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Forums / Staying well / What Christmas time means for me....

Topic: What Christmas time means for me....

20 posts, 0 answered
  1. Aaronsis
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    697 posts
    30 October 2019

    Hey BB people

    With Christmas fast approaching it brings thoughts to my mind about a whole swag of things, people who will be at my table, my loved ones, friends that I will be able to catch up with, some time off work, time to spend with my beautiful children..however this Christmas will be the first without my brother, it makes me realize that sometimes Christmas is a gentle reminder that things perhaps aren't so great...

    I would love to know what Christmas means for you and if it is a difficult time, what will you be doing to stay well/happy/safe?

    Thanks for the chat

    Aaronsis

    2 people found this helpful
  2. sparrowhawk
    sparrowhawk avatar
    154 posts
    30 October 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    hi Aaronsis. Great topic. I am sending you positive thoughts and good vibes.

    I am a Christian and generally at Christmas I find myself praying in a special way for people who are bereaved, or who are marking their first Christmas without a loved one, so for what it's worth, know you will be in my prayers.

    Christmas does have religious significance, but it is hard for me too. For the past few years I have not celebrated Christmas with my family - just due to my life circumstances, not because I don't want to or am estranged from them. It has been challenging at times, for my parents and for me. I am able to see them around the Christmas season which is great. I actually prefer the Easter holidays due to the fact they are less family-oriented and stir up fewer difficult feelings.

    This Christmas I will be working; not on Christmas Day itself, but the days around it. After Christmas I will be having a few days off so that will be nice. I work in a hospital and actually feel something positive in being able to be with people who are spending the holidays here or who are sick and unable to go home. I know the value of being with family and so this year I really want to bring some of that love and family spirit to others. I think it also serves me well, as it gives me some extra purpose and something to look forward to.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Aaronsis
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    30 October 2019 in reply to sparrowhawk

    Hey Sparrowhawk

    Thank you for your message and for thinking of me on Christmas Day,

    That is so beautiful that you will be able to spend your Christmas at the hospital with people who are not with their families or who are ill, that is so very kind and so very special. I was thinking of taking my kids somewhere to volunteer on Christmas Day but have to put some more thought into how that will come to fruition.

    Great way to spend Christmas, thanks SH.

    Cheers

    AS

  4. Yarraman
    Yarraman avatar
    2 posts
    12 November 2019

    Hi Aaronsis,

    I find Christmas hard for me why I don't know. I have my 2 children and hubby which we try and get together and celebrate. My daughter is wonderful and helps with the cooking etc. Maybe it's because I had my first break down around then. 13yrs ago. Not being with other family members. I don't know. This one will be especially hard as I lost my dad this yr to a tragic accident. His birthday was in Oct and I was a mess for 2 days leading up to it. Didn't realize how this has effected me. Was coping good till then. If I could go somewhere where Christmas isn't a big thing would be great. I know it's silly but that's how I feel. I work in the community as a personal carer and that helps me as I treat our clients like a friend and respect.

    I said this the other day, I wish I didn't care too much. The reply I got was if you didn't care, who would. It sounds selfish I know, but it's how I feel at the moment. Hope all is well with you.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Aaronsis
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    13 November 2019 in reply to Yarraman

    Hello again Yarraman and thank you for sharing with me what Christmas means for you and how it makes you feel.

    The pressure of this day is so very much when we are already in the process of grieving and this is Christmas I will be like you, really missing a very much loved one and the anticipation of that is so foreign and unknown and I am not sure how to prepare for the day. I am not sure why, as it really is "just another day", however it is the bells and whistles that go with the day..the "shoulds"...you should be with family, you should be laughing and loving and unwrapping presents, you should be seeing friends and loved ones....just a whole lot of shoulds.

    It is most certainly not silly what we are feeling and it is all apart of the process of life and I guess for me, I just have to think about what i am going to put in place to manage the day and even like you said, the few days leading up to it.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and thank you for your work that you do as a career, I hear you 100%....it is times like now that you think.."I care so much, but who is caring for me?"...and that is when you come here and have a chat and get a big virtual hug and a smile.

