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How Divorce Complicates The Holidays


– Once all the Christmas
songs start coming on the first thing I can think of is when are we gonna get to January second, like can this all be over soon. – Hi. I’m Matt, and my parents got divorced when I was eight years old. Now I know no two divorces are the same. But if there’s any time
of year that unifies people with divorced
parents, it’s the holidays. And the fact that they’re
pretty complicated. So I asked some of my
coworkers with divorced parents to share some of their experiences and feelings towards the holiday season. And how it’s changed
from when they were kids, to now as adults. – I’m Logan, my parents got divorced when I was about five years old. – I’m Jamie, I’m 27, my parents divorced when I was five. – Hi my name’s Lindsey, I was 21 when my parents got divorced. – My name’s Alp, I am
currently 27 years old, and I was six years old when
my parents got divorced. – So I’m Emily, I was four
when my parents got divorced. – I’m Chelsea, my parents got
divorced, when I was like, oh they got separated when
I was like eight or nine, and then didn’t officially
get divorced til I was 15 cause shit’s messy. – I don’t really remember
them together at all, which means I only really
know spending Christmas with both of them, meaning
I had two Christmases. – It never really affected Christmas, other than the fact that I
had a lot of extra presents. – Now that they’re divorced, I’m an adult, the holidays are extremely inconvenient. – In a weird way I feel
fortunate because I was so young and you know when you’re that age, like things don’t feel weird,
that’s just your family. And that’s just your day to day life. – The holidays were weird because, like I didn’t have memories
from when they were together, so I always thought that people would go to one house one year and
then another house another year and then I grew up and was like wait… – The biggest thing I think in retrospect that like I really wanted to
do was maintain traditions. I do have memories of being like, well my dad’s not part
of the Christmas anymore, who’s gonna fill my mom’s stocking and give her like, pajamas
and Santa presents. – As you get older having
divorced parents sucks. Because you essentially
have to pick one parent. – I have had a lot of step
parents over the years, five to be exact. – So just rolling between, two households, driving and staying sober at one or the other, which is hard enough as it
is without divorced parents. – It’s always better to
have more support around you growing up as a child I think, but I was really happy
that they were both happy. – Now I kind of don’t like the holidays, because it makes me feel tired I guess. – If you’re dating or in a relationship with someone who also
has divorced parents, it really sucks cause
then you have four parents to deal with and you
essentially have to choose one of them and you
feel like you’re always gonna hurt someone’s feelings essentially. – When I was growing up we had like, exciting, fun, big holidays,
big Italian family, everyone in one place usually, in my parent’s home, so
now that’s different. And a lot less fun. – One thing that is cool,
about having two separate families during the holidays is that you get to spend a lot of
time with your siblings kind of bonding over the
shared weird experience that you’re all going through. – It like started being
okay when we just kind of stopped trying to combine it in any way. And I’d have like lunch
or something with my dad. – If you have siblings
it’s just a giant mess. So when you’re young it’s
cool to have two Christmases, but as you get older, it
becomes really complicated. – I actually love Christmas,
I’ve never disliked it. I put my tree up two days
after Thanksgiving, this year. But I haven’t spent Christmas
with family since 2009. – Yeah it is a little
weird to juggle your time. And keeping two sides
of the family separate, so I don’t know, I guess
it is normal to feel like, you have to sacrifice
your personal desires to do things that are right
for your family members and everybody’s comfortable in the space. – When you’re a kid you’re
just super sheltered, and you, again, just don’t
really realize what’s not normal. So I think growing up
that kind of clicked. Being like oh I don’t
have to do this anymore. I don’t have to spend all my
time worrying about family matters and all that
stuff, and I guess I just chose to be indifferent
about the holidays. – I could just like
ignore all the problems if we just separated it and
weren’t trying to bounce around. – The holidays now are
kinda like a mixed bag because it’s kinda nice
to see parents that you don’t see all the
time when you’re an adult. Especially if you don’t live
in the same state as them. But it really just becomes
a scheduling nightmare trying to figure out things cause you don’t get a lot of time off, but you wanna see your parents. – I have a good
relationship with my family. I call them I talk to them. But we’re not very celebratory together. – The general feeling I
have of my parents divorce is a feeling of like, I
feel it was the right thing. And I think I benefited
growing up from that choice. – I don’t know, it’s hard,
it’s complicated I guess. I think as an adult, I, feel like, especially cause I live
3,000 miles away from home, and so when I go home I wanna see also my friends and balancing that with seeing like my extended family. – You kind of feel like
a child at some times cause it’s like well I
was with mom last year, this year I have to be with dad. – Once all the Christmas
songs start coming on the first thing I can think of is when are we gonna get to January second, like can this all be over soon. – I’ve always liked tradition,
which I think is why I haven’t minded that I haven’t
spent Christmas with family. Cause I started my own traditions. I usually spend it with friends. – Yeah in the long run, I
think holidays are such a small part of what it is to be a family. I wouldn’t say I’m jaded
about the holidays, like, I think it’s appropriate
to call me a grinch or whatever, but, there
are so many other moments to share with my family,
that Christmas or Easter, or whatever isn’t really the biggest part that I feel bringing us together. – Oh yeah, I think that
everything I’ve said wouldn’t offend my mom, so that’s good. – [Interviewer] That’s a relief.

