We started it for my niece and nephews. We let them open their Christmas Eve present that is new pajamas and book. Sometimes it will have snacks or a small toy or two. They wear their new jammies for Christmas and the family read the books together before bed time.
I did when I had a family here.
This will be my first Christmas with no longer having wife or son at home.
My wife now in Alzheimer’s care center; my son now living with his wife and her daughter in their small apartment. At least I can visit her, and think he will visit me next few days. I will uphold the tradition of going to church on Christmas day. I hope to also go Christmas light sightseeing tomorrow evening, like I did with my parents (both dead for 11+ years) to relive some childhood nostalgia. My dog can ride shotgun.
I have not even been playing my extensive Christmas CD/DVD collection. Just couldn’t get in the mood.
I think next year might be a better year. (Don’t think it could be much worse than this one; I didn’t list half of the problems.)
I wish there was anywhere near an adequate, intelligent or remotely comforting response to offer. I’ve spent a great number of Christmas days alone. This year, i get the see the kids, most years it was the day before or after. What sees me through is faith. My grandfather, a wwwii vet and still alive, is fond of saying, this too shall pass. Meaning, no condition lasts forever. Things always get better. Hopefully, for us all, that happens this side of heaven. You are not alone.
@wonidejack Thanks for the words of encouragement. I haven’t lost my faith, but it has wavered.
I am an only child (though a very old one). Most of my parents’ families are hundreds of miles away, or much further. The closer ones, I haven’t seen since a few funerals put an end to annual reunions. The further ones are about a thousand miles away, and with the exception of one cousin, I haven’t seen any of them since my wife and I married 24 years ago (this past week). Locally, I had my wife’s family, but don’t talk with half of them now, since they sued for guardianship, after my wife was already in Alzheimer’s care, and won. (Now we are fighting in court over what is personal property and what is community property – my wife and I had verbal agreements on this, but she is in no condition to testify to these. My wife was never a problem in this, just now her family.)
I had listed her two properties for sale, but got blocked on this by the court, back in July, thanks to the guardian’s lawyers. Now they owe over $15,000 past due for her care. I had paid almost $20,000 for her care.
Then a shyster lawyer, who had also tried to get guardianship over my wife, but was unsuccessful, made a motion to the court that I am incapacitated, and he is trying to get guardianship over me now. His argument: that I showed my incompetence by (1) not listing my wife’s properties for sale to care for her (though his argument came in November, after I listed her first property in June, then her second in August after trying for two months to sell it to the renters who said they were interested, then said the price was too high, though about $15K below tax appraisal. And (2) listing my wife’s properties without court approval, though at that time I had her Power of Attorney (later rescinded by the judge). That is right, he stated I was incompetent because I didn’t list her property and because I did list her property. The amazing thing is the judge granted the motion, though my attorney had pointed out the inconsistencies in the request. So now there is a guardian ad litem over me, and I also have an attorney ad litem before the court. My attorney ad litem told me to go to an independent MD and get the IME certificate showing I am competent. I did that, passed with 29 out of 30 – I was sleep deprived and have been under continual stress – but now they won’t accept that because it was not done by the court-recommended psychologist. (The same court that has shown all the bias against me.)
Between my wife’s case and mine, I’ve been dealing with SEVEN attorneys. I am about bankrupt paying the one I hired seven months ago, and through FOUR court hearings. I may be ordered by the court to pay some of the others’ fees.
The most annoying thing, I think I and my wife’s guardian could have settled by the mediation ordered by the judge (they are spending and owe even more money than I), but then the same judge granted the ad litem guardianship over me. Until that is settled, I cannot legally agree to any settlement whatsoever.
Then the court gripes about the delay in the first case.
Also, I am living in my rent property, because of a devastating fire at our residence. Current location, where I was burglarized the week before the fire, and then the next day after I started living here!
Next year HAS to be better, doesn’t it?
Who wants the book and teleplay rights to this story? I still didn’t tell the whole thing here. (I wish I knew the ending to it.)
Sorry, didn’t mean to be a Debby Downer, but once I started, it was hard to stop. It has been eating at me these months.
I still have love in my heart for all (non-lawyers, anyway), especially here on the forums, and wish all a very Merry Christmas.
@f00l@wonidejack That’s a thought, but not that reassuring, lol. And my retirement and SS will keep coming in monthly, until I am too dead to notice otherwise.
We have homeless here, and I haven’t heard anything about his wanting to take care of them. I hope he has a coal-burning furnace, for all those lumps of coal he deserves to get for Christmas. Tax roll says he has an $800K house, so I hope it gets all sooty.
Of course, Santy will bring me coal, also, if I keep up those thoughts, so starting now, I will be more of a Christmas mindset! Merry Christmas.
