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It seems without parents living, my siblings no longer want to get together.

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I am a caregiver for my 84-year old mom with Alzheimer's. I am finding the holidays keep getting worse actually. What helps her and all of us is a routine, which the holidays disrupt. That is the toughest part. As to the holidays, long ago I gave up on things like outdoor lights, but I still get a tree. I have no idea why, it is just something we did. She is gone downhill so much in the past year, and her ability to communicate and understand keep deteriorating. She is almost to the point where she can't dress herself, she needs a lot of help. But I have still got Christmas sweaters and things on her. I am so looking forward to January and moving past these two miserable "holiday" months.
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Thank you all for your answers. May 2014 bring a few blessings to all of us and those that we care for.
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It is hard to get siblings together once they marry. I have been doing all the cooking for the last 20 years and I love doing it. Family members have moved to different parts of the country so we are down to only 4 people. My in-laws are traditionalists and will not do anything that is against the traditions the parents started. None of the in-laws will come to our home for the holidays.

I think the bottom line is that it all changes as we grow up and the older we get the more it changes. Make your own traditions, enjoy what you have, invite others who are alone to come to your house for dinner. It really is a grieving process.
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Am really having a hard with the holidays this year as we lost my mother in September after she was with hospice for a few months. We just donated her lift chair and shower chair to them today and it really got to me and maybe my dad, too. Just still not sure how to deal with losing her even now especially this time of year and also with my poor dad as am still trying care of him as well. Feel kind of lost and have been in a little denial still. Lost some of the anger and feel sad now, stay isolated a lot and try to avoid the subject. Also, don't want to bring my loved ones down. Ugh.
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BAHHUMBUG
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start some new traditions for yourself, treat yourself to a vacations or retreat if possible. Invite/host people who serve in a soup kitchen over for your own dinner.
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I'm feeling better about the holidays, it is time to start new traditions and not dwell on the past. I don't know why my siblings acted the way they did and I will probably never understand and I need to realize that I can't fix it. We will spend time with those who want to spend time with us and move on.
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I look forward to the day that I don't have to worry if any of my siblings are going to visit my Mom on Christmas!

When my Mom is gone I say "good riddens"!
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Ismiami, I can relate to you. I used to hang the lights, cook food, shop, invite everyone making sure to have it at a time everyone could attend so Mom and Dad could have a great Christmas. As they got older, less people came but it was still a get together. I feel bad for my kids who are college age, it's just us now, my siblings have kids who are in their thirties and they don't invite us. I love all of my siblings and nieces and nephews, I just feel left out I guess. I just have to accept that things are different, appreciate my kids and hope that it gets easier.
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This definitely happened in my family. After my mom died in 2004, my siblings haven't gotten all together to celebrate big holidays. Really sad. My dad feels so alone and left out. My mom always made a point to have everyone get together. Since she's died, every has gone their separate ways....with the exception of this past Thanksgiving...I had three of my other sisters together....but they were only doing it because they know it was probably his last!
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My dad loved Christmas, since I was a kid I helped decorate the house, tree, windows, outdoor lights, ordered the Christmas Eve party feast, wrapped all the gifts organized and served the parties. My family had a lot of elders, so there was a lot of helping and serving. One year I even went to a slaughter house and we roasted the piglet, like in the old days. Dad could always talk me into whatever he had in mind. I was his youngest daughter, but would joke that I was the son he never had. Daddy's little girl was always his helper.
Dad wanted to buy gifts, I would have to take him to the store and help him pick out every family gift. In his 90s we initiated a Black Friday ritual where he woudl accompamy my sis and me. He wanted to protect us, so he would join us wheelchair and all. He would hold our bags and was ready to go at 3 AM.....he loved it! We petered out way before he did.

The older he got the less he could do, the more responsibility I assumed.

Mom hated all the Christmas hassel, and always complained about the work, although it was not on her. She nagged and when I was a kid she would scold my dad for having me go on a ladder to hang lights. This was a family tradition.

This year the only tree I have to put up is the one in my apartment, the only gifts I have to buy are the ones I am giving. Mom is OK with no decorations and will be spending most of the time at sis's anyway.

I kind of missed all the extra chores dad used to put on me, Christmas is just not the same without being exhausted.

So I volunteered to host Thanksgiving to take that burden away from my sister. She will host Christmas Eve. Maybe I will tackle a homemade dessert.

I know I am rambling and off topic, but I miss him and this got me thinking.

Yes, holidays change, make new traditions. Maybe take an opportunity to bond with other siblings or even friends.

Merry Christmas,
L
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When parents are gone, sometimes the anchor is gone and the family boat sets adrift. The other factor is that children are often elderly themselves, relying more on grandchildren and great grandchildren for putting a celebration together. The torch passes on to the next generation, your parents held it a while and now it is in the hands of your children.
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