Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Christmas without children

Someone, whom I don't know very well, expresses surprise when I tell her we have a Christmas tree. 

You put up a tree? 

Why wouldn't we?

You don't have kids. 

Ah. That small and comparatively harmless opinion about people who don't have children. We don't--we can't--really have Christmas. What's Christmas without kids? How often have I heard that?

I say "small and comparatively harmless", because it's not on the same scale as ignorance about ethnicities, religious beliefs, class privilege, gender identity. 

But for people, who cannot have children for various biological reasons and who want them badly, comments like this hurt.

Back to our Christmas tree. I have some ornaments from my childhood, now rusted around the edges, that I hang on the tree. My real-life retro trinkets. Somewhere I have a photo of myself as a kid next to a tree with those same shiny balls.  

Holidays are for anyone who wants to celebrate them, no? If I want to make latkes at Chanukah, can't I? Light candles for Diwali? Be happy about Chinese New Year? 

More than the ornaments on our little tree, I want the coloured lights. The days are short and grey, especially this year with spending so much time at home. Coloured lights are a trick, no more than a few strands of brightness, but they cheer me up.  



  1. I am sorry someone was that ignorant to you. Does that mean Christmas is only about presents and Santa, then? I also don't have children, and have heard my share of thoughtless and rude comments. This was a new one to me. I'm not sure I would have been able to be polite back.

  2. Thanks, Karen. It hasn't disturbed my Xmas, I assure you. Except that I wonder (as always) at the things people think they can say.