From my P.O.V: Christmas at two houses

How holidays are spent with divorced parents

By Raven Bautista

Raven Bautista_optFor the last ten years, my sister and I spent the holidays either with my dad or my mom. Every Christmas is different, and we never know what to expect. Sometimes we will be out-of-state with my mom, or at my cousin’s house with my dad.

Holidays with divorced parents are not as depressing as they might seem. I do get to see both my mom and dad during Christmas week. However, I spend Christmas with one parent and New Year’s week with the other. My sister and I make the most out of it and are glad to spend time with both parents instead of neither.

It is the same routine every year: we open presents on Christmas Eve and then leave for the other parent’s house first thing the following morning.

It is difficult trying to plan things during winter break and I usually end up doing nothing and sleeping in all day. My sister and I do not know who we are going to spend Christmas with until the first week of December.

Throughout the years I’ve gotten used to the uncertainty of what will happen for Christmas. It has developed into a tradition, something that happens every year.

One Christmas, my sister and I woke up early to open presents at my dad’s house, an hour after which we left for our mom’s house to open more. The perk of more gifts is one nice thing about divorced parents.

Every year, one parent will have nicer gifts than the other, a somewhat low-key contest between them to show who made more that year. Every year when we get gifts, we cannot really bring them with us to the other’s house because our parents will think we are trying to show them off.

In the end, presents never matter to my sister and I — the time we spend  with our parents is what we cherish the most.

We live with our mom and visit our dad throughout the year. The way we celebrate Christmas is not very different from the way other people do — we still gather around the Christmas tree, open presents and celebrate the New Year, just not as a complete family.

Having divorced parents for a decade has taught me to appreciate the little things in life, like having vacations and gifts, and has made me value time with family more.