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Intro [Nov. 5th, 2009|10:10 am]


[mood |confusedconfused]

I'm looking for some advice.

My in-laws are divorced, and this puts a huge strain on my wife during the holidays, but most notably Christmas. I'm not good at telling stories, but I'll do the best I can:

My in-laws divorced when my wife was 18 and starting college. She moved home to be around through it all to help support her dad and sister (her sister's 6 years younger than her). Ever since then, she's never had a "normal" Christmas, as I'm sure you all would expect. This is difficult on me because I don't fully understand. It's hard to get a feel for it because whenever I talk to my wife about it, she gets very emotional, which isn't at all surprising, which is why I'm coming to you.

Her dad and step-mom live about 15 minutes from us, while my parents and her mom live 45 minutes away (my parents and her mom live in the same town, about 5 minutes apart), so it both simplifies and complicates working Christmas.

I guess I'm wondering...what do YOU normally do for Christmas/how do you handle it? What am I missing with how she's been/being affected by the divorce? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

From: (Anonymous)
2009-11-05 06:31 pm (UTC)
christmas eve with one parent, christmas day with the other. that's typically the best solution. your wife had 18 yrs of christmas memories as one family..i don't know that you ever get used to that being broken. it's such an emotional time of year as it is..to not have that time together as one anymore is really rough. i think that's all there is to understand. christmas almost becomes a bit about mourning the loss of the family you knew, sadly. hopefully she can just enjoy the time she has with each parent as things are now. you're sweet to be so concerned though.
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[User Picture]From: geenerswh
2009-11-05 09:02 pm (UTC)
My dad lives in Georgia, and for the past two years, my mom lived in Oklahoma, and I'm in Illinois. So it usually works out for me to do Christmas with one side of the family and do Christmas-at-New-Years with the other side (My boyfriend and I go to his family for Thanksgiving).

I agree with Anonymous: you never get used to family memories being broken. But one thing that helps me is building new memories and traditions: with my parents, with my dad's family, and with my boyfriend and his family. It's still sad, but it helps make the time I spend in mourning over lost traditions less because I spend more being happy about new traditions.
The other thing that helps me is keeping some of the traditions alive where I can. Like Sausage Balls on holidays. I've made them every holiday since I was about 10. I still do, and I share them with my new families and friends. And last year, I introduced my boyfriend's family to the dog show after the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving :-D
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[User Picture]From: camper4lyfe
2009-11-05 09:09 pm (UTC)
One other glitch in the plan is that my sister will now be living back in NY, about 15 minutes from my parents, with her brand new twins. I've talked to my sister about starting a new tradition where we go to each other's houses and not to our aunt's and uncles, just to cut down on all the traveling. It's a tough situation no matter how you look at it.
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