    Hope today brings you something to smile at, great to chat to you.

    Hugs

    AS

  6. Jayne106
    Jayne106 avatar
    36 posts
    13 November 2019

    I have always loved Christmas and enjoy everything that goes with it but I am struggling to get into the spirit this year when my husband has just walked out on our family.

    I know I should feel lucky that our boys want to wake up at home on xmas morning with me and I am also lucky that I will have all my family for support on the day although I am dreading not waking up in the morning and rolling over to kiss my husband merry christmas.

    I am dreading watchinh every one else have their partners there for Xmas and he won't be with me. It is a horrible sad feeling.

    It is also the feeling of knowing that he has had a difficult time recently and what he will be like on Christmas morning when he wakes to no one there with him in hos new place. I have asked him to go spend ot with family he has but he has said he wants to be alone.

    our children have said they will go to him for a couple of hours but they really want to be at home having Christmas as they know it.

    He worries me all the time with how he could be feeling so much I haven't looked after my own mental health and being the lead up to this day makes it worse.

    Not sure how everyone else finds a way to cope as I really don't want to destroy Christmas for my kids or family but I know that it is going to be such an emotional day.

    I love my husband and really hope one day we will be spending xmas togather again as a couple and family.

    this forum has been so great to keep me holding things together when I really just want to fall apart every second of the day

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Wrinklz
    Wrinklz avatar
    3 posts
    13 November 2019 in reply to Yarraman
    If I have accidentally cut off mid answer I apologise. The first 14 years of my life bought embarrassment, anger and confusion. I grew up in a jehovah witness family and never understood why celebrations for non witnesses were not for us. I left home when I was 15 in 1977 and didn’t really celebrate my first Christmas with a family until I met my first husband at 20 years old. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t understand the gift ideas, because I somehow kept the ideology in my head that I was a sinner. My first husband even gave me my first birthday present and I felt so embarrassed. I am with a new husband now and after 24 years of celebrations with only his family, I feel nothing but sadness for what my family doesn’t realise what they are missing out on. I haven’t spoken to any of my family except my dad who sadly passed away in December 4 years ago. But have heard not a word from them for over 20 years. So if you want to feel a little sad at Christmas, you let it out, because bottling it all up is not healthy for us. I consider myself a Christian, I feel these times are for sharing the love and loss. I feel for you I really do. I wish you all the best and your patients are right, if you didn’t care who would. Good luck.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. Aaronsis
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    13 November 2019 in reply to Jayne106

    Hi Jayne106

    Thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry that Christmas is bringing you sadness too. I am so proud of you though for wanting to "keep it all together" so that your boys have a wonderful day, that is such a huge thing to do and just shows what a beautiful and caring mother and woman you are. They are so lucky to have you and I am sure that they know this.

    I am divorced from my husband and we are actually better friends now that when we separated. I am not sure how long it has been for you but the future does not always turn out the way we role play it in our head. By that I mean the good things too..sometimes we are so focused on the bad and the sad that we don't give thought to the other side. Maybe one day in the future you might be able to share a meal at Christmas as a family, be it breakfast where you open presents together and have a small amount of time as a family. I still consider my "old" married life as my family and we work together to give our kids the best version of "family" that we can, that works for us. I am so very grateful for this and know it is not like this for everyone, but who knows, in the future, when some healing has been done, you might have a version of your "family" too.

    I hear how sad you are and they day will be hard to manage but hopefully for you with the love around you of your boys and your family you can find something beautiful in the day to smile about, that is what I am going to try to be doing too.

    Thank you for sharing and big hugs to you,

    AS

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Jayne106
    Jayne106 avatar
    36 posts
    13 November 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Thanks aaronsis for the kind words.

    He officially moved out 2 weeks ago and collected the last of his stuff yesterday. He was at home before that for 5 weeks but didn't want to try and work at the marriage.

    It is purely soul destroying.

    I am so broken and I know the closer it gets to xmas the worse it will become.

