Christmas time

‘Christmas came just 3 months after my ex’s death. That’s when they showed up. My in-laws. They rallied together to help our broken family make new, magical memories.’: In-laws rally to provide kids a Christmas after woman’s ex-husband’s suicide

“It was an ‘all hands-on deck’ type of tragedy. My kids were so young. His parents flew us to Florida. My only job was to get on the plane with the kids. There was absolutely no obligation to love on the ‘ex-wife.’ They could have easily blamed me for their son’s downward spiral into suicide. They could have chosen to hate, curse, and isolate me from their family. But they didn’t.”

‘They are the hardest. I don’t expect you to understand. I’ll never hear my boys say, ‘I love you.’: Mom of 2 sons with autism says they are ‘so much more’ than their diagnosis

“To say I am jealous is an understatement. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I am extremely jealous. It’s just not fair. The going to see Santa Claus, throwing birthday parties – it all stings. Hearing what cool new toy they added to their Christmas list to Santa. My children have never cared about any of that.”

‘Oh thank God, one surgery and he’ll be back to normal.’ My dad was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. He was going to survive, no doubt in my mind.’: Daughter reflects on holidays without your dad

​”A feeling came over me that my dad would not pass away if I was there. I was his little girl and he was my hero. 15 minutes later, he was gone. The first Christmas without my dad, I remember thinking, ‘Just smile.’ I also carried a water bottle with me everywhere, because my dad had once told me as a child, ‘if you drink water, you will calm down and not cry.”

‘I do my part to make friends. I wave at school pick up. I smile at the girls in my workout class who then huddle together, leaving little room for a newcomer.’: Mom says it’s OK if you’re not invited to all the holiday parties

“I’ve been in groups that are giggly and fun, but I also never got to know their parent’s names, or their greatest insecurities, or what their dreams were beyond motherhood. Making it incredibly difficult for women like me, who mostly keep to themselves, to find a seat.”

‘If you can’t respect me and your Dad, don’t come to MY family’s Christmas celebrations.’ Pump the brakes, crazy lady.’: Woman ‘bitter’ over tumultuous upbringing, but learns to ‘forgive’ after all the hurt

“You married her when I was 3. I wasn’t at your wedding. I was maliciously sent to Chicago by my mother, just to get back at you. Remember that time you came to my Grandma’s and literally kidnapped me? Dragging me down the hill, kicking and screaming, you trying to hush me? I was 4. This is one of my earliest memories. Tragic. My kids don’t know you. But that seems to be a pattern in this family.”

‘But mama, we want to go sledding with you.’ Both girls looked at me with pleading eyes. I knew I had to go. I paused.’: Mom struggles to drop everything for her kids during holidays

“I looked around, boxes still unpacked, dishes to be done, dinner not yet cooked, and snow-day mess abounding, but this time instead of my mental checklist on repeat, I heard something different. That small voice that gently whispered, ‘How much longer will they want to do this with you?’”

‘A lot of us don’t got good Christmas memories. My mom couldn’t afford presents, or was too drunk.’: Woman who worked with troubled youth struggles with holiday traditions after hearing their hardships

“I tried to make a big deal out of Christmas in a very middle-American-ignorant-white-girl kind of way. ‘Let’s decorate the tree! Let’s make Christmas cookies! Kids need presents!’ To my WASPY surprise, this wasn’t well received. Confused, I asked him about it. ‘Is this another one of my white girl questions you guys tease me about?’”

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