Life makes the best choices for you.

I’ve cancelled Christmas.

This isn’t some statement about the meaning of Christmas or a stunt to pat myself on the back because I decided to be holier than thou and give the less fortunate a better Christmas. Life gave me a right hook, a jab, and my ex threw in an upper cut for good measure.

Truth, I just can’t afford Christmas. No this isn’t some charity request or a pull at your heart strings story. It’s just a fact. I lost my job and money is tight. A million other families are in the same situation.

Life did me a favour.


I know what you’re thinking, I didn’t have to cancel Christmas completely, that’s not fair to the kids. The least I can do is decorate the apartment.

Thing is my ex husband kept all the Christmas decorations and I can’t afford to buy new ones. Even if I could afford to buy a tree, I don’t have the room for it and where would I store the thing come January? There’s no storage in these small city apartments.

Sure, I could go into debt so the kids have gifts from me, but I chose not to. I don’t need the added stress come January.

My kid’s are fine without Christmas.

Before you start feeling sorry for my teenagers – they have more than enough stuff, in fact my 2 bedroom apartment is stuffed to the brim with their crap. Why do you think I don’t have room for a tree?

My daughter has the main bedroom because she has so much stuff it wouldn’t fit in the smaller bedroom, which my son has bursting at the seams with his stuff.

Plus, they’ll still get a gift from my parents and probably my brother. I’m sure my ex will get them something and hopefully have them over one day during the holidays. I’m still trying to convince my mom to forget the hype and just be a family. It isn’t working so far.

Cancelling Christmas has it’s benefits.

In the past I’d do everything to make Christmas special. I’d decorate the house, make decorations, and buy gifts. I’d bake treats non stop, which no one but me ate. I’d plan a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Then after Christmas was over I’d fall into a depression because it was over.

No one appreciated the effort and no one helped clean it up.

The past two years I haven’t wasted time putting up decorations, no mess to clean up, and no shopping. I’ve even lost weight cause I’m not baking, I’ve saved a lot of money and time.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas.

There is no snow here this time of year, so it hardly feels like Christmas. It’s dark, rainy and depressing. I never did get into the whole “Green Christmas” thing.

When we lived in Calgary, AB and the kids were small, I’d start Christmas shopping at the first snow fall, in October or November, and not stop until Christmas eve. One year, I’d bought so many gifts I let the kids open one present every day until Christmas. Talk about an expensive advent calendar. In the end, we had a house full of crap.

So yes, I’ve cancelled Christmas at our house and I don’t feel we’re missing out on anything. My kids haven’t revolted or started hating me. They haven’t shoved a Christmas wish list in my face. They haven’t moved to their dad’s place or moaned about being hard done by. They still choose to live with me everyday, even without a Christmas tree.

Occupied Christmas. A short story about Jack, his mom, the cop, and Christmas with no power, no stores, and under the thumb of an invading army. Will the Canadian and American Military save them before December 25th? Will Jack’s dad come so they can celebrate as a family?

Click the link to read this Free Short Christmas Story.

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PMShannon Peel is a single mom to 2 teenagers and is the author of THIRTEEN a novel about an invasion of Vancouver, BC by foreign soldiers. As the series continues Jack and his friends will find out that Christmas is cancelled along with other liberties.


Click to visit her website and find out more about THIRTEEN.