@Kidsandliz Thanks for the sympathy. The disease is robbing me of my wife (slowly, at this point there is still a lot left there – I visit her at least 3 times a week, for 80-90 minutes at a time, and she can carry on something along the lines of a conversation – I stay until it gets repetitive or other residents interfere too much – I was there yesterday for Christmas eve and will be back today and tomorrow – Christmas time was always a big time for all of us). But I think it is the lawyers trying to rob me (and my wife’s family) of everything else!
But I am working to focus on the positive, when I can see it. Merry Christmas to you, your daughter, your cats, and the rest of your family. Wishing us all a prosperous new year!
As a Polack, we always make pierogi on Christmas Eve. When my grandparents generation ran the show, we used to gather for the Christmas Eve meal and have the little unleavened wafers you offer to your neighbor to break a little from. Nowadays, we let the kids open a single present and Santa comes to fill the stockings after they go to bed.
@btwonder I grew up with Polish traditions (pierogi, cabbage rolls (galumpki), kielbasa, oplatki, beet soup, poppy seed cakes, …) on my mother’s side, during Christmas visits, but am a thousand miles away from those now. I still can imagine the tastes, and miss them. My versions aren’t as good, but still better than the local store versions. What they call kielbasa here is more of a German sausage, not the Polish I was used to.
Beyond running around like a crazy woman to tidy up from the Christmas Eve party and reset the house for the Christmas Day festivities, nope. I should be committed for volunteering for all these parties
have the family over for dinner and gift giving. this year my step daughter decided we should meet the day after christmas because it would suit her better. so, she will miss the get together on christmas eve this year.
Have dinner with my father and his wife and my step sister (and my sister and her husband who we see all the time) We usually only see them twice a year, Father’s Day and Christmas Eve. My dad is a curmudgeonly Atheist and my boyfriend is a curmudgeonly Atheist, so they enjoy each other’s bah humbug on what my dad calls Newton’s Eve.
i mean, i still stay at my parents every xmas eve, and i still make my parents wait until i go to bed to put my presents under the tree but we don’t like…each open a present, or have a big dinner, or go to see xmas lights or anything. it’s less “tradition” and more, “i’m not into change.”
Christmas Eve party for family & friends at our place.
Way too much food for everyone to eat, including home-made English cheese & onion & potato, and beef & potato pies.
We sing a few carols, and some years a niece or nephew with musical skills plays something. That’s followed by reading or showing some variation of the nativity story, then the littlest one present places baby Jesus in the manger.
One year baby Jesus went missing part way through the evening. We found the doll tucked into our bed. I guess one of the littles thought He deserved better accommodations.
Then it’s popping Christmas crackers. Putting on the tissue paper crown is mandatory, as is reading the stale jokes. And the littles start negotiating trades for prizes and/or scamming extra prizes from the grown ups.
Oh, and the littles hiding under the big table is also a tradition, but most of them aren’t so little anymore.
@blaineg I see a lot of red heads there. My grandmother and her 11 brothers had red hair. It skipped two generations. So at a wedding a 4 year old red head from one family asked the 6 year old read head from another (neither of which had parents with red hair):
4 year old: “I get so tired of people asking me where I got that lovely red hair. What do you tell them?”
6 year old: “I tell them it came with my head. That shuts them right up.”
We were dying trying to to laugh out loud as we wanted to hear what else they’d say.
Yea, Dad was a redhead. It largely skipped my generation (though we got the fair skin and ability to sunburn easily), but showed up strong in the next. And one sister married a redhead, so their kids were pretty much doomed.
Up until recently it used to be play the carillon (only christmas carols for the sing along crowd in the parking lot) before and after the 4:30, 7 and 11pm christmas eve services. Run home between the 4:30 and 7 to pick up mom and bring her for that service, take mom home after that and come back… Always hand bells, the christmas pageant (2 of the wise men sing in the opera where mom lives and several are in the city choir or at the music school so very good singing, real baby who sometimes needs fed), choirs (kids ones at the first 2 services), chamber music (again with a music school here and some of them are church members very good performance). Every year for about forever the service has been the same. Every year. Very nice tradition.
This afternoon we’re off to visit a rather dysfunctional family we’ve been hanging with for 42 years - as this will probably be the last time we’ll see them, we spent the last few weeks going through the old memories to remind us why it’s worth it. After that, it will be dark, the stores will be closed and it’s home for a nice meal and some wine by the fire and hopefully some closure on the nephew’s anger management problems …
Christmas Eve has varied somewhat over the years but has generally involved a church service (usually a candlelight service) and time with extended family and/or friends. After my ex-wife and I separated, she had the daughter units on Christmas Eve, until about 9-10 AM Christmas Day and then the daughter units came to me.
Christmas morning usually starts with a nice breakfast, then opening gifts, and later heading out to dinner at the girlfriend’s sister’s house. The last few years, daughter unit one has come for breakfast but then gone off with her husband to visit his family. Daughter unit two will still be going to dinner with me this year.