Many childless couples choose to travel around the holiday season. They get out of town and enjoy the sunshine and beach or go hit the slopes somewhere far away from the holiday crowds and all the traditions that center around children. Perhaps there will be a day when Chad and I are drawn to this way of spending the holiday season, but for now I’m still not quite ready to miss out on being a part of the childlike wonder of the magic of Christmas.
This afternoon we attended Christmas Eve service (my first ever) at a new church. I hope to make this a tradition for us as a family, just Chad and I. For the first time, in forever, I finally felt at peace in the church setting, the music was beautiful and the message powerful, and I finally didn't feel so alone.
This season has been filled with reminders of this sense of feeling alone. A few weeks ago, after a particularly difficult weekend of feeling like I had nowhere to fit in and feeling left behind as a woman who isn’t a mother, Chad came up with a brilliant idea for a new Christmas tradition with our friends’ children. This will be our first year of having our own Christmas celebration with our friend’s kids. We bought gifts for the boys (our closest friends all seem to have boys, 3 of them to be exact) to open with us at our house. Every year we will give them something to take home and something to leave with us at our house. This way they will always have something of their very own to play with in our toy room when they come to our place. We will eat a yummy (kid approved meal), make fireplace s’mores and watch the boys open their gifts. I can feel my own childlike wonder of the magic and joy of Christmas just writing about it.
We will also begin the tradition of making the rounds on Christmas afternoon and evening to see what Santa brought for the kids in our lives. I can't wait to see their eyes light up as they show us their gifts.
Making my own Christmas magic within my childfree life also means we get to have some adult fun during the holidays. This is our first Christmas in Mason House and starting our family traditions in our forever family home. I am looking forward to yummy meals (with great conversation and laughs, and limited food thrown on the floor), delicious bottles of wine and the hilarity of playing charades with our family this year. I won’t have to watch my sailor potty mouth or be nervous about the dogs and children. There can be ever upward magic within this adult Christmas too.
Ending IVF and living a childfree life means lifelong losses. The Christmas season seems to highlight these losses so much at times that it can feel like I am a gaping, oozing wound.
I will never get to be Santa for my own children.
I will never get to see their eyes and face light up with pure, joyful magic as they talk about Santa Claus or leave cookies out for him on Christmas Eve.
I will never watch them in the Christmas play or sing in the holiday concert.
But I can still make my own magic to find my ever upward. And I ask that tonight, you stop and take a moment to really feel the magical love that Christmas gives us all. Stop, take a breath and be so grateful for your version of holiday magic.
Because my magic, of our childfree lives, will include the childfull Christmas traditions, and otherwise, we are choosing to begin this year. Because, after all, choosing joy, and magic, is a choice.