What It's Like To Be A Child Of Divorce During The Holidays

What It's Like To Be A Child Of Divorce During The Holidays

"How do you divide a one day holiday between two parents?"

This past Thanksgiving was the first time that I had to have Thanksgiving dinner in two separate homes. It was odd, to say the least. According to American Psychology Association, about 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Growing up if you had asked me would I ever think that my family would have entered into that statistic, I honestly wouldn't have been that surprised. Over the last few years, it just started to feel different, and I never wanted to be that statistic but it happened. Kids see everything and being the eldest child in my family I saw a lot.

The holidays, for most people, are an exciting time to spend with family. Yes, of course, fights will happen and drama will occur because that's what happens when families get together. We all know that really weird family member that usually starts it all. For me, the holidays have just become a time where I have to figure out how much time I will get to spend with which parent and if I will get to see my brothers at both places. How do you divide a one day holiday between two parents? A few hours there and a few hours here. It has turned the holidays into a time where I am more stressed out about forgetting the presents or food for the house I need to have it at.

I still am able to go Black Friday shopping which I have been doing since I was 10. That is 10 years of tradition that won't end just because of the separation that has occurred in the family. Christmas in 2015 was already split up, and I got the idea of being with one parent one day and then the other another day. I grew up distanced from my extended family due to location, so I was used to it always being small. People often think "Oh well no you get two Christmas' that's double the presents. Why are you complaining?" That right there is the real problem with the holidays, it is no longer about families and celebration anymore it is about how much stuff you can get. A materialistic world.

People fail to understand that for children of divorce, the holiday season isn't what it once was. It was a time to celebrate and be happy. The traditions are no longer there, and it is difficult to adjust to the new way of doing things. My family had always put up the Christmas tree together on Thanksgiving, and we would decorate the house together. Now I just decorate my apartment and listen to Christmas music. The nice thing is that it takes me a lot less time, but it is different. A new change that has been difficult but I am learning to make new traditions for myself and bringing the joy back to the holidays.

Being a college student, I find is rather difficult to have divorce in my family even more than a child. In fact, choosing between your two parents instead of having them tell you where to go makes it that much harder. You’re the only student that isn’t looking forward to winter break. How do you divide those few weeks? Who do you go see first? Who do you spend Christmas with? Are you going out on New Year’s, or do you need to appease one of your parents and stay in? Will there be any time for friends? So many questions that add stress because they are your parents after all and you don't want to offend anyone.

I have realized that there is no reason to act like everything is OK and putting on a facade would not make the situation any better. Divorce makes the holidays more complicated, but still possible. As the Christmas season vastly approaches, I just hope that we can all focus on the joy and the birth of Jesus Christ instead of the things that now control our culture.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"


It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

Related Content

Facebook Comments