Stephen Childs

100 Comments

  1. mine separated a year ago on October 1 (I was 12 now 13) it's really hard ..I hate the holidays. and my mom now lives four hours away.

  2. My mom divorced my dad when I was 2 years old and she divorced my stepdad when I was 13 years old.

  3. My parents got divorced when i was maybe 2 and it was just messy and stressful wasnt able to see my dad on christmas for many years unless it was supervised cause he was not a nice person and then when i did i got ignored by his family cause of my gender so long story short i dont see that family anymore i hate christmas and typically id like to stay home and do nothing during the holidays #therealgrinch

  4. I have been blessed .. My parents are divorced but I like to think my parents are the people that are more suited as " the couple that are best friends but nothing more" but for me it works because my mom is Hispanic… so we celebrate the 24th then on the 25 we would go to my dad's.. I'm also blessed because the only live 20 minutes away.

  5. Just a reminder for those feeling down about the divorce; When you're all together the likely hood of someone crying at the end of the day is higher.

  6. Basically it sucks!!! But being a child of divorce watching this I wanted to show my parents this video !! X

  7. My parents divorced when I was about 12 or 13, and I remember the Christmas before my dad moved out I decorated the Christmas tree by myself. I tried to get them to help me but they just brushed me off and walked away. I told my mom about it recently and she said she didn’t even remember.

  8. "Normal" is so restricting, it forces people to hang onto dysfunctional relationships (WAY UNHEALTHY!!!!). How about not fitting into any societal norms for 2018?

  9. my child of divorced parents holiday story is really weird, since my mom is jewish and my father is christian, AND his birthday is december 25th. basically, chanukah is //sometimes// with my mom, it depends on when it falls in the year, but christmas is always with my father. it's just uncomfy

  10. For a person with divorced parents, and where most of my social circle’s parents are still together, it’s refreshing and comforting to hear people have the same opinions and same weird feelings about Christmas and the holidays
    Thanks for this video Matt

  11. My parents got separated when I was around 15 and divorced when I got 17. The hardest part for me is missing one parent every year and remembering the good years when both were with you.

  12. Im so thankful that my parents are still together after 26 years and in love ♡

  13. My story relates to the ones who had the divorce happen at a young age, but mine hasn’t been the “double presents” thing because we would go years at a time not going over there. Especially because I mostly have to plan the visits that do happen now.

    I really like hearing from other kids of divorce! Thanks Buzzfeed!

  14. My parents are going through a divorce right now. It's hard, but I'm trying to be okay with it because I don't want my mother to be stuck in a marriage for me and my brother..

