The eternal child at Christmas


I’m writing this article on my last day with a computer access before the new year, as part of Jo’s edition of the Indieweb Carnival themed « Holiday and December traditions ». Check out the other entries, they’re fun!

My family and I celebrate Christmas and the New Year following the age-old rule: « Christmas with family, New Year with friends », starting somewhere around 15 years old, unless you’re our youngest sister in which case 12 years old because rules do not apply to the youngest.

This year, I’ve had three Christmasses (and could have gotten up to 5 if my grandparents had been in town): one on my dad’s side, one on my mom’s side, and a really chill one with my partner who doesn’t celebrate but who has accepted using the occasion for a gift exchange.

And as I was training my poor stomach for all of this, I realized « Christmas with family » doesn’t work.

I’ve never really understood people who complained about being seen as the eternal children because they live child-free. This year, three months away from turning 30, I finally understood.

My Christmas was based on trying to make my schedule fit with my divorced parents’ schedule to make sure that my (much younger) sisters and myself would be there at the same time. For the school-aged one, sure, it makes sense. But I grew slightly annoyed this year, because organisation was a bit more complex than usual, and I eventually realized what’s wrong: I am and will be stuck in an eternal state of family meaning my parents, my sisters and me, when if I had kids I would probably do Christmas with my family, as in partner and children, and then possibly swing by at my parents’ places, which would be a completely different dynamic. By not having children, not only is it very hard to justify spending Christmas with my family (ie. my partner and probably a couple of friends), but I’m also devolving for a day into the exact same subject as my high schooler youngest sibling. I don’t get to grow up.

I wonder how that will play out in the years to come, and how, when, or whether I will finally find a system where I can be a grown-up and have my own family without children running around.

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