holiday spirit (or lack thereof)

I’ve had a really hard time dealing with the holidays over the past few years. I think many people who are struggling to build their families have similar problems. I guess it’s just a time when we all focus on family, and I know that my family is not complete, so that makes it difficult for me. I think about the babies we expected to have with us who aren’t here.  We get inundated by holiday cards with cute photos and stories about everyone’s kids. I think about our future child in Ethiopia who hasn’t been born yet and who won’t be with us next year either. It has all led to pretty much a complete lack of holiday spirit.

This year I’m finding that it’s starting even earlier, with Halloween. I swear I have seen approximately one million photos of cute kids in pumpkin patches and/or in costume. I enjoy looking at each photo individually. The kids are cute. The parents are proud. Everyone looks like they’re having fun. But compiled all together, in this volume, it’s really overwhelming to me. I should learn to just avoid FB, but I am apparently addicted and I keep going back even though I know it’s bad for me.

Yesterday I found myself near tears thinking about having to deal with actual children in costume on my door step on Halloween. Frankly, I want nothing to do with it or them. It makes me feel like a total loser that I can’t get over my own feelings enough to hand out candy to kids on Halloween. But, that’s how I feel and I’m owning up to it.

So, we’re going to forego Halloween this year. I hadn’t bought any candy yet, so that’s good (or else we’d end up eating it all – or I’d leave it out on the front porch and someone would steal my bowl). We’re going to go out to eat and maybe to a movie. We’ll probably get harassed by some of our neighbors for not being at home, but they’ll get over it. I guess I have to just do what is right for me/us and know that the children will survive if they don’t get candy from our house on Saturday. I’m trying to make choices for me and not for others. So, this Halloween I am choosing to turn the front porch light off and get outta there.
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18 Responses to holiday spirit (or lack thereof)

  1. Erin says:

    I don’t blame you one bit. I know Christmas time for me last year was rough.

    One day you will look back and this nightmare will only be a memory.

  2. I completely love your decision because it’s for you! And we’ve been known to shut our own light off as well. People totally get over it. And if they don’t, then they are the losers. TP their houses.

  3. sue says:

    i remember those days. . . and i can’t wait for them to be a distant memory for you too.

    i think it’s great you are going out – just you and your hubby. we skipped lots of family events over the course of the past couple of years because we knew we couldn’t handle it. it’s best to do what’s right for you!

  4. Jenny says:

    we won’t be home either. we’re going to a halloween party with matt’s english dept. we just leave the light off 🙂

  5. Janet says:

    I totally understand your feelings and I think it is good that you are honest with yourself about them. You’ll have a splendid evening…enjoy!

  6. Jamey says:

    I say good for you for doing what is right for your family. Your children WILL come and being able to stand against the tide and doing what is right for you will put you ahead of the curve then.

  7. Zoe says:

    Kinda wish we were doing that, too!

  8. Kelly says:

    I don’t blame you either, Kelly. As you know, I had some similar feelings recently (you saw my pumpkin patch post :). Turn your light off and enjoy yourselves (wait, that sounded like something else, oh well). Anyway…. you get an EXTRA hour to sleep in on Sunday so I say go out and get really drunk on Saturday!!! 🙂

  9. Christine says:

    Good for you!! I’m all for this plan!!

    I always feel a tinge of guilt when I post the types of photos you are talking about because I remember how I felt last year. (It was very similar as what you are feeling…) Hang in there.

    Have an awesome night out!

  10. Angela says:


    I just love you. I cried in between passing out candy last year. The costumes have gotten cuter and cuter and I was just overwhelmed with emotion. Do what’s best.

  11. E says:

    I wouldn’t mind turning the light off either. I agree that it’s a tough holiday when you’re waiting. However it’s hubbs’ birthday…and he loves it. For that big reason, I have to get into the holiday spirit!

    Enjoy your night out:)

  12. Jodi says:

    The holidays are so rough…for the past two years at Thanksgiving, I have a tear or two running down my face thinking about my baby who should be there with us but isn’t…and then all the Xmas cards with the beaming family portraits….ugh. I think this year I’ll send one out with my cats on it, haha!

    I just told Matt last night that we are also skipping out on the candy-giving this evening. And so we don’t look like mean people hiding at home to avoid the trick or treaters, we are going out to dinner!

    It’s all about self-preservation…and we have earned the right to avoid situations that make us sad! 🙂

    Oh and about FB…I too am addicted and started quite a brawl on my page one day with a status update regarding infertility. It was awesome how many people stuck up for me!!!

  13. nyz722 says:

    I’m glad you are doing what is right for you.

    Also, I can relate to your stolen bowl story. One year we lived in a townhouse with steep steps to the front door and we weren’t getting a lot of trick or treaters so, trying to be nice, I left some candy in a bowl outside. Sure enough, some kids took all of the candy and then smashed the bowl in the middle of the street, which I then felt obligated to clean up. Ugh.

  14. Wow, Kelly. You have no idea how relieved I felt at reading your post. I feel so guilty at times being sad and even angry when all the kid-related things during the holidays come up. I always felt like an open, friendly person who had always been thrilled for everyone else’s happy fortune. Now each child-happy card feels like a dart into my heart.

    My wonderful sister-in-law got pregnant, and though I am truly happy for her and her equally wonderful husband, I am angry inside, thinking, “Why do they just GET one, and I have to go through all this paperwork and criminal background checks, and social workers making sure I’d make a fit parent only to end up waiting years after the fact to actually get a child?” I know in my heart that it will all make sense once the child is in my arms, but dang if it’s not excruciating at times now. My husband put it beautifully a while back, saying, “Losing our baby and the subsequent two years of no further pregancies…it feels like a fog that never lifts. You can go on with your life, but there’s always this fog there that doesn’t go away and nobody else seems to know it’s there.”

    • Kelly says:

      While of course I blog for me, I also share these thoughts to help others understand that they are not alone. I know I’m not the only one who feels/thinks this way (even though it feels that way at times.) I’m going to send you an email…

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