The holidays as my children get older


New Member
As my children get older and most of my family seems to move further away, I need some good suggestions on how to enjoy the holidays and not let them get me down.

My difficult child who just turned 20, never liked the holidays and can't stand sitting with family and having dinner, and yesterday 17 year old easy child daughter informed me that her boyfriend invited her to dinner at his aunts house for Easter. I didn't want to tell her no, as I knew this would happen someday, but this pretty much leaves me and husband and a much too quiet holiday and I don't like that. I miss when the kids were little, my parents and husband's parents lived here and all the kids were together for the holidays and they were fun. I know I have a lot to be thankful for as today is difficult child's 6 months clean anniversary and I have a wonderful easy child daughter, but family is so important to me on the holidays and my family gets smaller and smaller for the holidays.

I think we'll have a big Easter breakfast, then maybe husband and I will go out to dinner and a movie or something. I refuse to just sit home, the 2 of us, and watch t.v. or something.

Maybe one of our friends will take pity on us and invite us to their house for dinner :smile:

Any suggestions??

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Hi Karen! I know exactly how you feel about the holidays becoming less and less something to celebrate, yet not wanting to give it up completely.

Since my girls were 4 and 2, I've had to alternate holidays with EXH. Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most difficult for me. I cried and cried the first time I had to put them on the ferry to NY - Oh how I missed them. I was beside myself, couldn't cook, couldn't eat, didn't open gifts - it was awful. Even H, who enjoyed the downtime back then much more than I seemed a little depressed that the house was so quiet.

Over the years I came to tolerate and then when difficult child was at her worst and I was in the midst of trying to convince EXH of her behaviors, I came to almost appreciate the break. H and I started new traditions on the years when our girls weren't home. We had a leisurely morning, a big breakfast, read the paper. I would usually plan a meal, though it was smaller, and then we'd go to an afternoon matinee of the newest movie. If the weather was cooperative, we'd maybe go for a walk at a local park, or go home and have a snack, nap, listen to music and then get up for our small dinner. And when I made up the table, I'd do it up with candles, china, etc. Really go out of your way to make it special because it is, even if the kiddos aren't there. Make it special for you and H.

OR, as friends learned of our "aloneness", we'd get invites. At first it felt funny to spend big holidays with friends instead of family, but we forced ourselves to go and really had a nice time. One year, I had friends over and that was different, but it was nice. I found that I missed my girls even more that year because they weren't there with us.

I dread the day when my girls tell me they are spending a holiday with a boyfriend's family instead of with me or EXH. It's hard enough to not have them when they are with EXH, but then to be chosen over for a boyfriend!! This year my 19dd told me she may go to her boyfriend's in Ohio for Thanksgiving, and this year I am supposed to have them for Thanksgiving because they are at their dad's for Christmas!!! I am not happy about this, but I am buttoning my lip because, as you said, they are adults now and they get to make these decisions. I wonder if they will ever give up a holiday with EXH for a boyfriend?? Hmmm, something tells me not. It's easier to let me down than him for some reason.

Hang in there, make new traditions with H and explore something new this year. Perhaps you could visit the Butterfly place up in Deerfield Mass - Magic Wings. It's a beautiful place and a lovely way to spend an afternoon! They are open year round, except Christmas. Gentle hugs to you~


Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>We always invited friends to our house for Thanksgiving and Easter since we never really lived near our family. Sort of created an extended surrogate family. Different members moved in and out over the years but it was very special at the holidays. Maybe you could invite other couples who are on their own for the holidays to your house.

Now that the kids are older and the little nephews have moved away we gave up on the regular easter egg hunt and brunch.
This year we made reservations for a nice brunch with our sons but next year we will be alone. I'm sure husband and I will make arrangements with other couples or just go off for the weekend to do something we like. Our kids have to leave the nest but we mom's have to make those adjustments. It's hard to find something on the holidays that is meaningful to us since we always did it for the kids. I expect my son's to live away as they grow up. easy child probably won't live at home again after June 1st. He will be here for visits and Christmas but he is already planning to work New Years and the rest of his Christmas break from college out of state. I remind myself that this is a good thing that easy child is able to manage his time and himself to be productive and responsible.

I hear you, Kfld. </span>


New Member
we are just entering this part of life, as well. One idea we have been tossing around is to have a "holiday" on a different day, such as the day before or a week before, or the day after or week after.
when my kids were younger I worked in a nursing home and sometimes had to work on major holidays. LOL- we told our children that santa could not possibly get to all the houses in one nite, and that year we were slated to have our delivery on the next nite..........LOL.
I also like to volunteering idea....altho me and the kids have done that together, as well, on some holidays, partly becuz I was active in a Military group and we often did that as a large group on holidays.


Well-Known Member
It is harder when they get older but it seems like those years dont last for very long before grandkids come. Least it didnt in my case! I had about 2 years where I had alone time at the holidays.

You could go out to eat and make that special. Find another couple in the same boat. Or maybe try to find a new younger couple new to the area who dont have family close by and "adopt" them. Do you have a church you attend? Maybe help out with the easter egg hunt there.

I dont know...just throwing out ideas.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dammit Janet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It is harder when they get older but it seems like those years dont last for very long before grandkids come. Least it didnt in my case! I had about 2 years where I had alone time at the holidays.</div></div>

Haha Janet - exactly what I was thinking earlier! I doubt H and I will have to endure too many completely alone holidays once the grandkids start up! How cute~ :devil:


Well-Known Member
Count your blessings, no one is sick, saying goodbye to wingnut,... enjoy the day with husband. Soon enough (not too soon, though), you will have little ones again. You're free to go out and have someone wait on you. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy!-Alyssa

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
My parents allowed us to create our own holiday traditions while creating some new traditions of their own. While husband & I lived 2000 miles away from family, we did like Fran - created a "family of friends".

Karen, we came full circle - as my parents got older & we all had children the celebrations headed back to my parent's house.


Active Member
If you live near a university there are many international students that are left on campus during American holidays. Many never get a chance to experience a holiday in an American home and would welcome the opportunity.


No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>SRL, what a great idea!...having students who don't have time to go home for Easter.....</span>



New Member
Here is what I am planning right now. Having difficult child sleep over the night before and cooking a big breakfast in the morning. He never liked holiday dinners anyway and was always forced to sit at the table and he would eat and take off, so he can have breakfast and take off and do whatever he wants with the rest of his day, and easy child can take off with boyfriend and enjoy her day with him. I am going to see what happens this weekend as far as any invites to friends, and if not, I'll make reservations at a restaraunt that I worked at for 3 years and my bestfriend will be working at on Easter, so she can wait on us :), then maybe we'll go to the movies or just go visiting after dinner.

The restaraunt I used to work at is a country bed and breakfast. Very quaint with wonderful food. Hopefully it's not all booked. I better check pretty soon.

Thanks for all the ideas. I'm feeling better about it already.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Speaking of college students...easy child is bringing home 2 friends from her college for Easter. Our house is very small, but I have the aerobed!

Karen, enjoy your day - keep with old traditions and build new ones. You will be fine - hugs.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Hmmmm. My kids haven't seem to have gotten the wander lust on holidays, yet. I wonder if they will? lol

Mine are acting as if the world is coming to an end because I told them I'm not making Easter dinner this year. Classes start back Monday and I know what I'll be doing come Sunday....homework and studying. But they are coming over to visit a while and having the egg hunt here as usual. Then N will be off to b/f's family and easy child will go to work and her husband will go to his family's with Darrin.