  15. Oh, I feel so bad. Luckily my parents aren’t divorced but I have a bunch of good friends whose parents are divorced, they are used to it tho. But I just couldn’t imagine the whole situation. Happy New Year to y’all!❤️

  16. My mom and dad got divorce when I was 9 months and through the years she met a man who drinks 3-5 beers a day. And my mom is pregnant, he would hurt her, fights at least once or twice a month but she is still with him and divorce my dad because he wouldn't get a better job but my dad never yelled at her or attempted to harm her. But she says that the guy she's with will change one day and I think when it's been over 10 years and I've haven't seen anything change

  17. Im 27 and my parents are currently going through a divorce. This holiday season was a nightmare for me.

  18. I don't have to deal with the guilt of choosing between the two houses because my dad lives in a different state (and frankly I don't want to). However, I love my mom to pieces. And I feel guilty and terrible that I am not able to buy her a boat load of expensive presents and then she buys my siblings and I everything we want. It's just kinda hard :///

  19. Haven't even watched the video yet and I feel like this video is gonna be relatable asf

  20. I mean mine divorced when I was 2 but my dad died at 5 so I don't remember anything like this

  21. Thank you for making this video. It's nice knowing that I'm not the only one who blocked out any memories of my parents ever being together.

  22. My parents divorced when I was 13 and I'm now 16 and the holidays are so confusing I have to go to both sides each holiday and to add on I'm an only child and my parents divorce completely ruined my relationship with my mother but at least I understand what my dad went threw and why they got a divorce

  23. Yeah, I'm 14 and my parents are getting divorced soon. They've been separated for about 6 months now, and it's really frustrating. They don't communicate about anything, so things like Christmas are chaos right now.

  24. I was 4 when my parents divorced and for me the holidays weren’t that bad. In my family the fun celebrations occur on the 24th so I’d spend that day with my mom and all my aunts and uncles and close the night off by opening presents. Then on the 25th my dad would pick me and my sisters up, go to his house and open presents over there then get lunch or something then back to my moms. I probably should feel bad about not spending more time with my dad and his family but they were just too judgmental and religious about everything to have an ounce of fun. Ruined my pozole cuz my tia said we were going to hell for eating pork (I was 6!!) She probably should have told me they didn’t eat pork before I brought those tamales that the entire family ate oops

  25. You know what sucks more. Living with parents that dont love each other anymore and your dad basically went with his friends to celebrate 31st .
    Here I'm sitting on my sofa cause my parents dont get along and i have no life basically

  26. Christmas sucks with divorced parents when it's all you know. My parents got divorced when I was 2. Of course you may get presents, but it gives me bad feelings.

    And this video reminded me of these bad feelings.

  27. As a person who's parents were never together and I think I speak for all when I say. Go put your big girl and boy underwear on and stop whining.

  28. I just realized how great my Christmas is even though I’m a child of divorce too. My dad will come over in the morning for two hours and my parents get along just fine. But I still can’t help but crying when he leaves. 😘😍😃😀😕🙁☹️😣😩😭

  29. I'm Jewish, we have lots of Holiday's which I LOVE but i hated it everytime they came because my parents are divorced
    they divorced when i was something like one year old i think.. maybe less

  30. My parents separated when I was 13, and still haven’t finalized their divorce. I’m 18 now. Mom had turned into an alcoholic almost overnight, dad was always working trying to make ends meet, and because I didn’t want to be at home, I channeled all of my energy into being at school and being involved with too many clubs and organizations and other activities. Not only that, but I became my brother’s pseudo parent since one was drunk half the time and the other was trying to make sure things wouldn’t fall apart financially. The experience made one hell of a college essay.

  31. I wrote a song about a father losing custody in a divorce and singing to his children. It means a lot to me. If you have time please listen. Thank you.

  32. I usually spend half the day with one parent and the other half with the other on holidays

  33. I feel this. When i was younger i loved having two Christmas’, but now it’s so complicated. No matter what I do, one of my parents always tell me how disappointed they are that i spent less time with them than the other. This video is so important to me, thank you buzzfeed for posting this 🙂

  34. I had to move away with my mom and sister when mine got divorced when I was 7. It was Christmas.

  35. Great video! My parents have been divorced for 8 years now and since then especially Christmas is not as it used to be.. This video is so raw and honest, I love it

  36. Parents messy shits always affect the children a lot 😑this is soo heartbreaking 😭😭😭

  37. my parents divorced when i was 11 i believe. My dads side and moms side always had christmas time at the exact same time. So there really was no difference, except that my dad and mom now blame eachother for having the parties at the same time as eachother. I try to go to both because they are half an hour away from eachother. I also get less presents and now my dad thinks that buying my medicines and wrist bands for carpal tunnel and for my foot for always being on my feet, is a gift from him, not to help me for my well being, when before divorce, he only wanted the best for me. My dad also has another wife so he has to go to their parties (i dont really associate with his wife but the casual conversation at get togethers at holidays because im not a mean person and dont want to be mean to others no matter what happened, but my mom wants me to be mean or not talk to her, my dad wants me to hang out and be friends with his current wife. as a compromise, i dont hang out or talk much to her, but am cordial at least).My boyfriends grandparents are also divorced (they have the party), but its convientent because one does it the saturday before and the other does it christmas eve, so the rest of the family can spend time at home with their immediate family and not go anywhere on christmas day but spend time together. So i have 4 Christmases.

