Abigail Keller ‘16 – The holidays are just around the corner, and the stresses of food preparation, finding the perfect gifts, and having to make small talk with distant relatives arise. As these little problems begin for some, children with divorced parents have a much larger dilemma at hand.

The holidays are all about being surrounded by loved ones and coming together with family, but how do you simulate that feeling when your parents are no longer together? It’s a disappointing reality; no longer being able to celebrate these special days together like a “normal” family.

Sometimes, holidays start to become dreaded days that children with divorced parents patiently wait to end. The Thanksgiving food begins to taste bitter and the Christmas gifts become less magical.

The struggle of deciding which parent to spend a holiday with drowns a child’s thoughts. No matter who they spend it with they can’t help but feel guilty, thinking in the back of their mind that the other parent is left disappointed. In other cases, the day is split between the two.

“It stinks because you don’t get the full family experience without both parents being there,” Dakota O’Neil ‘17 said. “It always feels like something’s missing.”

They spend the morning with their mom and her side of the family, enjoying coffee and stuffing the turkey. By early afternoon they are headed to their dad’s side, where they overfill their plate with a Thanksgiving feast.

“I try to fit both of them in,” Erica Johns ‘16 said, “I go to my mom’s on Christmas eve and my dad’s on Christmas day because that’s his birthday and the whole family gets together to celebrate.”

Constant stereotypes arise that children of divorce are the “lucky ones” who get double of everything; double the Christmas gifts, double the Thanksgiving turkey. Whether that’s true for a divorced family or not, little do people know a child with divorced parents would give up the extra food and gifts in exchange for their family to be together for the holidays.

 

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