This isn’t one of those ‘woe is me’ posts but I want to share my reasons for why this Christmas is more important to me than any Christmas for as long as I can remember.
To explain fully, we need to rewind a little bit to Christmas 2016 when I was off work sick following a hemorrhoidectomy operation that I’d had at the end of September. Prior to the operation, I’d been in a lot of pain with a thrombosed haemorrhoid since the end of June time and after the operation, the pain was unbelievable was quite a while so I was on quite strong painkillers for lengthy periods throughout that year.
By the time Christmas rolled around that year, I was starting to feel well enough to consider going back to work but I was still in pain and coping with all sorts of (completely unfounded) anxiety about going back to work as well as being more than a little traumatised about the previous six months. Honestly, read my post about my operation – I had to sign a disclaimer to say that it had been explained to me that I would experience ‘intense’ pain afterwards.
I didn’t have the energy to get out and about with the kids in December so I couldn’t take them on the usual pre-Christmas days out that we always do, and even though I had a lovely friend who took them along with her family, it still didn’t feel right to me as I wanted to be there with them. Then there was Christmas day itself which most definitely wasn’t awesome as I was determined to do Christmas Dinner on my own but completely failed. Overall, I ended the day feeling like a complete failure snuggled on the settee under a blanket wiped out by 8pm.
Christmas 2017 was almost as bad but in a completely different way as my lovely old Dad had to move into a home the previous July and he really didn’t want to be there. He hated getting old and being unable to do the things he could do before and I was the person who he vented to on an almost daily basis.
He then had a fall and needed a hip replacement operation which was his second in just a few years. He gave up at that point and didn’t seem to want to get better so his recovery was extremely slow and added to that, his mental health deteriorated massively following his operation and he was extremely confused at times. My heart broke a little bit every time we visited in November and December last year as he just wasn’t my Dad anymore.
He wasn’t allowed to come to us for Christmas as he just wasn’t well enough so we had a special Christmas Dinner with him at the home the week before Christmas. He really just wasn’t feeling it though so although we visited a few times between that and Christmas Day, we didn’t visit on Christmas Day itself. I just wanted Christmas to be better for the kids than it was the year before and it was getting progressively more difficult for them to see their Grandad as he was. I knew it wouldn’t make a difference to him and even when we rang him on Christmas Day, he wasn’t that aware that it was Christmas and just had his usual vent to me about how he hated getting old.
(This is definitely sounding like a ‘woe is me’ post isn’t it? I promise it’s not but I do have a bit more sad stuff to get on to before we get to the good stuff – bear with me.)
January and February this year were filled with sickness bugs, colds and stresses about my Dad and then, in March, my lovely Dad passed away unexpectedly which honestly was as much of a relief as anything else. I literally got a call at about 11pm to say that I needed to get to the hospital where he was being taken and within a few hours I was back home after having held his hand as he took his last breath. I saw him afterwards and all I remember is thinking that he looked like the Dad I remember and not the Dad he’d become over the past six months or so.
Obviously, it goes without saying that I was devastated but I think it was easier than it might have been because deep down I know that I’d really lost him the year before – if not when he moved into the home then definitely when he had his hip operation. The kids were absolutely heartbroken, more so than I expected if I’m honest, and when we lost another much-loved member of the family very soon after, we struggled even more and the next couple of months were just about putting the pieces back together as a family.
We had a bit of a blip in September when Master Frugal was really poorly in the hospital with a concussion and a burst appendix but after a scary week, we were able to take him home and he’s back on his feet now after a month of school!
Hopefully, now that I’ve explained the reason that the last two years haven’t been the best for us then you can understand a little bit better why this Christmas has become super important to me. I want us to do all the days out and Christmas fun that we’ve missed out on over the last few years and although I know the kids are older now, I hope that this year can be filled with all of our favourite family traditions and that we can make it the most magical Christmas that we’ve ever had!
Our Alternative Advent Calendar is ready to go on the 1st December and is filled with so much Christmas fun and I’ve made a deliberate effort to keep my calendar as clear as possible so I’m around as much as possible throughout December. We’ve got a few days out planned and I’m even hopeful that Christmas Dinner will be a success this year!
And that my friends, is why (and how) I’m bringing the magic back into our lives this Christmas.:)
(I should say that I don’t want you to feel sorry for us. 😉 We’ve had some fabulous times together in the last few years and it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. We’ve coped with everything that life has thrown at us and I do believe that we’re stronger as a family and as individuals for everything we’ve been through. I should also say that I know lots of people have had to go through so much more and that what’s happened to us isn’t that big in the grand scheme of things but it’s felt big to us.)
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address here and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on Twitter, BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram. You can find out more about me here.