“Do you have children?” I was selling books at an author’s fair earlier this month when a children’s book author asked me the question, hoping to sell me some of her picture books.
“No, I don’t,” I said.
“Nieces and nephews?”
“All grown up.” I couldn’t wait to get away from her and move on to books for grownups.
It’s hard for people whose lives are immersed in children to understand people who have no little ones in their lives. At this time of year, most of my friends are busy buying Christmas presents for their kids and grandkids. They jam the toy aisles at the stores looking for presents that will elicit squeals of joy on Christmas morning. Meanwhile I’m looking at calendars, candles, books, and scarves because everyone on my list is an adult. Even the “kids” in our family are over 21 at this point, with no babies on the way.
Lots of people say Christmas is for children, with all this business about Santa Claus and presents. For those of us without kids, it can be a difficult season. Not only do we not have kids to shop for, but we’re thrown into situations with friends and family who are obsessed with their children.
I could preach about how Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus and how the focus should be on Him. For me, it is. It has to be. He’s the only baby coming to me this Christmas. Plus I work at my church as a music minister. But I know not all of you are Christians, and I’m not here to convert you.
No matter what you believe religion-wise, there are lots of good things to appreciate at this time of year: the food, decorations, gifts, time off from work or school, and time to spend with loved ones. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, you might want to get involved in one of the charities helping others during the holidays.
People will ask about your children. People will try to sell you toys. Tell them the truth, that you don’t have any kids, but you do have a dog or a cat or a hamster. Or just change the subject.
You could even run away for the holidays. A friend of mine who has three grown children and several grandchildren is renting a timeshare at the beach far from any of them this year because some are going to their in-law’s home in the Midwest and the others drive her crazy. She and her husband plan to spend a quiet day sipping hot toddies and ignoring the insanity of Christmas.
If the holidays bring you nothing but pain, you might want to follow her example and run away until it’s over. Why not?
How are you surviving the holidays? Please share in the comments.
8 thoughts on “Don’t let Christmas without kids get you down”
I'm just about to start a new job so except for Christmas day I'll be working through the week which I hope will help it pass by quickly without me noticing much. In the past, Atlantic City or Las Vegas were good options because they are not kid friendly. Or one of the many adults-only Carribean resorts is a great escape option for couples. I haven't tried going during Christmas yet, but I wonder if other childless couples do that. Might be a great place to meet some new friends in a similar situation.
Why did that lady have to keep asking so many of those questions? Some people are stuck on stupid.
Anon Dec. 11, lots of good suggestions. Why be miserable when you could be having fun?
Anon Dec. 12, I think that woman just couldn't imagine how anyone could have a life without kids in it. Plus she was anxious to sell her books.
I had someone say, “Well you’re probably not stressed because, I mean you don't really have anyone to buy for, do you?
Ouch. That's really cold. How do you answer that gracefully?
Sue, that someone couldn't imagine a life without kids makes HER kind of pathetic. She is the one who needs to get a life. JMO.
I had someone say the same thing to me: You’re not really stressed because you really don't have anyone to buy for, right? I mean she actually asked me that. I must say if one more person says something like that I am going to scream!! To make it worse, we had my stepson and his wife live near us for the last four years and since before the baby was born. I had really bonded with him and they just moved, so this year is a hard holiday, another loss. What is wrong with people that they have no compassion?? I swear they need to teach people in health class to actually think of someone other than themselves.. And the fact that they can't do that on Christmas is even sadder. Sorry to rant, but I can't help it.
I know I am late to this party but chiming in to say hubby and I ran away last Christmas & it didn't turn out well. I was sick the entire time, completely miserable. And on top of that….I felt guilty. My own family doesn't care but boy, my step-daughter did. All in all, I won't do that again. I have run away for New Year’s Eve though with hubby & that went great.What boggles my mind is my grandkids have seven sets of grandparents. This alone brings soooo many questions. How many presents are too many? Sometimes my stepdaughter doesn't have realistic expectations, but trust me, she is more realistic than certain other family members.