Friday, December 21, 2012

Blogging Out Loud: Holidays and the Empty Nest

Deb and Barbara: For every child-filled holiday season, there comes a time when the kids move out and move on and holiday celebrations don't necessarily unfold as they used to. What does that mean to you, either as child of or a parent of?



37 comments:

  1. LOL Have we Luke??? Camera pans to left and right .....EPIC!!!! I watched it 3 times :D

    Hmmm..Empty Nest. My mom will have a LOT to say about this. I keep asking her these things...but like I said she isnt much of a Holidays person. But She wants to be. It will be REALLLY hard for her and for me because we are very close. And We've been even more connected since my BIG MOVE decision. I still hug her tightly and close my eyes when I'm scared. I do!

    I think it will be a little easy for her. Coz holidays was never a big deal. But ya she'll miss me coz I always eased her through all the bickering. And I'll miss her!! I think she'll cope soon because like I said she'll love that freedom as well. I want her to embrace it. She hasnt thought for herself for a LONG time. Its always been about me. This is the right moment for her and I would want her to embrace it.

    I'll miss her a lot in the beginning. I've been Mumma's girl ever since my dad died. Well I was mumma's girl before that too... Boy, I'm gonna need a lotta tissues there. And Deb said she'll set up a weeping throne for me...so we're all set! :D

    And...I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS WINDOWS!!! Can anyone take me to watch them next year??? I'LL LOVE IT!! It'll be my first REAL Christmas....so I'll be exactly like any small kid...Well...a 5'9 tall, healthy kid.

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    1. Like your mom, we all have to make these kinds of adjustments. I'm sure your mom will find some aspects more difficult than others. I can certainly see for myself that the holidays will probably be my most difficult long-term transition... But, hey, that's what we gotta do, right?

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    2. And this is just one of the windows Shalaka. There are six windows and they tell a little story. So great!

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  2. I loved hearing angelic singing in the background while you two spoke. So apropos! Love the window display!

    The holidays have been split up with family for so long, that it is just the norm for us to have it a bit different each year. Having said that, our boys (oldest is 11) have always been with us, so obviously, at some point that will change. Deep breath.

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    1. We also had to navigate many different variations of the family split-ups as both sets of parents remarried. That certainly affected the holidays. But it always really worked. The kid transition will be the hardest, I think... (fingers crossed that I will take it in mature stride :) )

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  3. Our holidays were split for years (Hanukkah has eight nights so easier to split). Thanksgiving not so much. No one celebrates Christmas so no biggy there. Having one son living across the street makes it wonderful and easy to have family time.

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    1. Forgot to say I love your blogging out loud. NYC has these beautiful windows in Saks I believe and went there for years the week before the week of Thanksgiving with 3 women friends. We did it for 11 years and then we stopped. It was a wonderful time to go and holds many memories for all of us.

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    2. I love this, Madge! I also love these random traditions that we as small groups of friends sometimes conceive and then honour -- even if not forever.

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    3. Madge what a great tradition! I think you might mean Macy's which I have seen many times! But maybe it's also Saks and I have missed those ones. Next time! New York at the holidays! Sigh.

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  4. A couple years ago, one of my sons could not come home for Christmas because of his work schedule, but was able to travel home at Thanksgiving. I decided to celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving, so I decorated and shopped early, and we had Christmas. The date truly did not matter. It felt like Christmas to all of us, so it was.

    I never want to be one of those moms who causes stress for her adult children by being unwilling to let go of the reigns and accept change.

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    1. Hear, hear!! I will file your comment away for my own reference in the years to come. Because I totally agree!

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    2. I also agree. Especially when you have a boy I find. I have always said to the boy, "do not ever stress. Go where you need to go, when you need to go and when you come to us, it will be Christmas!"

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  5. Ahh the HBC windows always a favorite to look at here as well. We always go before the Santa Claus parade with the idea that if we head downtown earlier we will get a better spot to watch the parade without our view getting blocked. Hasn't worked yet.
    As a parent I'm still far enough away from that point I haven't really thought about it very much. I like to think I'll manage those kind of changes gracefully but I suppose I'll have to wait and see. As for my parents I think when holidays first began to change for us that they ended up feeling relieved in the end because they got off fairly light. Things changed of course but they never had to learn how to share us as most of my husbands family doesn't celebrate holidays of any kind.

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    1. Yeah, that was the joke Deb and I shared, that we would go so early to the parade and pick our spots and feel all prepared and proud, and then the late-comers would weasel in at the last minute and block you!

      As I do handle a big bulk of the festivities at this point, I could imagine a time when that load got "lighter" and that maybe being nice, but I guess I haven't made that flip yet...

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    2. Yes many a parade was almost ruined with the boorish behaviour of view blocking late comers! Sounds like you are far from an empty nest. Enjoy it!

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  6. This the third year without my mom. My parents were married for 50 years, before she passed. I noticed dad seemed a bit more down this year. The last two years we kept the same traditions going. So I suggested to dad that we start some new ones this year. He has perked up quite a bit. I know he still misses mom, but I find that anything to distract him helps. Even though I am losing my mind as he walks in the house with another musical/stuffed/whoknowswhatcharacter/that is either wandering around the floors or swinging from the tree.
    who knew that just a simple change in traditions, could make an 83 year old man feel like a kid again.

