Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Changing Christmas

This year we're changing our Christmas routine. 

Even a year ago I wouldn't have believed I could ever feel it was the right change to make. To be honest, I'm not sure it is the right change to make. 

We're not going up to the cemetery Christmas Day. 

Instead we're going to go up with Anabelle's garden gift things on Christmas Eve afternoon. 

The guilt is already in the pit of my stomach, like we're cutting our daughter out of Christmas. Doing something we promised we'd never do. Not doing something we promised we'd always do. 

Not going to her on Christmas Day. 

Christmas has been bothering me for weeks. 

The nagging feeling that it wasn't fair on the boys to rush their Christmas morning, or clock-watch, the potential of their mother getting stressed and anxious and snappy to get out of the house by a certain time and up to their sister so we had time to fit everything in before cooking dinner.

So I floated the idea to Jon at the weekend that maybe we should go to Anabelle on Christmas Eve. This year to see how it felt. To see if it could fit and become what we do at Christmas. 

That maybe while the boys are so young their entire Christmas morning or even the day at home should be the priority. 

Not rushing them, rushing presents, rushing getting them dressed, rushing up there, and rushing back home. Not giving ourselves time-pressures on Christmas Day that would threaten to bubble and boil and spoil.  I don't want to rush my time with Belle up there, and I don't want to rush my time with the boys at home. 

So this year we're making a change. 

It feels the wrong thing to do and the right thing to do all at the same time. It feels like maybe a slippery slope. I don't know.

This year we're so excited for Christmas. Baby Lucas's first Christmas. Its a big deal. I've already enjoyed dressing him up in the novelty Christmas outfits, my little baby Elf, and his little Christmas Jumper. I've chosen what I'll want him to wear on Christmas day and the 'My First Christmas' pyjamas he'll wear to bed Christmas Eve. And of course for the older boys too. Wanting to make it magical for them. 

Excited.

It has taken us years to reach excited. For those first four years we went through the motions, mostly treading water, knowing that Boxing Day would wipe me out completely after holding it together Christmas Day.  It has taken us all these years to reach this point and it had to be a conscious effort to do it. Deciding to try so very hard to embrace Christmas. 

Only because of the boys. An Alexander that understood Christmas deserved a Mother who did better at it. Didn't crash at some point within it. 

Year five was a bit hit and miss. But last year, her sixth Christmas, we managed it, a happy build up AND an entirely happy Christmas day. A corner had been turned. Somehow I felt like we had this whole Christmas thing sorted out now, managing the the turmoil, successfully riding the low without getting dragged under for the first time in six Christmas'. 

But now, even as we approach her seventh Christmas this time of year is still surrounds us in some turmoil. Still ever aware of all that we're missing. The little girl party dresses and shoes in your face everywhere, the cute pink and sparkly Christmas jumpers and matching Mummy and Daughter Christmas print dresses that are all the rage at the moment.  It stings and hurts as much as it ever did and always will. The things I can never do with the boys. 

So maybe I didn't have it quite so sorted out as I thought last year. Because attempting to make a change is hard, leaving me jittery and not really knowing how I'll react to it until it is done. Maybe we should be going up there Christmas Day. I really don't know. I feel torn and guilty. Mostly just wishing we didn't even have to contemplate grave visits for our daughter at all.  

Trying to fit four children into Christmas when we can only see three. Trying to be fair to everyone.  

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Caz
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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