A Different Kind of Christmas

Many of our Christmases look a little different due to Wyatt having to spend every other Christmas with his dad and my having to work double shifts on Christmas Eve which means I miss the family gathering. So the past several years my kids would go spend Christmas Eve with my parents while I was working so they could at least see their aunts, uncles, and cousins then when I got off of work we’d all go watch a movie at the theater after hours. We’d get home around 9 o’clock. The kids would get ready for bed. If Wyatt was home we would celebrate Christmas on the 25th but if he was at his dad’s we would celebrate around the 28th. My parents would come over to open gifts and have dinner. It would be a fun relaxing day. One that we look forward to. We love having my parents and older sister over for Christmas dinner.

The kids were excited when I switched occupations because that meant I no longer have to work on holidays. This would be the first Christmas in recent past where I would not have to leave them to go to work. We knew once this pandemic started that our holidays would be different. Wyatt is high risk. We have only been around my older sister (I’m her ride back and forth to work, the store, and her place to do laundry; we practically live together!) and my parents. We haven’t been around my brothers and their families. We planned a quiet Christmas here at home for the 28th since this is Wyatt’s year to go to his dad’s for Christmas. My parents and sister were going to come over for dinner and a gift exchange. It would have been a relaxing couple of hours spent together though we would have missed getting to see my brothers and their families. That was the plan.

A few weeks ago my mom sent out a message via the family group chat telling everyone that they will not be having the family over for Christmas this year. Instead they would be making contactless deliveries of the gifts that would have been exchanged on Christmas Eve. With my parents both being high risk it wasn’t worth getting everyone together and possibly getting them sick. That didn’t change our plans though. I’m at their house all the time helping them with things that they can’t or shouldn’t be doing any more. They were still going to come over to my house on the 28th for Christmas dinner. Then Wyatt went to his dad’s for the weekend on the 11th. When he came home Wyatt informed me that 2/3 of the people in his dad’s church had the virus and his dad told him “I probably have it too.” but they still made the decision to come pick Wyatt up for the weekend. That Sunday night I had to call my parents to tell them that we wouldn’t be seeing them until after the New Year because Wyatt was potentially exposed to the virus. While a two week quarantine would be over before Christmas Wyatt has to return to his dad’s on the 23. I feel it is best that we stay away from my parents for another two weeks after that since Wyatt will have to be at a large family gathering in Missouri.

So while we’re all saddened by the idea of not getting to spend Christmas with my parents we will be video calling. I also told my kids that we will hold off on part of Christmas. On the 27th we will make our yule log, have family game night, watch Twas the Night Before Christmas, and go to bed early so Santa can come (he makes a special trip every other year so Wyatt can leave him hot chocolate and cookies). On our Christmas morning they will get to open their gifts from me, each other, and Santa after we read the Christmas story from the Bible. They will get their stockings and we will have a small Christmas dinner (probably ham to please my daughter) with their yule log for dessert. Then we will have another Christmas with my parents and sister once it is safe for them to come over. When ever that is we will have our big Christmas dinner (even if it is February!) with another yule log (the kids will insist). So there is a chance that our Christmas decorations might not come down the day after Epiphany this year since I will be leaving them up until my parents can come over.

How have your plans changed this year? I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all stay safe.

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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7 Responses to A Different Kind of Christmas

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    I certainly don’t understand all the dynamics of the custody / visitation arrangements the court made with your ex-husband, but it saddens me that your son’s health seems to continually be placed in jeopardy with those transitions.
    That said, it seems you have done remarkably well at coping with those external parameters… to try to give your kids and family the best possible Christmas gettogether.
    God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m so glad your mom was the one to make the original decision not to gather, even though it had to be difficult for her. And I’m sorry that your son has to go where he’s exposed so much, given all his health issues. With my husband’s children, we were on the other end – the kids would often come to us sick, and we were expected to arrange for medical care for everything from broken teeth to pneumonia. It looks like you’re doing all you can to provide a joyful holiday.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I never cease to be amazed that courts/judges who are always giving shared custody “for the child’s well-being” will not listen when one parent is irresponsible and it is NOT in the child’s best interest to be with them. Nevertheless, prayers continue. It is a hard holiday season all the way around,but you still have plenty of contact and love. Prayers, as always,Angie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m sure lots of people are having to make such compromises. I don’t like it when we have to break our traditions, but in the Covid era what other choice do we have?

    Liked by 1 person

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