Holidays- when your parents are divorced


I wish I could say I was super excited about Christmas, but I can’t and I haven’t been for almost a decade, since I started coming home for Christmas again.  My parents divorced when I was 10.  After that Christmas was with all of us still, but at my grandparents house.  Then they both remarried and my dad had another child.  So Christmas Eve was with dad and Christmas day was still with my grandparents and mom.  But my mom and her husband are weird so then it was Christmas eve with dad, Christmas day at home ( I lived at my grandparents) & then to my moms.  Then I met my husband and for many many many wonderful years we had Christmas at his parents house. We’d swim in the morning, have a wonderful full breakfast and then get together later in the afternoon to do presents and then for a giant meal with all sorts of people present and it was truly magical. Sure I missed sitting around in my pjs snacking on leftovers and playing trivial pursuit w/my grandparents, my aunt & my brother- but there was no drama and no hurt feelings.  Now I have kids and my mom comes here Christmas morning and always acts like it’s the end of the world when she has to leave, so my dad can come over or we can go to his house.  We used to go to my grandparents house and that was fun, but they both passed this year.  So now we are back to my mom here in the morning and I would like to go to my dad’s or have them all here, but then I have to get my mom to leave and I can’t just say we are going to dad’s now, or she gets all weird.  I wish I could honestly say I have a relationship with my mom, but I don’t.  I could go months without calling her and I used to and there was nothing there.  We haven’t been close ever that I can remember. She let me go and live with my grandparents and then married this odd husband she has still. They come here and sit and play with my kids, but don’t talk and they are just weird.  To the point where I would love to be able to whisk away my kids and husband for a vacation just for Christmas day, so we can celebrate as I want to, as a family.  How awful is it to be in your late 30’s and not be able to enjoy the holiday as you want because you don’t want to hurt the feelings of someone you don’t really like all that much anyway? It’s so frustrating.  I wish there was an easy way to handle this.  I’m hoping when the kids are a bit older we can just go away for Christmas, then the problem is solved.  Each year at this time, I find myself daydreaming of moving with the family to some place where it’s us and we don’t have any connections or ties, where we are free to celebrate holidays as we please.  For over 25 years I have been holding my breath trying to not upset either one of my parents on holidays- how sad is that and how sad is it that my mother can’t realize that as an adult with a family of my own, I might want to spend time with both her and my father without feeling guilty?  Uggh.  I can’t wait until Boxing Day, then I have almost a whole year to relax until the next holiday season.

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