When many people think about holidays, they think of children. The holidays can be a difficult time for those with infertility, especially primary infertility. Christmas advertisements feature moms and dads sharing gifts with children, and we may be nostalgic about our own childhood holiday memories. Santa doesn't visit for the adults - he's there for the little ones. Is there any reason to leave out cookies and milk if it's just you and your partner?
Then again, the sexy Mrs. Santas made famous by the Rockettes were probably not meant for the kiddies. There are many ways those without children can enjoy Christmas. You may even create new traditions for your family of two.
Don't let infertility keep you from creating your own family traditions for the holidays. Here are some ideas to consider.
Child Free Christmas Parties
Christmas parties don't have to be only for family. If you haven't received any invites, then host your own party. When making your list, brainstorm people who you know are without children, whether they are single, child free by choice, fertility challenged, or empty nesters.
Volunteer to Holiday Shop for Your Fertile Friends
Holiday shopping can be a huge stress for those with little kids. Volunteer to shop for friends or relatives laden with children. You'll get to shop without spending your own money, enjoy some holiday spirit, and help out a friend!
Be a Proud Aunt or Uncle
In the same light, who says you can only spoil your own kids with Christmas gifts? There's no reason you can't take the role of Proud Aunt or Uncle and shower your friends' or siblings' kids with presents for the holidays.
This isn't always an easy role to fill at the start of your infertility experience, but with time, many fertility challenged people come to embrace this opportunity.
Be Active in Christmas Church Activities
Maybe it's time to join the choir or join a group for caroling. Many churches host parties and can use volunteers to help plan, set up or clean up holiday parties and events. For some, active church members can become an extended family.
Go Christmas Lights Seeing
Driving around neighborhoods with your partner to check out holiday lights, maybe while listening to your favorite Christmas tunes, can become a relaxing Christmas tradition.
Invite Friends Over for a Christmas Decorating Party
Who says only kids can have fun trimming the tree? Invite some friends over to decorate for the holiday together. You might invite only adult friends, or you may invite a family with kids to help.
If you're the crafty type, you can even set up some projects for friends to make and take home. While few are brave enough to host such an event, many adults, with and without kids, would love to join a Christmas crafting party.
- Handmade Gifts for Collectors
- Christmas Miniatures
- Handmade Gift Ideas
- Christmas Earrings
- German Christmas Treats
- Christmas Holiday Stamping
- Yule Craft Projects
Visit the Family That Need You Most
It's rare to find families living all within a comfortable drive from each other. That means that some family members will be left out or lonely on the holidays. These are often the elderly relatives in nursing homes or assisted living communities.
Making an effort to visit those who really need the company can warm both your and their heart.
Volunteer on Christmas at the Hospitals
The holidays aren't much fun for those stuck in the hospital, not for children or adults. Many hospitals have volunteers dress up as Santa or Elves, who then visit patients. Speak to your local hospital and see if you participate in a program like this.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
Those without food at home (or without a home at all) can use help on the holidays. Maybe you can start a tradition of volunteering at your local soup kitchen on Christmas Eve, or helping collect food for the holidays for food pantries.
Romantic Christmas for Two
Don't forget that you can create a romantic and loving Christmas for two, any year you like. Candle lit dinner, great holiday music, and gift exchange can turn a potentially lonely holiday into an intimate one.
More on coping while trying to conceive:
- How to Cope When Trying to Conceive Overwhelms You
- How TTC Affects Your Sex Life
- How to Cope During the Two Week Wait
- Emotional Impact of Infertility
- Coping with Fertility Test Anxiety
- How to Have a Baby When You've Been Trying for Awhile
- Take a Fertility Quiz
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Dawn Zuckerman, MSW. Email interview conducting November 29, 2011.