for the holidays, that is. I used to LOVE Christmas. I am an atheist that loved everything about Christmas. I loved the decorations, the music, the family time, the giving of gifts, everything. Every year, I would wake at 5 am on Christmas morning and wait until the hubby would allow me to wake the kids. Even as they got older, it was just my favorite day of the year and time of the year.

We have had a party every year for 26 years. Huge gathering of friends. In all the years, my kids have grown and the parties have changed so much. The last year of my marriage, we had a great Christmas and then he filed for divorce three weeks later. I felt like the holiday had been such a lie that year. He acted like things were better all while talking to an attorney and planning on leaving us and throwing away what we had worked for for 23 years. I was heartbroken. I have struggled every year since.

The first one, at least I had my kids but I wanted to cry the entire time I was putting up decorations. I barely made it through having the party but the kids wanted it so I did. The next year was much better. I was dating B. My son wasn’t with me but having B there really helped for that and the party was a blast. All my kids have managed to be here every year for the party and the past two years, our parties have been more fun than I think they ever have been. Last year, B and I were not dating but neither of us were dating anyone so he spent the party and holiday with us. The five us have become a family. I have enjoyed the Christmases but have struggled to get in the mood and this year is the worst so far. The eldest has decided to try and mend fences with her dad and is spending the day with him. She will not be here for the party. She will only be here a few days and I work every one of them.  I am having to reschedule the normal date of the party as son will not be home yet. B has a new girlfriend and I have no money to do fun gifts that I would like to do. We didn’t get any decorating done while the kids were home for Thanksgiving and the one that is here HATES to decorate so it up to me to do it all. I finally picked a new date for the party and started the cooking for it but so many people I would like to be there won’t be able to. R will be on the road to take his son to go have the holiday with the ex (mom) and daughter. A is not legally allowed to come yet. The new man D will be with his family. B probably won’t come but has been invited for the party and the day. He has been told that he can bring the new GF to the party but I don’t see that happening.

So, today, I made banana bread and burned the first batch of pumpkin bread. I guess I am distracted. I forgot to check oven temp. I never do that. I set up the tree and have the decorations ready to put on—- by myself. I am sitting here listening to the music and trying to get motivated to do something besides blog and drink my wine. I feel alone right now and I hate it. I would forego decorating except that the son and eldest would be heartbroken when they do get home. Because I made such a big deal of the holiday time when they were little and the party, they all love it so. I guess I need to pull myself up by the bootstraps and do the work. The mood will probably come if I get it done. I do love the baking. I am so upset with myself for messing up a batch. Oh well. I am not perfect but when it comes to my baking, I try to. It is something that I do love but haven’t done much since the divorce.

Time for another glass of wine and I will put some ornaments on the tree. I will do a little each night while food is in the oven. I think it is the hardest part because every ornament has a memory of the old family. I don’t want to get rid of those ornaments but a lot of the memories are bittersweet now.  This week I need to make pumpkin bread, poppy seed bread and more banana bread. Next week, will be another batch of all the above plus some cookies and planning the rest of the food for the gathering.