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Christmas in a split household

Christmas season is a time to spend with family and celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s full of presents, gingerbread and decorated Christmas trees.

For some people, however, choosing how to spend the holidays can be difficult, especially when you have to split the celebrations between divorced parents.

“It was the end of my eighth grade year when my parents got divorced,” said Logan Gardner, a sophomore studying public health. “The hardest part was worrying about what my friends would think because I feel like divorce is pretty taboo in the Church.”

For Gardner, Christmas after her parents split was almost the same every year.

“My dad would come by and drop off Christmas presents for us and then leave,” Gardner said.

Christmas of 2017 was only slightly different when her father was asked to stay for dinner.

“He kind of just sat there,” Gardner said. “It was awkward and my mom basically did all the work.”

Alex Larkin, a junior studying engineering, said the first Christmas after the divorce was quite odd.

“My siblings and I had to split our time with our parents 50/50, which was incredibly inconvenient,” Larkin said. “Now, four years later, Christmas is similar to that first year, but we are more used to it.”

Gardner gave advice for students currently witnessing a split in their household.

“You need to remember that this has nothing to do with you, it’s just your parents,” Gardner said. “Even though things with your family are pretty rocky, you should stay close with your siblings because they are the only ones that know exactly how you feel.”

Remembering that family is forever, no matter how hard times can be, can help with the mix of feelings you can experience with split family holidays. Christmas is a time to celebrate what you have and to love those around you.

“I have learned to be grateful and to have faith that this is part of Heavenly Father’s plan,” Gardner said.

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