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    1. Heidi, this is the cutest sweetest thing I have ever read!! Oh my god, what a great example of your dad making it "the most wonderful time of the year" in his own way!

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    2. You made me cry with this one Heidi. Bless his heart. And good for you.

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  7. The window is beautiful!
    Personally, I have had to change traditions and create new ones since this is my first Christmas alone, out of the nest, as it were. I'm okay with it all, just trying to enjoy the season and not trying to make any sort of plans or anything. Go with the flow kind of thing.
    I wanted to share this with you all. I LOVE this video. Nerdy-Shakespeare Christmas Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgoqWR4w9-k Hope you enjoy it!

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    1. First of all: GREAT song! So funny.

      And also, I do love how you've been so respectful of your needs and process through this. A fine example to us, Steph!

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    2. Wow such a great point of view Steph! And the song was wonderful. Thanks.

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  8. This isn't something I know much about, since I'm still at home with my mom and dad. And I feel very lucky to still be here with them. They have a bit of a hard time during the holidays, because the have only one grandchild (my brother's son) and they don't always get to see him at Christmas. But this year they'll get him on Christmas day and be able to keep him till after New Year's. So this Christmas (apart from a headache-y and grumpy April) ought to be a very nice one for them.

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    1. I haven't begun to imagine Christmases without seeing grandkids - that would be tough. So nice that you and your parents get such a lovely long visit with your nephew this year! Hopefully you'll get some respite from the headaches (okay, not a doctor here, but is it possible it's a food allergy??? Been reading so much about problems with digesting wheat, you never know...) xo

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    2. I wish you a perky and headache free April for Chrsitmas!

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  9. I think I have mentioned this before, so I hope you will not mind me repeating myself. I have not had empty nest as I do not have children nor did I have trouble when I moved away from home. If I recall correctly, we did go to our grandparents places during holidays but not really to our parents place. Well we did see our dad because he lives in the same city as his parents. After I turned 19 I have spent most of my Christmas holidays with my sister and her now husband. Only after my brother had children have I started to share more of my time with his family. I did my duty for this year and I saw my mother yesterday. I had seen her earlier this year as well so I am covered for next year too. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand how someone can talk with their parents every week! I talk with my dad about 4-6 times a year and with my mother at least yearly. Well she calls when it is my birthday, she is angry/annoyed with my sister or needs money/life is not good. Suicide notes she nowadays emails to us. Not to my brother though, just for me and my sister. I don't call her because the probability of me having her current number is low. Only if she annoyed with everyone else I might be privileged to know it. Same with address. I think we (her children) have all her current address. So I am assuming that she did not have very big problem with the empty nest either. I don't mean to sound bitter. I am not a big celebrator anyway, so I really don't mind. I appreciate the small things. The -25°C, snowing, red sky, few hours of red sun, silly Xmas card my boss made and posted on Facebook, my depressed friend making cards by herself(!)(she is recovering, yay)... all of these just by themselves have made my day, brought the moment of peace. :)

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    1. Oh, man, your last list is so very lovely. I so admire how you take joy in these simple things and appreciate them. I truly think that's the best gift of all. (and never worry about "repeating", you never know who needs to read something at any given moment)

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    2. How wonderful Kasku that you can find these festive gifts in the middle of sad memories and pain. That is the Christmas spirit coming out in you. Fabulous!

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  10. I'm afraid that I don't have anything to say, really, on this topic. In my family (both sides), we're a bunch of holiday fanatics so the celebrations go on for literally weeks. But it is law that you must spend Christmas with your family. I think my cousin is flying in from Australia, if that gives you the sort of idea.
    Incidentally - I've been meaning to say this for AGES, I tell you - your respective voices match up perfectly with the way you write. Well, for me at least. Before I watched any of the blogging out loud videos I already had a sort of mental voice for each of you and it turned out to be dead on. That sounds creepy. Shutting up now.

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    1. Not creepy at all! I find it fascinating that this is the case, so thanks for mentioning it. And I also really like that our "real" voices match up with your writing voices :) I also love that your family has holiday "laws" and that everyone abides them!

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    2. Sarah it makes total sense! We do the same things with you guys. We picture how you look and sound. It's natural. And it sounds like you have the Christmas season wrapped up in a great big bow!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  11. I get a month off of college for the winter so we get the empty nest not around the holidays but the other school months. This is a big topic at the moment in our family since I am pretty sure I am going to study abroad next fall. That means I will be gone for 3 or 4 months without a visit!! I am excited but the family is already saying how they are going to be in a odd spot without me around. Gonna have to take lessons from all the tales here of dealing with an empty nest I guess.

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    1. You will be fine. You all will be Kelly. It hurts but you get used to it. Also it's a great time for kids and parents with Skype and the like!!!

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  12. Never knew that Luke was recording this whole time :)

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    1. Yes Garrett, nepotism has worked out well for us!!!!

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  13. I have been really enjoying your blogging out louds & all the beautiful scenery from them. My only child is 16 but in another 2 yrs I'll be finding out about the empty nest syndrome when she goes off to college. I've been trying to get my emotions ready but we'll see how I do. This past summer she went on a church trip & was away for a week it was the first time since she was born that we've been apart for that period of time; felt I did pretty well considering. Love your blog! - Carol (twitter - WhoseIAGiiA)

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  14. Yes Carol, I underestimated myself on that one too. I survived and thrilled watching him become a man out of a boy. And now he's home! Yay!!! It goes fast.

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