Monday, December 9, 2013

This Divorced Christmas Dork Doesn't Have A Christmas Tree!

You know those dorks who are totally obsessed with Christmas? I mean, seriously, the holiday comes every freaking year and these people go bonkers over and over.

They pretend to be annoyed to see Christmas decorations around Halloween… but secretly, they’re pumped.
“CHRISTMAS IS COMING, PEOPLE!” they gleefully think.

They go on vacation and MUST buy a Christmas ornament. It’s their law.

They have pretty much every Christmas movie from It’s A Wonderful Life to Elf.

They have multiple scented candles because every room needs to smell like Sparkling Snow or Christmas Cookie or Christmas Eve.

They have Christmas music on repeat starting Thanksgiving night.

I am totally one of these dorks.

Well, I used to be, but I’m not sure if I can be this year. Here it is now, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but I just can’t quite figure myself out. Are these familiar songs and smells and tastes comforting and soothing, or sort of sad and haunting?

Our first Christmas tree in 2007. Fat, right?

Max and Me -- The Christmas Dorks

Max was also a Christmas dork. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, he would literally say stuff like, “Let’s go look at Christmas decorations and get into the holiday spirit.” No, this isn’t an ABC Family movie. He really meant it.

Every year we’d take pictures of us buying a huge tree from our local high school marching band. Our trees were always obnoxiously large.

For all the ways that Max let me do just about everything but wipe his ass for him, he would happily wrap his own Christmas gifts.

So, yeah, we were pretty much two Christmas dorks. We loved it.

Do I Get A Christmas Tree?

Last week, I pulled out our box of ornaments and decorations. Last Christmas, we were living together but I’d already filed for divorce, so needless to say, there were no decorations for Christmas 2012. So, I hadn’t looked at this stuff in two years. As I put aside his Red Sox ornaments, I started pulling out our ornaments – Kat & Max, Boston 2007; Our First Christmas 2009; Naragansett 2011. Ugh.

You know what happened next. Me, on the floor, crying.

I called Ali and she patiently let me blubber.

“Each time I think, OK, I’m in the clear on this divorce crap, something else has to appear,” I sniffed. “I’m sick of stuff appearing!”

As a best friend should she reassured me that each moment like this is a big picture step forward and that I’m so strong. (I like when she tells me I’m strong.)

I took all of Max's and our ornaments and put them in a shopping bag to deal with later/never.

So anyway, here I am, a total Christmas dork with a huge tub of decorations, a drawer full of Christmas movies, and no Christmas tree. I can’t decide if putting up a tree will make me feel strong and independent or sad and wistful.

What did you do the first Christmas after your divorce? Did you decorate? Should I let my Balsam Pine candle suffice this year or should I put up a tree?
I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop


  1. I have completely decided to not open any Christmas ornaments this year. Which pisses me off in a way because last year we didn't because we spent the holiday doing NOTHING at his grandparents (they don't even share cards or decorate). Now this year I'm moving out the week before. I can only hope next year I have a reason to decorate. Maybe as a play area for my cats.

  2. Sometimes avoidance is the best tactic!

  3. I spent my first Christmas after our separation living with my oldest sister. I helped her put up her Christmas tree which she decorated with her stuff then I put up a small one in my bedroom that only had some lights but no ornaments.
    This year I've put up the same small tree with lights but no ornaments. It makes my apartment feel a little bit more 'festive' without the reminders of past Christmases via ornaments. My ex didn't want either of our Christmas trees (we had 2 for some reason) nor did he want any of our ornaments except his from his childhood.
    My traditions are more about baking holiday goodies which I did a little bit last year but so far this year I haven't done any. I either don't feel like it or I don't have the money to buy all the extra ingredients for baking.

  4. After my divorce I moved in with my parents for awhile so my first Christmas I helped them put up their tree and decorations. Thankfully my ex and I didn't have any ornaments "together" so I didn't have to go through a bunch of memories when I put my tree up the next year. Thanks for sharing your post with us on the Wonderful Wednesday Link Party!

  5. How long were you married?

  6. I definitely like the lights idea... I might do that. Have to decide!

  7. Not long at all, we were legally married for 1 year and 1 week. We got married in February, I kicked him out in November and divorced by March.

  8. Wow, sounds like quite a rollercoaster. Makes sense you didn't have much time for shared ornaments!

  9. Time to put away the old ornaments and get your new Singledom ornaments. The first Christmas is a hard one. And don't even get me started on the first New Year's Eve. BUT this is an opportunity for you to begin your new chapter of Christmas. You can still be a Christmas dork but in your own way. Go to Crate and Barrel, they have martini, wine, and champagne glass shaped ornaments. Change up your color scheme and do Christmas the way you feel and start fresh. But most of all allow yourself to go with the process. I have been divorced for a few years now and I would be lying to you if I told you that there aren't some moments where there is an overwhelming amount of sadness. My sadness is not about my ex. He is such a non factor. But it's a sadness of a dream that was snatched away from me. And I have a feeling that will creep up every once in a while until I meet my true soul mate. But I no longer run from the feeling. I go with it and ride the wave. And eventually I am back to feeling good again. Good Luck and hang in there!

  10. I like confessionasLA's suggestion. Get a new tree and put all your stuff on it. Your own brand spankin' new, today is the first day of the rest of my life ornaments!

  11. You are definitely on to something! I like this idea. :)
    And I know what you mean about the ex himself not necessarily being what can make you sad -- it is the idea of him and the dreams that are now dashed. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  12. Thanks Linda -- I too thing she is on to something!

  13. Man, I'd love to hear YOUR full story! ;)

  14. Get a tree that isn't really even a normal tree - something odd and funky a charlie brown-looking tree... I was so happy to be free of my 1st husband I don't think I did anything sad... I think I probably just threw myself into my actual family - and happily spent the day free in the knowledge no one would be making my life miserable that day!

  15. The holidays were so hard for me during and post-divorce, that I actually ended up creating a program to help others "turn the holiday blues into a blueprint" for the new year. In case anyone is interested .

  16. Yeah, maybe the key is creating a tree that isn't like the ones that Max and I put up.

  17. Maybe start your own thing. Do a different kind of tree, maybe something not typical. (You know, made of green ornaments, or a cardboard cutout, or something unique like that). Keep those memory ornaments tucked away and buy something you think you'd enjoy. Maybe do something where you make your own ornament once a year or something cool like that. Ex-hubby and I were as far away from dorks as you can get. We didn't decorate (thought it was a waste of money) and never had room for a tree. I think one year I bought a table-top tree with LEDs on it. That was kind of neat. But instead of collecting ornaments everywhere we went, we collected shot glasses. Despite the memories, I will display those because I love them so much. It may hurt, it may not. We'll see.

  18. I have a number of things that i'll probably never display again, but I can't bear to get rid of them, certainly including ornaments. We also usually bought magnets when we traveled, and I have those out. Those make me happy, so they can stay!
    I like the idea of giving myself an ornament every year, so thanks!

  19. You could mix a few of the old ornaments with some new ones you buy this year. YOu could just place them around your house, fill a glass bowl or platter with them, whatever. Try it out and see what you think.