by a child of divorce.
I have always hated Christmas, the holiday that reminds me the most that I was from a shattered home. The shards used as weapons by my parents, fighting for visitation on dates that suited them. Both forgetting little me that would have to be shuttled back and forth. One needed to book a hotel and flights, and the other, too poor to travel. The anxiety and stress of being raised with parents who hated each other was manageable most of the year but magnified over Christmas.
Mothers and fathers decorating their trees, stockings hanging on the mantle, and gifts under the decorated tree. Tables set for families to celebrate together, discussions over who was making the stuffing or trifle. Christmas cards, a constant reminder of how other people were getting it right, whilst I was working out what I needed to pack. Never giving the other parent an opportunity to complain that something was forgotten.
I was forgotten.
Christmas marketing reminding me that my life was already a failure, that I was an outcast from societal norms. One celebrated the idea of Christmas and the other thought it was nonsense. No miracles, no sharing or giving, always receiving gifts I never wanted. I wanted to be wrapped up in warmth and love, I didn't realise it then, but I wanted to be a child.
I wanted my innocence.
One year he had a lovely girlfriend who decorated the home and brought sparkle and tinsel into my life, a beautiful memory to cling to. Another, she was arguing with her boyfriend who didn't buy her a 'good enough' present.
When I left home, I promised myself I would never return for Christmas, and to this day I have kept that promise to myself. Maybe one day, when I have a family I might reconsider. For now, I avoid that pain that is Christmas.
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