How Divorce Changes The Holiday Season

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If you are like my sister, you may already have your Christmas tree up and decorated, your stockings hung on the fireplace and your home filled with the trendiest holiday knick knacks from Hobby Lobby. However, if you are like me, you also probably dread this time of the year.


I do not mean to sound like a total scrooge, but the holiday season does not make me giddy with excitement like it used to. It has almost become a reminder of how good Christmas and Thanksgiving used to be, and how life has taken many unexpected turns since then.

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When my parents were together, I loved holidays. I loved the matching pajamas my sister and I would receive on Christmas Eve and the tradition of watching A Nativity Story before bed. There was a feeling of love that was constant throughout this time of the year. Now, the only feeling that lurks is the guilt of having to decide which parent to spend Christmas Day with.


What was once a time of joy is now a time of driving back and forth between one house and the other. It is now a balancing act that requires me to not spend too much time with one so the other does not feel bad. It is trying to avoid stories at the dinner table that involve the past or the other parent. This time of the year is hard, and it is especially hard to explain to people exactly why.


So, no, I do want to set up the tree any earlier than I have to. I do not mean to sound cynical, but I do not want to be reminded of how times have changed. I just want to drive back and forth, and get through the holiday season as quickly as possible.