When I met my ex things got complicated as he came with 3 part time children. Christmas became a bit less relaxed as we had to negotiate where the children would spend Christmas Day and this meant we saw less of my extended family. Having my own children did restore some of the magic as they found it all so exciting.
Since my marriage broke up it seems that Christmas has been a lot more stressful! The first one I had a tricky drive up from the south coast to my parents' new home in Cumbria. En route I decided to quit my job as it was just adding to the stress in my life without providing material benefit. On Christmas Day I woke feeling ill and spent much of the next 2 days lying down - I was diagnosed with mastoiditis and needed double antibiotics to fix it! Due to the snow most of the family was unable to join us so it was a very quiet Christmas.
Last year we got caught out in the snow whilst driving down to visit friends in the south. After some horrendous driving we ended up in a hotel on the A43. This made for an unexpected large expense although the children thought it was a great adventure! This year we are going down by train - more expensive than driving but less stressful for me.
This month the stress of my car issues is not exactly putting me in the right frame of mind to get all excited and festive. My children are a combination of over excited and worn out. With all the school production rehearsals its a very busy time for them. However due to the excitement they have lost the ability to go to sleep at night and in consequence are tired and ratty during the day.
I am hoping that watching their respective productions this week will restore my Christmas excitement! There is lots to look forward to with catching up with family and friends over the next few weeks. Ask me again on December 25th whether Christmas is a joy or a pain!