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I abhor the holidays, but I have young kids

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Nature_Girl posted 11/29/2013 01:50 AM

I just absolutely abhor the holidays. I didn't used to, but they've been turned into something crass, shallow, unfulfilling, and I no longer feel authentic celebrating them in any traditional way. In large part this is because EX has so completely mind-fucked the children, they are just the worst people possible at this time of year. He always thought it was funny to completely warp their perspective on the holidays, the meaning of the season, everything. It breaks my heart to see them change, and this year is the worst ever. I'd get after him about what he was doing, he'd just curse at me & do it anyway.

If it were just me I'd volunteer at a soup kitchen or Meals on Wheels or something on the holidays. Or could I do that anyway with kids?

Anyone here volunteer on T-day or Christmas WITH their young children? How did it work out for you? How did you manage it?

I cannot go through this again. I will not. I will not live my life like this.

hexed posted 11/29/2013 02:02 AM

NG -- I'm dealing with a similar feeling about the holidays and have for the last few years. This year we're taking the kids to the veterans retirement home in our city. We're going to go play cards with the veterans that can't be with their families on Christmas. We're going to do a small family thing in the morning and go their for a few hours in the afternoon. We're talking about going once a month

Pick something that matters to you, call and ask about the kids. There's bound to be something that the kids can be included in

timeforchange posted 11/29/2013 05:00 AM

My dad used to volunteer in a unit for mentally handicapped adults where the residents lived out their whole lives.

On Christmas morning whilst mom cooked the lunch my father drove us there to visit.

Yes it was a bit intimidating but I still remember the joy on those patients faces that children had come in to see them.

Those were different times and most of the patients had been abandoned at birth and had no visitors ever, let alone on Chistmas Day.

It sure made us appreciate our own family and home at Christmas.

I wish you luck in reclaiming the holidays for you and the children.

suckstobeme posted 11/29/2013 05:58 AM

There are lots of opportunities to get the kids involved in holiday charities. If they are too little to handle being in the thick of a soup kitchen and serving food, there are lots of other things with which they can get involved. See if there is a charity in your area where you can pick a family to sponsor. You pick out, buy, and wrap small gifts for families that don't have money to put anything under a tree this year. The kids could be totally involved in that.

Minimizing the glitz and materialism of Christmas is ok. You don't have to not do that just because your ex has a different view. The kids will absorb both and it would be awesome for you to show them this other, very important side of it all.

cmego posted 11/29/2013 06:27 AM

My ex is spoils the children, wants to buy them big gifts.

I, on the other hand, find an Angel Tree and let the kids pick out kids to shop for. We talk about how these kids have very little and we have so much.

Then, their school has a group they collect for, my children spend their own allowance on buying for others.

I do volunteer work all year, which is an organization that provides fresh food to the local food bank/Meals on Wheels. Next year my oldest will be able to go with me. I want to instill volunteering for others as a part of your life, plus doing extra around the holidays.

monarchwings posted 11/29/2013 07:19 AM

Not to hijack this thread but I am interested in finding volunteering opportunities for me and my my DD's 11 & 6. I think its important to help counterbalance the consumerism we are bombarded with all year long and I want to start new traditions for us.

NaiveAgain posted 11/29/2013 07:55 AM

Nursing or retirement homes are also wonderful places to volunteer. Many of them are thrilled to have volunteers come in and spend time with their elderly. The kids could make Christmas cards or decorations to give out (just check with the home, each one is a bit different.)

If you know a family or single person that is having a rough time in your community, making cookies or a meal for them can be really appreciated.

I make cookies and pass them out to certain people in my community to thank them for their hard work. This year, I am going to have DD help me. We will take them to the post office (those people know me by name), the waste removal people on trash morning, and a few others.

numbandnauseous posted 11/30/2013 15:10 PM

I admire you for wanting to turn this around, NG!

My kids love to dress up in costumes. My two dressed up, one like Santa and the other like an elf and we went to the local nursing home. We passed out care packages (chapstick, socks, crackers) and had so much fun. The kids loved looking at everyone's room and all the trinkets they had in them. The nursing home residents loved having a visit from little children.

I know money is tight, so I like the idea of having your kids make cards or ornaments to put on the tree. Just being there is all they want, though - you don't really have to bring anything.

I called the nursing home first and they let me know the parameters (when to visit, what we could bring). It was great. One of my children's favorite part was when one of the residents asked my child to push their rolling table closer to them. My child felt so good to be able to help!

I hope you have fun with whatever new traditions you decide on, NG!

Griefstricken25 posted 11/30/2013 19:30 PM

I just made an inquiry to our local soup kitchen to find out if the kids can come help serve with me on Christmas Day (or whenever they might need us). I hope they'll accommodate, because I think it would be a wonderful thing to do with them.

Make a few calls and see if it would work. Or see if your food bank needs volunteers to put together hampers, or something.


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