Flying Solo during the holidays is not something that is foreign to me. I’ve spent many a Christmas alone (with my family). In fact, I’ve even spent a Christmas all alone during my traveling years. But this year, it’s all quite different really. I’m alone, but not alone at all. It’s me plus one, plus sippy cups, nappies, spit up, feeding spoons, bibs, and… and… and…
The funny thing about Christmas is that it brings out the best (and often worst) in all of us. Too much wine, nostalgia and general family dysfunction can give us all a full range of emotional highs (and lows) all in an instant. This Christmas has had a bit of everything.
Being alone this Christmas hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been too bloody busy and sleep deprived to let it get to me too much. Besides, my husband never celebrated Christmas anyway, so it’s not like I’m missing out on any of the romance… But when at a Boxing day luncheon with my family and my younger BROTHER was mistaken for both my husband and Bo’s papa by another unrelated guest, I realised that being a single mama with a baby on Christmas, well, it’s just not something people expect. My brother is a lovely human being, but I couldn’t help but wonder why this woman had made such an assumption… particularly seeing as my mother had asked him to do baby duty, whilst I had a moment to myself, and his response was… I’m watching the cricket. The worst part (most hilarious part) about the whole thing was this was not the first time this has happened. In fact, the last time we were mistaken as a couple it was far worse.
About six years ago my brother and I car pooled to a family Christmas function, we are more-or-less estranged from much of our extended family due to some pretty dysfunctional family stuff that happened in our childhood. Split families and all that. But, we arrived at our Aunts place this Christmas together, not with our dad, or with our other siblings (of which there are many), but just the two of us. This made sense for various reasons, as we were living together at the time and didn’t want to both bring cars. We knocked on the door and our Aunt answered, big smile on her face looking right at my brother. “Oh J! She said. So glad you are here…. Merry Christmas.” To which my brother dutifully smiled and nodded returning the sentiments. My Aunt then turned to me and said, “Hello there, you must be J’s new girlfriend, it’s so nice to meet you.” Cue the embarrassment on all fronts as I had to remind her that no, in fact, J is my brother and I am her niece. Nothing a few (or more) Christmas beverages can’t help wash away… right?
Happy holidays friends. I hope each and every one of you is surrounded by love (if not lovers), good food, good conversation, family (even if dysfunctional) and lots of peace and quiet (or just a little bit, at the right time).