DeLorger © 2010
When I was a kids Christmas was the most exciting day of the year. Having tried to stay up all night to catch a glimpse of Santa I would inevitably lose the battle. At sunrise or before I would wake up bleary-eyed to a Christmas tree surrounded by glittering, bow-tied boxes filled with all my wishes and then some. Ten minutes later the room would be covered in wrapping paper, and I would be exhausted from all the excitement. Then a day of relatives coming and going, endless food and drink and after wrestling with my cousins for hours, I’d be barely conscious.
Now having had my own kids who have grown up and had their own, I now revel in the excitement of my grandchildren. Christmas is for kids and it’s wonderful to share the day with them. I don’t come from a religious family and to me Christmas represents family and giving thanks for all our blessings as a family. And might I add that we are an extended family. This year my ex, exwife had all three of her husbands present: present, ex and ex, ex. Like I said it’s all for the kids.
So how does all this work you ask? Let me give you a rather intimate account of what happened. My best friend and wife split and being friends with both I helped the wife get on her feet with their child. My marriage broke up after our child’s illness and subsequent death, and I fell in love with my best friend’s ex. We got married and had two children. With kids aged 6, 4 and 2 my wife decided she didn’t want to be a wife or mother any more and left permanently (for two years anyway). I, with kids in tow relocated to the city of my birth and hired a nanny so I could work. I fell in love with the nanny, married and had two more children. After twenty-three years she decided that she didn’t want to be married any more and wanted freedom and no responsibility. So off she went. She sees her kids about 3 hours a week. By this time my two eldest are married and have kids, living interstate, my third still single but happy and working in another state. I again am left with two kids, 16 and 22. We are all content and I am working diligently to get them on track for a happy and successful life.
Now after hearing all that, and having not mentioned the other marriages and relationships of exwives, you can just imagine the complex relationships between mothers who have left and their children. Also there is the expartners and new partners take on it all. But having said all that, we can all get together and have a warm and loving Christmas with our collective children. It sounds an impossible feat but if you can rid your mind of hate and blame, anything is possible. It’s funny but some of the new partners of my ex’s I have a better relationship with than I had with the ex.
There are a myriad of emotional problems and trust issues between some mothers and children, and I hope that one day they will be overcome, but we can be a family and be there when it counts. The grandchildren are surrounded by family who love them and as dysfunctional as it could be, we get on.
Family needs to be redefined these days, with all the complex relationships and where really anything goes. I still believe the children should be considered first. I am so proud of all my children, for having gone through some hard times and come out as functional caring and loving people and parents. So Christmas to me is family, regardless of blood and how we came to be.