    He is the one who doesn't love me and doesn't want to be involved in our family any more. I am the one who loves him so very much and I am thr one wanting to do whatever it takes to get back our marriage. I have never felt so upset.

    Learning that the more i beg... push and show how upset I am the more he is likely to retreat further so I am now going to allow him the space and time he had asked for and hope he realises that I am not a monster and that our love was / is worth fighting for. It would be so nice to be able to support him through hos darkess times but i know he feels he needs to take control of his life and be alone.

    Hope is all I have right now and ky children and I am hoping that is enough to pull me through this as at the moment it doesn't feel like it is enough.

    The days are long and the nights are horrible and even longer. I sit and try to smell his pillow and what belongings were left and now it is all gone.

    I am worried how I continue my life without him in my world. I have told him I love him and I will wait for him if he needs me I will be there for him.

    Honestly not sure if I should just give up on hoping he will change his mind once he gets some help mentally. I never knew he could get to this point and I feel so guilty I never saw the signs.

  10. br0kenmum
    br0kenmum avatar
    1 posts
    19 November 2019

    This is the first Christmas since my husband left me and our three year old for his mistress. I'm trying my very hardest to create an amazing experience for my son as its the first Christmas he is excited for but it's just so hard. Every thing just seems way more difficult than it was when I thought I was happily married financially, physically and emotionally. My son will be spending part of the day with his dad and this breaks my heart, I didn't chose any of this and it's not fair that I have to miss out because my husband is a jerk.

  11. Aaronsis
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    20 November 2019 in reply to br0kenmum

    Hey br0kenmum

    I am so very sorry that you are having such sadness and panic on the lead up to Christmas. It is so hard to get through these days with the expectations of what "should" be happening on the day, that we "should" be feeling excited and gifts flowing and laughter...I am hearing you in that you want to provide a wonderful Christmas for your son and that is so very wonderful of you as you are hurting and feeling so lousy, what an amazing mum you are.

    On the first Christmas that I had with my kids after my husband and I separated I thought about how I was going to get through the day, with comparing the old, what we used to do..then I thought.."hey, I need to make my own day now with new traditions and make this about me and my kids"....so that is what I did, now at Christmas time we do a Christmas Eve thing..where they get to pick what is for dinner, we sit around and I put together a small box of special little things they like, not spending too much, just some little things they love, and we watch a movie together....then in the morning I make a huge fuss about brekky, we sometimes do waffles or pancakes or whatever it is that we have decided...then we do presents. It kind of makes the day a bit different from what we did in the past and these are our new traditions and it helps....we also take a tonne of selfies and try to laugh as much as we can.

    I am so sorry you are feeling so very sad and I hope I have given you some ideas to help with the new way Christmas can look for you.

    Hugs

    AS

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Doolhof
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    7216 posts
    21 November 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Everyone,

    Christmas can certainly be a very sad and lonely time for some people.

    I really like Aorinsis suggestions and examples of how to make Christmas new, different and meaningful for what your life is at present.

    One year I assisted with a community Christmas lunch. I really enjoyed being a part of that. Due to family expectations I have not done that again since, but remember what it was like being with people who had wanted to be with others on Christmas Day.

    Writing here how you are feeling can certainly help. If your children are old enough, encourage them to talk about how they are feeling around Christmas and what their expectations are.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I like to light a candle for those who are not able to be with us for one reason or another.

    I try to invite other people around for Christmas when possible, friends I know who don't have family close by.

    One year we had a $5.00 mystery gift. All the presents were put in a box and you pulled one out. After the gifts were open, there was a lot of bartering and laughter happening. It was fun.

    Our family have told us what we are doing this year, so guess we will follow those plans and make the most of Christmas along the way.

    Cheers all from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  13. 2quik
    2quik avatar
    88 posts
    3 December 2019 in reply to Doolhof
    Christmas is usually a very horrible painful time for me every single year.

    Letting go of my mother recently well I don't have words right now. Words are just not enough.

    I am not wanting to sit and mope this year I decided today. I want to be happy on that day. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet but I do want to be happy. That is my Christmas wish. Currently I'm trying to find someone who has no one for Christmas either and would like to hang out with me and have fun, be happy, laugh and joke. I really hope that for me this year.

