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Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 3am

Lifestyles

Spending the Holidays at Two Homes

Spending Holidays Two HomesAround the holidays, the large majority of people on campus are ecstatic to go home and celebrate with their loved ones, whether they live on campus or not. Those on campus do enjoy the time at home more, but either way, the holidays bring joy and comfort to everyone. Although this may be the case to the vast majority, there are a number of those students who find the holidays stressful and difficult.

Students who struggle with parents who are divorced, or in other family situations, may view the holidays as a time of picking or choosing sides and hurting the other side’s feelings. In this article, however, students that do find these times particularly hard will discover a few ways to cope with this.

Considering that having divorced parents is not a child’s choice, it would be nice for the families to acknowledge that. Sadly, this is usually not the case. When reaching the age of being able to decide where to go for dinner or who to spend the day with, it can be overwhelming on the child. “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” or “What if they get upset with me?” Questions such as these tend to run through the young adult’s head when given the option of where to go. In order to cope with this, one should sit down with both parents and explain how they are feeling. For example: “Hey, I just want to let you guys know that having this decision every year of where to go really stresses me out and if we could all come to a solution together I would feel a lot better about all of this.” Planning the holidays may be a tad insane, but if this decreases the amount of anxiety and overwhelming stress placed onto the young adult, then why not take a chance?

In other cases, the parental figures in a young adult’s life may not want to sit down, forcing the young adult to choose. This is when the choice of going to both houses could come to play, but often times, the adults in the child’s life are not living near one another, making it difficult for quick travel.

If one finds themselves put into this situation, that person should offer two solutions to the problem: alternate years of the holidays such as going to the father figure’s house this Thanksgiving and the mother figure’s house this Christmas, but next year switching it. Or the child could approach one of the adults and explain themselves, giving the option of moving the celebration to the day after so that the child can attend.

Students at Monmouth University may not always be open about these problems, but it is important to keep in mind that someone going through these problems are the same as anyone with a typical living situation at home. After asking around to people on campus, there were many who were open to me about their stories. Freshman Health Studies major Hannah Padron explained, “every Thanksgiving and Christmas, I celebrate with my mother on the day of the holiday, but then a day or two after I visit my father and celebrate with him.” This keeps both parents happy and allows the children to not be stuck in a situation where they could potentially hurt someone’s feelings.

Freshman International Business student Kristhian Amaro, also has divorced parents at home. “Once attending college, I found myself following the same routine as past years – attending both houses on one day. Since my parents only live about thirty to forty-five minutes away from one another, I make a point to visit both houses on the day of the holiday,” he said.

There are those around campus who may not understand fully what this sacrifice means. For example, English Instructor Mary Bulvanoski has been married for thirty-four years and had parents who were married for fifty years. Although people such as Professor Bulvanoski may not have gone through the experience of having separated parents, she explained, “some holidays grow difficult to see the entire family at once due to my children being married or having significant others. I then set a date around two days after the holiday is over to celebrate with all of my children.”

All families experience difficulties around the holidays, and even families who do not have divorced parents can relate to the struggles that come from separated families.

In the end, it is important to remember that the holidays should be a joyous time where all loved ones come together to celebrate the day. Whether a family celebrates in the traditional manner or not, everyone can understand the difficulties the holidays can bring. In light of this, it is a key idea that everyone should make sure that happiness and joy are within them and to never settle for a situation that makes them feel too stressed out.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu