13 December, 2021

Some seasonal thoughts

I was going to start a campaign in today’s blog, but Jess beat me to it, by getting a publisher to change an image of a pregnant woman to highlight an article about fabulous No Kidding women embracing their lives. Go read her story on her blog – and a link to the article – here. So instead, I've turned my thoughts to December, and what it brings.

There has been quite a bit of activity around the place about dealing with the holidays when we have no children. Gateway Women have highlighted a conversation about reclaiming a childless holiday and Infertile Phoenix has reviewed it here, and has talked about following the advice she heard there.

I’ve written and talked about reclaiming Christmas (which is the prevalent holiday here in NZ, but applies to any holiday) for over a decade, and was interviewed about it a few years ago here, though to my disappointment, the phrase was edited out of the article. The journalist was most put out, as she really liked my approach, and wanted to emphasise that Christmas (in this case) is for all of us. I’ve joked recently that I should have trademarked the phrase “reclaiming Christmas!” But really, I’m just glad to see that it is reaching new people, and that they are all finding strength from the idea.

I’ve written about it before in these posts, as well as other issues around this difficult season:

Reclaiming Christmas – written back in December 2010, only my second month of blogging (though my seventh year of No Kidding Christmases)

Holiday Season: If Money were No Object 

You are Not Alone

Childless at Christmas

My 2016 Annual Holiday Post

Four Rules of Surviving Christmas for No Kidding women

The Season and Traditions

This year, Christmas is going to be low key. Our second Christmas without either my parents or my husband’s parents still feels a little weird, as we are so used to having others to care for at this time of year. But it means I have to follow my own advice. And so, I have my tree up already in honour of hosting some friends last week, and I have enjoyed doing the very limited amount of gift shopping that I need to do this year. (With two family birthdays on the 20th, I almost have to do as much birthday shopping as Christmas shopping!) I just have to pick up a book for someone, and something for my niece. Actually, that last item will be the most difficult! But at least I’ll get to deliver it personally. And lastly, I’m planning to do my Christmas baking this week. I usually make mini mince pies, and will do that, as they are little mouthfuls of scrumminess. But one of my friend’s brought a fruit mince baclava on Thursday and it was so good, I’m stealing the idea and will make some to take to my sister’s house, and to give to an aged uncle-in-law, and some friends who are probably tired of getting the mince pies. Neither my husband nor I are into big Christmas presents, so the emphasis is on food and relaxation.

In fact, this time of year, I like to focus on:

  • My tree and all my ornaments collected from all over the world that I love dearly.
  • Food traditions – old, and new, experiments successful or not.
  • Compassion for others who might feel alone and sad at this time of year.
  • The coming summer shut-down that occurs this time every year in NZ, and brings a very relaxed sense to the season.
  • Summer food and drink!
  • A very low-key and casual Wellington, a government city that empties out as the workers all go to the beach or the bush for a few weeks over Christmas and the New Year.
  • The year gone and the year to come, forever hopeful that it will be better.
  • Celebrating relationships in person, online, and on zoom.

That is not to say it’s all fine. Twenty years later, December is filled with memories of positive pregnancy tests, losses, hospital treatment for ectopic pregnancies, and disappointment. They usually pass quickly for me now, or hover without much pain, watching me navigate the month. I like to honour those little sparks of life who never made it here, but who helped make me who I am today. The best way I can do that is to embrace the life I have now, and live a good life. I know so many of you are doing this, and are shining the light for others. I hope that will be the case for you all.



  1. So much to celebrate here! I was so glad they changed that godawful photo, blech. Bryce said "and that sums up the experience, so often people mean well but botch something because it just doesn't occur to them." Yup.
    Low key Christmas sounds lovely. I'm sorry it's a time so frought with loss and memories, but glad you've reclaimed it and everyone says "reclaim" now, ha. Sending holiday cheer your way!

  2. Well, your last paragraph gave me all the feels.

    This might be my favorite part of your focus :-) "Celebrating relationships in person, online, and on zoom."

  3. What a great collection of great posts. :) I hope your Christmas was everything you hoped it would be.