Shops are loaded with Christmas stuff: sweets, decorations, gift boxes. This is my second Christmas as a single mother and to be honest, sometimes it’s not easy to feel the holiday vibes.

Last Christmas was kind of weird. I was used to doing everything all by myself around the holidays (shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, cooking, etc.) but the thought of my daughter having to spend the holidays at two different places was lingering above my head and heart like a dark cloud.

I decided not to focus on the materialistic aspect of the holidays and did my best to create memories and make as much time for myself as possible.

Our cats are keen on climbing up the Christmas tree, so last year I wanted to save myself from having to be a tree guard and I left our 6-foot tree in the garage and bought a small pine tree at Lidl. It was a real one in a bucket and it was about 70 cm tall, or 1 metre with the bucket. I used only few ornaments (some of them were homemade) on the tree but made a paper advent calendar with Bible verses for each day of December. Instead of buying a truckload of stuff, my daughter and I baked gingerbread, made a small advent centrepiece for our dining table and had quality time together.