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I wish you were a little less me. Have another cupcake and I'll have another drink.

Oh Sarah, I hear you.
It really is exhausting isn't it?!
Just because we CAN do it ourselves doesn't mean we WANT to. It doesn't mean it's good. It's just...possible.
What's that line about what people need to be happy? "People need someone to love. If you can't give them that, give them something to hope for. If you can't give them that...just give them something to do."
[terribly paraphrased from a bunch of places, including the movie 'Flight of the Phoenix']
I want all three.
And now I'm all maudlin and whiny too. Ah well, sharing...
It's going to be a good good day when you get to have all three Sarah. When we get to hear stories about your 'first' Christmas. When you have become one of the people we are so very happy for. And envious of.
Looking forward to the day. Yours and mine both!

Ah Sarah, thank you for the heartfelt post. Your first Christmas with your mom's new family was pretty terrible, wasn't it? You won't ever let that happen to anyone celebrating in your sphere, I'm guessing.

Fingers crossed that this time next year, you have a tiny person to start building traditions with.

And I forgive you for the cupcake.

I remember those Christmas Eve gatherings at your mom's house. There were lots of trees, lights, and laughter. I have to agree with you about the cookies. :)

Traditions are good only if they bring back good memories. Every year, we try to create a new tradition. Alex's favorite is telling me about what each ornament means to him, especially the ones he made when he was really little.

sarah, i am so with you on this. my dad and stepmom usually drink too much and get into some obnoxious fight. then there's some awkward silence. super fun! maybe if we're lucky she will try to play my brother and i against each other. this is a game we call "black sheep." gotta keep a sense of humor somehow.

this year , i am avoiding them. that's right, no toxic xmas for me. i am going to see them this weekend to celebrate my birthday early. i also will get to see my brother and old friends so the toxic people get less of my time. hooray for self-preservation. that's my christmas present to myself.

i don't personally have any holiday traditions. i do have some cute ornaments from years ago and maybe i'll get a charlie brown xmas tree for me and the cat. i think we make a cute little family.

next year, my mom will be living with me and we can start our own tradition. i know it sounds nuts but i have always wanted to make the big holiday meal.

and i send my best wishes for you to have a tiny bundle of baby for next holiday season.

Sarah, I was dreaming of you and Liz all night last night. Can't remember the details, but they were good, fun times.

Meanwhile, I am vicariously angry at your stepfamily for leaving you out of the gift-giving. My MIL ambushed everyone with Christmas presents at Thanksgiving last year, forcing us to open everything, while my mother and brother and SIL's friend watched awkwardly for an hour. She tried to pull that crap again this year and we nipped in the bud.

For Christmas, I wish for you a MIL to drive you nuts and send you into therapy, so long as it comes with a DH who does not!


Create good traditions now... don't wait until the little one comes along. I just decided to start a tradition with my friend, which is to have a lovely lunch once a month. http://thedestinywithin.blogspot.com/

P.S. It sucks what happened to you, I could not imagine putting a child in the position, never mind my own child. WTH!!!

It hurt my heart to think of a young girl in such an awful position during the holidays. I have found that kids are a wonderful way to start fresh with things the way you want them to be- I just need to make sure they have a little piggy bank to save for therapy too :). Horrible holidays notwithstanding, I also think about how many parts of your life seem so fabulous from the outside (your writing career, living somewhere you love, your friends). You have not settled for an awful husband but are waiting for a good one. Way to go girl.

Yikes, that does sound like a doozy with the stepfamily. I hear you about the rounds and rounds of presents -- Thom's family used to do that, so he was astonished and chagrined to see my family tear through our (comparatively few) presents, all of us pretty much simultaneously, cheerfully, and very f*king fast -- and then we got straight on to eating and watching TV. It's funny, because my parents, as Chinese immigrants, simply picked and chose what they liked about American Christmas (a real tree with homemade ornaments, some presents, a yummy holiday turkey dinner, and of course Catholic Mass) and completely disregarded the rest (endless rounds of gift-opening, ostentatious displays, any pretense that Santa Claus existed, etc.). (Thom thinks I totally missed out because I never ever believed in Santa Claus, not even when I was very very very young. I have allowed him to perpetrate the myth on our kids. It's cute.) Allllll this to say... you ARE needed, Christmastime or otherwise. The world and the holidays are a better place for having you in it.

The great thing is that once you start your traditions--Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day, first day of school, last day of school, birthday, etc., I really believe that much of this pain will go away. I think once you have something HUGE AND MEANINGFUL in your life (in this case a wonderful little person) you're so filled with it that you forget the past without. At least, that's my experience with my husband. Once I met him I never gave a second thought to all those past solo weddings, etc. I just started to enjoy the present.

And, yes, I do enjoy our family stocking tradition... although this year it's a no-go cuz I'm about to give birth and everything's up in the air...

BTW, I like the nice-lunch-once-a-month tradtion. Let me know if you want to start it together!

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