"I haven't had a Christmas like that since I was 7!" My 17 year old was telling me about her Christmas. She went to a friend's house. I later went to the hospital.
Normally my kids are home for Christmas, but the oldest was using the break from school to move, a good reason. Besides, I wasn't this year. That just left my youngest to fend for herself. Thankfully she had my nephew. This was better than Christmas 2002. I don't know what they did that year. The week before Christmas, I had a stroke and a car accident. I was in a coma and they were probably miserable. They might not have even had one that year. The next year wasn't any better. My ex-boyfriend had them and wouldn't let them see me. They probably celebrated with his slipper (hitting them). I had been (through an attorney paid for by my mother) fighting for custody to be given to my sister. She didn't get them until that January after Christmas. We had our Christmas then.
When they were with my sister, I got to see them every Christmas; school breaks, too. Then last year-our 1st Christmas together as a family. I was finally free of the hospital scene, and I had custody of my children. It had been years since we had a Christmas as a family. (Just in time for one to leave.) We weren't together like that since they were 6 and 7.
My daughter was telling me her friend woke her up, "Do you know what day it is?" There were stockings and presents. She kept saying she wanted to cry. It was her best Christmas since she was 7. I was the one who wanted to cry. I had ruined her previous 9 Christmases (it's now 10 for my other daughter).