With Thanksgiving ending and the Christmas season upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about childless holidays. For many, this time of year is very difficult. Some want to hide away and ignore everything Christmas, feeling that they are missing out because they do not have a child to celebrate with… But as I reflected upon the past month and look towards December, I am discovering that I really do love my childless life. And I even love childless holidays.
Love is at the center…
This realization started in mid-November when I clicked on a post entitled, “What are your most used words on Facebook?” At the center of my word cloud was “love.” When I shared my results, I posted, “I love that love is at the center of it all!”
For so long, I felt like something was missing in my life–especially during Christmas as I watched my nieces and nephews, longing to one day have a child of my own. But as I looked at my word cloud, seeing “infertility,” “Not So Mommy,” “blog,” “Dane,” “Maddie,” “hope,” “awesome,” and “God” all intermingled together, it dawned on me that this is my life. And my life is pretty darned awesome!
Not just a childless life. But a life…
And that’s the other thing I’m realizing… It’s my life. Not just a childless life. But a life…
Thanksgiving in New York City
My husband and I took a five-day trip to New York City over Thanksgiving. We walked miles, ate wonderful meals, and took too many pictures. We saw the Rockettes, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Statue of Liberty. We took a dinner cruise, toured a Whiskey Distillery, and saw the 9/11 Memorial. We went to bed too late and got up too early, did a ton of window shopping, and went to the top of the Rock! And through all of this, I never once felt that I was missing out on anything because we don’t have kids.
In fact, I was (and am) grateful to be childless. During the Parade, when parents had to leave because the little needed to go to the bathroom or just got too cold and tired, I was able to stay. I got to watch every single float, balloon, and band pass by. And I didn’t have to leave before Santa made his appearance! On Thanksgiving, when we found a quirky restaurant with a non-traditional Thanksgiving lunch, we enjoyed our meal without complaints. No one had a meltdown because we didn’t get enough sleep. And no one cried because the Rockefeller Center Tree wasn’t lit up yet. My hubby and I got to do everything we wanted and have plans to go back in the Spring!
Home with my little family
And when we picked Maddie up… Well, she smothered us with kisses and was so utterly happy to see us! She did not hold it against us for a second that we took a trip over a holiday and left her to play with her friends.
And over the weekend? No one begged me to get out the Christmas decorations and put up the tree. That can wait until later this week. Instead, we watched six Christmas movies (not one a cartoon) and cooked our traditional Thanksgiving meal, got all the laundry done, and were still able to sleep in!
And now that the week has started… I didn’t have a hectic Monday trying to get the kids back to school. I simply took care of Maddie, got myself ready for the day, and dove into my work.
Childless Holidays full of love and joy…
So, as I think about childless holidays, I realize that they can be amazing with some definite bright sides. In fact, I believe Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to be childless and that Christmas can be pretty incredible too, if only you’ll look at it with a different perspective…
And that’s my goal this month. To help you do just that. Let’s find joy in our childless holidays!
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This is a great post, Brandi! I’m so glad you had a good time. When we decide that we are going to embrace the holidays, or as I like to say, reclaim the holidays, then we get to choose to do what we want, where we want, and with whom we choose. And as you say, it’s all in the perspective, moving from a feeling of loss, to a feeling of choice and freedom.
My husband and I really enjoy going off at Christmas and doing something on our own – whether it’s renting a cottage at the beach (because of course it’s summer here in December), or travelling overseas to somewhere exotic. The last few years we’ve been unable to do this due to obligations with elderly in-laws, but we’ll be able to do it again soon enough.
I love your viewpoint–“reclaim the holidays.” That is an amazing perspective!
I do hope you get to travel again soon, but it is wonderful that you are caring for your in-laws. I am headed back to Oklahoma soon to spend some extra time with my grandparents. Family truly is a blessing. 🙂
Your life is what you make it. I am forever thankful you choose to be joyful, no matter the circumstances. I know it did not come easily, but you are living proof that the heart can heal. Praise God!??
When we allow God to fill us with His Spirit, it is amazing how beautiful the world is…