When I tell people that my parents are divorced and my mom remarried, I often get looks of pity.
Next, I'll usually get the “Do you like your new stepdad?” question. Once these repetitive questions are asked, I usually get “Well, you must love the holidays! More presents!”
Don’t take that the wrong way - I LOVE the holidays. I mean, to the point of an almost unhealthy obsession. I love everything about them - the music, the lights, the way that the air just feels like Christmas. But no, I do not get four Christmases. I don’t get three. I don’t even get two. I get one.
Before you think that I’m complaining, let me assure you, I’M NOT.
The truth is, I never had more than one Christmas even when my parents were married. I never had to listen to my parents try to figure out when they would go to my grandparent's house for Christmas.
It was always the same - we woke up Christmas morning, opened presents, then headed to my grandparent’s house. We met up with my mom’s siblings and got to enjoy my grandmother’s famous shrimp newburg. I would walk circles around the tree, trying to spot my presents. In the meantime, the adults talked at the table and my brothers played football with my cousins in the yard.
Now that my mom is divorced and remarried, nothing has really changed. The only alteration in the schedule is that now we wait for my step-siblings to make the long drive to our house Christmas morning. Other than that, everything stays the same.
I don’t go to my dad’s family for Christmas. I never have, and I never will.
And no, I don’t go to my stepdad’s family for Christmas. I would love to, but the 537 miles tend to keep us apart.
While many people see this as my holidays being deprived of love and joy, I’m okay with it. It’s not about the presents because I really don’t need any more than what I already receive.
The truth is, only having one Christmas DOES affect me.
Not in a negative way, but in a positive one. Being a part of a blended family during the holidays causes me to want to be different. Don’t get me wrong, I love my blended family, but I don’t want my own children to have to go through the same struggles as I.
I want to be better. I want my kids to have one Christmas morning, and two Christmases with two sets of grandparents. That’s how it should be. That’s how I want it to be.
I understand trying to “see the positive” in bad situations, but please, PLEASE, quit glorifying divorce by waving presents around. It’s not okay. It will NEVER be okay.
No amount of gifts under the tree will change that.