Why I’m dreading Christmas

Christmas doesn’t always mean fun and family – I know this all too well. And I’m not looking for sympathy

Christmas doesn’t always mean fun and family – I know this all too well. And I’m not looking for sympathy either, just trying to offer a different perspective on a time of year that’s purported to be full of joy and frivolity.

I myself have two children, and both live overseas and have for years. After their father passed, they felt it was easier to stay in their respective adopted countries for Christmas than to come home to see their mum. As a result, I get quite sad knowing that Christmas is just around the corner.

The decorations and the jingles and carols all remind me of the Christmases I spent alone as a child. I was the only child of my parents. My father was in the RAAF, meaning we had to move around every year or so, which in turn made it harder to make friends. I would get one small present for Christmas then we would eat dinner in silence before going to bed very early. My parents nonchalance towards Christmas was not passed down to me and I tried to make it as enjoyable and fun as I could for my own children.

They would be showered in gifts and play with their cousins every Christmas and run around on the beach. Those times were great but I haven’t had an enjoyable Christmas for over 20 years. I don’t remember the last time I had a tree or decorated, and this is coming from a woman who was raised as a strict Catholic!

I live quite a secluded life in an inner city suburb and have few friends who are available on Christmas to celebrate with me. Tagging along to their own events just seems a bit desperate and they probably wouldn’t want me there anyway…

I wonder if there are other over 60s like me who will be spending Christmas alone? Whether it’s because they don’t have children or theirs don’t see them on Christmas Day. I don’t know where to go or what to do but some years I’ve just caught the train to the end of the line or walked around the city. I hope one year I can have a Christmas that I hear about or see on TV but until then I’ll be trying to pretend it’s not happening.


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