    Sarah, I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas. I'm sure you will all find a way to include Aaron.

    Big hugs.

    Lee.
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Aaronsis
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    4 December 2019 in reply to 2quik

    Thanks so very much for your kind words and I am hoping that we will have a really lovely day. I think we will cry some and laugh some and I am just not going to try to place any extra pressure on us on the day and just try to roll with it and go with the flow.

    THanks so very much Lee, you are so very kind and caring.

    Hugs

    Sarah

  15. 2quik
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    88 posts
    5 December 2019 in reply to Aaronsis
    You are welcome Sarah.

    Lee. x
  16. Doolhof
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    5 December 2019 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah and Lee and All,

    At Christmas I like to light a candle to represent all the loved ones who are no longer with us.

    One year we were overseas for Christmas on a bus tour. Our group for some reason were in a restaurant by ourselves on Christmas Day. It seemed really isolating and brought back sad memories. I cried and cried that day in front of everyone, and you know what, it didn't matter.

    I believe we need to do what feels right at the time, if it is crying, laughing or even a combination of both during the celebration of Christmas, then that is how it will be.

    Thinking of you both with compassion and for all who are missing loved ones for one reason or another.

    Cheers from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  17. 2quik
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    88 posts
    5 December 2019 in reply to Doolhof
    Thank you Dools for sharing and for the compassion too. I was getting so stressed and anxious around it that I just stopped. I still don't know what I'm doing but without the anxiety and stress I can at least think somewhat straight.

    Lee.
  18. Doolhof
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    6 December 2019 in reply to 2quik

    Hi Lee,

    Another thing I find helpful around any time of sadness is to write about it. I grab pen and paper and write until there are no thoughts left. It helps to let go of all the emotions and thoughts you have and to consider why I feel this way.

    This usually produces tears, they are healing. Then I try to find some activity that will bring me some peace , or maybe an inactivity, like just sitting and doing nothing for a while.

    We can have huge expectations around Christmas.

    My sister has just sent out a family email asking what we are doing about presents this year. The thought of Christmas sends me into a panic attack sometimes!

    I need to grab a pen and paper myself I think! I need to accept I struggle with Christmas and work out how I am going to manage this year.

    Sending you and all who struggle with Christmas some inner peace.

    Cheers from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  19. 2quik
    2quik avatar
    88 posts
    6 December 2019 in reply to Doolhof
    Hi Dools.

    I agree writing is a good tool. I do sometimes. At this point I don't want to feel, think, work things out or write. I don't feel ready. This week hit me hard, really damn hard. It was the final last extremely hard and painful thing I needed to action. Cutting contact with my mother. My heart is shattered, I'm deeply sad and I am grieving.

    When I'm ready to pick up a pen I will.

    I'm done with Christmas Dools. Truly done.

    On a good news note a friend of mine is flying to where I live from Perth and we are going camping for a whole week! She has no one for Christmas either and we both love camping and the outdoors. I got my Christmas wish. To have a happy Christmas and I will. We have both discussed that it is not Christmas for us, we are not engaging in Christmas Festivities or anything to do with Christmas. We are just going to have a great time. I'm so happy. One load off my plate.

    I hope that somehow you find your inner peace this season.

    Lee.
  20. Doolhof
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    6 December 2019 in reply to 2quik

    Hi Lee,

    Hope you have an excellent time camping! That sounds like a wonderful idea. I used to like camping, now my aching body enjoys a few more comforts than a tent and an air mattress with a hole in it! Ha. Ha.

    One time I went camping, I forget the tent pegs and poles. I used some wool for my craft project, sticks and rocks to hold the tent in place.

    I'm not thinking too much about Christmas, as it is doing my head in a little when I do. I guess part of it is other people's expectations around Christmas as well.

    I like your idea of camping!

    I'm sure I will sort of get organised some time! As long as I stay out of hospital this year leading up to Christmas I will be happy!

    Cheers to you from Dools

    1 person found this helpful

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