“Holidays are notoriously tricky with blended families.” This is my ex-husband speaking. We’re standing in the shade of a massive Coral tree on a brilliant morning in Santa Monica, the late-fall sunlight dappling the sidewalk.
The holidays are tricky for all families. But in divorce, complicated logistics, hurt feelings, and even nostalgia for celebrations past can add to the typical stress.
In our case, “divvying up” the holidays has been pretty easy. We don’t alternate whose side our son goes to every year. I take my son to Texas for Thanksgiving and some Jewish holidays; Christmas he goes with his father to New York. While interfaith couples statistically have more conflicts, dividing religious holidays after divorce isn’t one of them. At least not for us.
Actually, I celebrate Christmas with my ex-husband’s family, too. The year before we split, I’d cooked the entire dinner for 17 alongside his then-teenage niece. This quickly became a new tradition, and we continued it even after my husband and I broke up in 2012. She and I made the dinner the following year, and the one after that. Last year, after my divorced little family had relocated to California, we all flew in together for Christmas, and I made the dinner again.
This year? I wasn’t so sure I wanted to go.