How was Christmas as a Widower?
Well, after making the decision to give my kids the Christmas they would’ve had and deserve I immersed myself in making that happen. Decorations, Presents, build up and all the other stuff that makes this time of year magical for Kids. What I never realised though is how hard it would be to do it all when doing it on my own. It made me think about how as a kid I took for granted all that my parents did for me and my brothers. Lots of planning and hard work go into making an event perfect for the kids and for the kids it all just happens as if by magic. The kids never realised their parents are knackered from preparation and planning. But that’s part of our role hey.. to give our kids the most amazing time.
Also I am not that good with working out what presents to get people. I am fine with getting the kids stuff but Helen was great at knowing what to buy everyone else and would help wrap them all and prepare. I had to do this all alone and it was exhausting. Thinking back I think it’s crazy how stressed I got about making sure I got all the right people the right presents. Really; does it actually matter these days when most people buy themselves whatever they want anyway and I am sure they would have all understood. Still I worked hard to get it right so people wouldn’t see me as a failure and so the Christmas we all had would be very similar to the one we would’ve had if Helen was here. In the end everyone got nice presents, we managed to see most people and for the kids it was a magical exciting time. I watched with a massive smile as my kids woke on Christmas morning to a stocking and many presents. They were both so very excited especially when they saw that Father Christmas had taken a bite out of the Mince Pie and Rudolf had munched on the Carrot.
It sounds silly now how I got so stressed about it all but then I think most people do through the build up to Christmas don’t they. Plus I still have the 2 kids and a very busy full job so anything added to that can easily tip me over the edge. No one saw the sheer madness and stress I put myself in just because of all the stuff I needed to do to make a perfect Christmas. If they did I am sure they would’ve told me not to worry about it anyway.
I learnt many things though.
Firstly not to put myself under unnecessary stress. It’s just not worth it and no one will thank me for it.
Secondly I noticed that the kids seemed to enjoy the presents that cost £2 rather than the ones that cost £20. The simple ones were the most effective
Thirdly it wasn’t the presents that actually mattered to the kids. They were at their most happiest when I was actually sat on the carpet with them playing with those presents. That quality time was much more important to them rather than the item itself.
And that third point made me realise even more that presents are just a material objects.. Just a thing… a procession. I honestly don’t remember half the stuff I got the kids for Christmas but I do remember the great times we had playing together with some of the stuff they got. I also enjoyed more the time I spent with family and friends rather than the presents I received.
So another lesson learnt. The greatest gift I can received is people’s time and company.
As for being alone over Christmas… well I was so busy trying to get it all right that Helen took a back seat in my brain. It was only the day before Christmas eve when the reality hit me. It was more that Helen loved Christmas and would have loved seeing the kids having fun that hurt rather than her not being there with me.
Christmas was a busy one for many reasons plus we all got ill so overall I didn’t actually have too much time to think about Helen not being with us. Maybe thats a good thing.. maybe not.. I don’t know although Helen was the first thing that popped into my head as Olivia came into my room Christmas morning dragging her stocking. It was like Helen was there waiting for me to wake and nudged me straight away so not to forget her. But once the kids were up it’s difficult to be sad with 2 kids laughing and screaming with excitement.
I can’t forget Helen whatever I do so Christmas was just another time I wished she was here. A few evenings I led in bed awake contemplating the finality of her death. The fact she will never be back to cuddle me. My kids will never had their real Mum and I am still alone with me being our kids sole responsibility for the rest of their lives. Daunting and sad.
It was a nice Christmas full of fun, laughter, Calpol and Flu tablets.