  38. The worst part for me when I was a teenager was knowing one of my parents would be alone on Christmas Eve.

  39. My parents got separated when I was 10 because my mom cheated. My dad found the text messages on his birthday and confronted my mom about it right outside my door when he thought I was asleep, but unfortunately, I wasn't. I heard the whole conversation and couldn't get it off my mind. And to make that year even worse, my dog died a month later. My mom got engaged a year later on her birthday and got pregnant a few months later, which forced my dad to start smoking again.

  40. My parents are divorced but ones Christian and the others Jewish so holidays aren’t usually difficult.

  41. My parents got divorced when I was 2 so it's all I've ever known. I've often wondered how my life would have been if they stayed together.

  42. My parents divorced when I was 5. I hate my dad, he always pretends he cares about me but some how he always forgets my birthday.🤔😒

  43. My parents divorced when I was 9 and I had to stay with my dad because he had more money. But then he couldn’t handle me and my brother till he got so stressed he told me to pack my bags and literally leave. I had to find a way to contact my mom where now I live with her. So yeah it’s really sucks

  44. My parents have been separated since I was 5, they still haven’t gotten a divorce though. My mom had an affair, my dad, the sweetest man in the world, found out. My mom had kept a journal of her affair and said she never felt that way before. One night my parents were fighting in the kitchen when I stepped in the middle of them. After that my dad moved into his studio which wasn’t finished. One day my mom made me pack a bible, some clothes, and a sleeping bag. We stayed at my sister’s house, she was in college staying at HER dad’s house. I left all my personal things at the house I had lived in for most of my life. I hardly have any memories from then, I blocked most out. But my life would probably be miserable if they didn’t separate. If you got this far, thank you for listening, it doesn’t happen often. You can vent too, I’ll read it.

  45. My parents are divorced but my childhood was fine because they didn’t have to deal with holidays since my dad left us. So we didn’t have to worry about that! 🙂🤷🏾‍♀️

  46. My parents divorced when I was 6 ( I am 12) I spend Christmas with my mom then my dad and I feel guilty about not spending time with my dad and it is difficult

  47. My dad disowned me and i did nothing, i live with my mom and she is the only one that actually cares and she never worries about if she gets taxes or not, like my dad. Any more i just came to conclusion i dont have a dad. I didnt even get christmas presants this year from him not even a few bucks. He got my 9 year old sister a barbie car and pjs with money, me i didnt get anything. He told my mother he wants nothing to do with me or my baby who is comming soon. He disowned me and a child thats not even born yet, we did nothing to him .

  48. omg, I can relate to this sooo much!
    Having divorced parents sucks when you're home from college for 2 weeks, want to see all your friends from different circles + see both parents + siblings and half-siblings + other relatives on both sides of the family, and also want to be able to BREATH at all on the same time😩

  49. My parents divorced when I was 8 or 9 officially and having your family divorced for basically your whole life is complicated during the holidays oh god the holidays are very complicated

  50. My family splits all of the holidays in half so we get to spend time at both homes. IT FREAKING SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!

  51. I do identify with the woman who’s parents divorced when she was already an adult. I was 22 or 23 when my mom told us, and we are all still trying to figure things out 2-3 years later. Christmas is weird. Birthdays are weird. Our childhood home sold this past February so this whole year has been entirely different. I feel because I wasn’t a “child of divorce” but an adult who lived on her own anyways that I can’t complain about how it’s changed me and my outlook – but these things effect us, sometimes more than we realize, and all of our experiences are valid. I loved hearing some other people’s thoughts on this topic.

