Preparing for Another Christmas

This will be our second Christmas without Barry. We survived last year, so there’s a good chance we’ll survive this one too. In fact, you would think our chances are much improved. Although I’ve heard differently.

Last year, I wrote several posts about how we were coping. Today, I went back and read them. Admittedly, my own words upset me, but they also gave me hope. We’ve come a long way in the last twelve months and I hope the journey proves positive for coping over the Christmas season.

Here is what I said last year:

Oh, Christmas Tree

Switched On

Grief and Hope at Christmas

Twinkling Star on Top of the Tree

Our Christmas Tree

Just for Today

Merry Christmas, Barry


This year, I have put myself out on a limb and have invited both sides of the family to join us for Christmas. This is something I used to do a lot, but haven’t done for the best part of a decade. My brother and sister-in-law took over from me for several years and there were a few times we all booked a table at a restaurant.

However, this year I decided that my brother and sister-in-law shouldn’t shoulder this burden every year and it’s time for me to do my part. Besides, Gary’s children want to spend the day with him too and it makes sense for everyone to come together at our home. And…it means Daniel has people his own age around, which will make the day more tolerable for him too.

I’m not much of a hostess. I don’t particularly like cooking. Gary does most (all) of the cooking in our house. I get flustered easily and although I try hard not to worry about it, I do worry that my hostessing skills make for a lousy day. I realise that is my problem and I have to deal with it. I also realise that I’m probably the only person worrying and caring about it as well.

I want to do the right thing, but I want to be careful about how it affects my stress levels too.

Whilst the northern hemisphere think about cooked dinners and the possibility of a white Christmas because of the cold weather they experience. In Australia, December is the first month of summer and our Christmas day is usually hot and humid. The last thing most families want is to be cooking hot dinners. We are thinking about how to keep cool, and dreaming about spending the day dipping ourselves in a swimming pool (which my family can dream about until the cows come home, because we don’t have a pool).

With this in mind, Gary and I are going to go with the Aussie BBQ. We (or should I say our sons, hopefully) will cook the meat outdoors and this will be put with an assortment of salads for Christmas lunch. Everything used on the day will be disposable so that at the end of the day…the whole lot can be picked up and thrown away. This will mean no one is lumbered with the washing up.

Sounds like a plan to me.


4 thoughts on “Preparing for Another Christmas

  1. Julie

    Karen, I can fully relate to how you feel. I enjoy reading what you write and it helps me on my own journey. All the best to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year. Regards, Julie

  2. Linda

    My brother and I grew up in Southern California, USA, and we always went swimming on Christmas Day. Some years, it was a bit cold, but we did it just because we could.

    I don’t cook anymore, my husband does it all. This is a good thing, since he’s a better cook. I just can’t bring myself to care enough anymore.

    This will be our first Christmas without Owen, so I was glad to read that you all have “come a long way in the last twelve months”, yet I can’t quite imagine what that might feel like.

    Thank you for writing this blog, Karen. It helps me to read what other parents go through when they’ve lost a child. I’m constantly looking for something that says, yep, me too. I find it here, and I’m grateful.

    I wish you and your family the best possible Christmas and 2008.


  3. The first of everything is the worst, Linda. After that we must force ourselves on and just get used to doing these things without them. So far I’m feeling OK about this Christmas. Barry will always be missed. I can’t change the past, but I can control the future to some extent. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

    I’m glad someone is getting something from this blog.

    I wish you a peaceful Christmas and may 2008 provide the answers you’ve been looking for.

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