GALLERIES

    Holiday Traditions

    Looking back on my childhood, the holidays were some of the happiest memories of my life. Of course, being little you remember it for obvious reasons. But really, it was when my family seemed the happiest and most functional. My parents had me quite young and from as far back as I can remember, they hardly got along. Something about the holidays completely changed the morale of our house, though. They did everything they possibly could to make it special for us (me and my younger siblings, Taylor and Bailey). We had traditions we loved, too. My sister and I would watch every single Christmas movie we owned all day Christmas eve to anxiously pass the time before bedtime. We made homemade cookies for Santa and would have some for ourselves before bed. We’d hardly sleep, and would go take peeks in the early hours of the morning (like 3 am, ha). We were ridiculous with this, it drove our parents nuts.

    Fast forward to my senior year of high school, my parents decided to get a divorce. From the ages of 19 to 24 (roughly), my feelings about the holidays completely changed. We were all living far apart, some relationships were rocky, and the distant dynamic just made things really difficult.

    Every single December would roll around and I just remember crying a lot. In my early twenties, I learned to be very independent, but the holidays would have a way of knocking me down emotionally. Especially when it comes to relationships–it can really take a toll on you! I ended up figuring out plans for Christmas morning most of those years, but overall, holiday break still felt really lonely. It’s crazy the drastically different perspectives I’ve had about the holidays– some of the best highlights of my childhood and a few low points of my early twenties.

    I was talking to my friend Danielle about this, as we have somewhat similar family dynamics, and it brought back all of these memories. I wanted to share because 1) I’ve never talked about this with anyone, except Matt and 2) life is not always perfect, and if you’re going through something difficult yourself, I just want you to know that you’re not alone. It will get easier, and the best advice I can give is to keep your head up and be proactive with making plans. Start making your own traditions and treat yourself especially well!

    Something that always helped me get through { my } holiday blues, was knowing that it’s a temporary feeling. I knew one day I would surround myself with people who I love and who love me, create my own traditions again, and feel full again come the holiday season. I’m very grateful to have rekindled my love for December and have Matt and Scout by my side.

    It’s been so fun to start fresh with traditions that are our own! It’s the first year *ever* that we will be hosting Christmas, so we’re excited. Part II of this post is coming next week…sharing a couple of things we have added to our yearly itinerary!

    Thanks for reading, friends. Have a wonderful weekend and happy holidays xo

     

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    BY:
    Ashley
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    7 days ago

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    • Sophie Collins

      Beautifully written Ash!

      Love you

      Xxx
      soph

      • Aw, thank you, Soph! Love you, too lady. Your place looks so beautiful all decorated and love the mini tree in your bedroom, too cute. xo

    • Meredith Pratt

      Thank you for sharing and understanding how holidays like Christmas can be such an emotional time for children of divorced families. Even now, 25, it still stings every year. Beautifully said and I hope you have the most magical memory filed Christmas with Matt and Scout. <3

      • Thank you for saying hello, Meredith! Totally agree, it definitely still stings a little bit each year. It’s crazy how the holidays can really tug at your emotions the way they do. I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well! xo