  52. My parents separated when I was young and we do the same thing every year for Christmas I would spend Christmas morning with my mom and after we open presents I go to my dad house

  53. That's so hard, in my situation I wasn't even able to choice. I was left with my mom and he doesn't care. Only see him once a year.People asking on which finger your mother wears a ring and I lie '' On diffrent fingers''. The childhood was like hell because of fights so ''Everyone thinks that we're perfect''.So I don't care about the holidays, that's the least that I can care about. The only wish was to have a happy family like others.

  54. It's very difficult, especially if (like my parents) the divorce is messy.

  55. My parents just got divorced and the holidays have been so different and have honestly made me really sad. I saw my dad for about an hour on Christmas Eve but other than that, it was just my mom, her boyfriend, my grandparents and I. I feel like holidays won’t be the same anymore for a lot of the reasons mentioned in the video. Sending love to anyone in the same boat. ❤️

  56. We can’t stop divorce, but we can make it more equal. Women get the house, most of the husband’s money, and child custody as well as getting child support payments 81% of the time. It’s an unfair and sexist system.

  57. Having divorced parents sucked for me a lot because instead of switching household each week, I completely loss contact with my dad. My parents also divorced when I was 2 so I have zero memories of my dad and I can't even imagine his face. I personally feel like people should only have children when they are 100% Shute they will stay together because living in a divorced family really can effect your childhood and looses key memories you should have with your family.

  58. I feel like the worst part is deciding what holiday you’re spending with each parent if you live far away from one and spending time with the family of each of they remarried and honestly it’s very uncomfortable and ig sucks

  59. Tbh, I can't relate to this because I live with with my mom sooo. For now, I haven't seen my dad in a long time so I never go to say ' TWO CHRISTMAS'S ' Hopefuly, I will be able to say that if my dad chooses to be apart of our life's.

  60. I come from a strange split family. My mom left my dad and remarried. However, with ALL holidays and birthdays, my family celebrates them as a whole. Sometimes its clear they got divorced for a reason and we find it funny because we know at the end of the day they are happier with how everything turned out. My dad even still gets invites to all my mom's family functions. Her sisters make it clear he is always welcome. I love my family and i wish everyone had it as easy.

  61. I’m sorry those people are hurting, but life would have been so much easier if my parents had gotten divorced. The fact that they stayed married when they resented each other means that old issues keep resurfacing and snowballing. It sucks. Be grateful that your parents’ fights eventually stopped because mine parents’ haven’t.

  62. My 1 younger brother gets bullied at school saying u r poor and u got no money

  63. My parents are divorced but since he just disappeared until recently holidays were just with mom

  64. I.. never had this problem? My father never cared about the holidays and so when my parents split up it was a no-brainer that I spent Christmas with my mother. Sure we'd go by my fathers at some point during Christmas break, but it was always the time we spent with my mother and her family. We just kept doing that as adults as well. 

    And quite honestly, I preferred the two of them far more after they split up. They were miserable together, but pretty decent people when apart.

  65. I was a single mom with a little girl that found a dad with 3 kids that were abandoned by the mom, the kids love me so much that the mom is now jealous, i guess she expected me to be mean and treat them bad, and now she’s mad that I love them and they love me.. I do everything she stopped doing for them, like homeworks, school projects, spend time with them, putting food on their plates etc.., I’m currently pregnant and the kids are excited with their new baby brother or sister but the mom is such a btch that’s trying to put things in the kids brain.. why is people so immature and selfish? Idk I just need an explanation because I can’t think of anything reasonable…

  66. It's gonna be Christmas here in a few days and it'll probably be the first Christmas where my parents aren't together… Idk how it's gonna plan out

  67. I relate to Logan so bad. I feel like that child being pulled between my mom and dad all the time.

  68. My parents divorced when i was 5/6 and my dad didnt come to any of my birthdays but he wanted to…my mom didnt let him

  69. Mine divorced when I was 14 ish, and we talked custody for a few years before splitting up the siblings eventually. The hardest part for me was trying to stay neutral when my sister was biased and my little brother had no idea what was happening. Trying to shelter younger siblings is a consistent struggle, especially when they say, “I miss Mommy”, or “When’s Daddy coming?” and you have to keep your tears in and say that things will be okay even though you have no idea what to tell them.

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