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.


Share your thoughts below.

  1. True. There have been times in my life when I truly dreaded Christmas and wished I could dissappear somewhere until it was over.
    These days however, while its still not my favourite time, I have adjusted to my smaller family and just make the best I can with what I have.
    We feel that we are pretty good at Christmas. We keep it simple, no fuss, no stress.
    And I am big on decor, so I am really into that side of it. Have started sprucing up, making and looking out for just the right decorations at the best price.
    And I am loving it!

  2. Have you thought of visiting your children overseas, or is that not possible? Is there a homeless shelter nearby that you could volunteer your time on Christmas Day? And how do you know your friends wouldn’t want you ‘tagging along’ if you haven’t asked? They probably think you are OK and would be devastated to know you are lonely. Please tell them and also your children. Alternatively, rent some good movies, buy all your favourite food, and indulge in a movie fest. Most of what you see in magazines and on the tv is fake anyway. All designed by marketeers to make us think we are failures if we don’t comply. Take care.

  3. I am going on a short trip on a coach over Christmas. I will be with people in the same situation and it should be fun

    • this does not help it is not to much to expect to see your children at xmas-not every year but sometimes.

  4. I’m so blessed to have family at Christmas (warts and all) and also to belong to a caring Church congregation.
    But I do know there are many lonely people who dread Christmas. I also know that some of those people volunteer every Christmas to help provide a Christmas lunch for the less fortunate. That seems to help.
    Also an annual self-indulgent “me” thing, like doing a jigsaw puzzle, helped me during the Christmases I was separated from my family.

  5. Ruth Sullivan  

    Personally I choose to ignore Christmas Day but you need to get involved go help put at the shelter or at an orphanage they are always needing volunteers.

  6. Definitely…..some don’t talk to each other, some prefer to spend it with in laws, my home isn’t fancy enough for their taste, the family feel has gone. I can’t please all of them, but can’t please myself because I still need to do the best I can for the few who want to be here with me. It’s a difficult few days…..roll on January.

  7. Think there seems to be be a lot of pressure at Xmas – trying to organize a family gathering that blends in with everyones else arrangements can be difficult, and with four children and partners its more difficult than with a smaller family. But its one time when we all make an effort due t the fact that we dont manage to get together throughout the year – I told me family this is my time with them especially. I do remember lonely Xmas times many years ago and feel for those who dread this time f the year.

    • I can only dream of my four children being together.i would love a photo of my kids oarnters and grand kids just once I can’t see it happening sadly. I get very jealous of my sister in law who has entire family pics on fb. I mind it very faithful

  8. I’ll be on my own again this year, my son lives on the UK and has decided with his wife to go to Singapore and enjoy Xmas with his wife’s family, my daughter and her husband and children (who live in Sydney )has yet again made plans for Xmas with her best friend and her family, so I will be by myself again, I have all their presents which I will send to her via courier. I will make myself a lovely meal and try to relax and try not to think of my children.

  9. Is it possible for you to visit your children? Otherwise, there are many functions for people who are alone on Christmas Day. Here in Newcastle there is a Christmas lunch for anyone who wants. All the trimmings, company and the possibility of new friends. Even if you are not a churchgoer, the Christmas Day service could be a nice thing to do. Lunch at a club, requesting a large table where you meet new people. It sounds as though you want company, so perhaps explore some options. Good luck.

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