12/23/2012 11:50 pm ET Updated Feb 22, 2013

The Reality of Divorced Parents During the Holidays

The holiday season brings families together from all over the globe to participate in the happy fesitivities surrounding Christmas. But for me, my Christmas makes it even more apparent how divided my family is.

My parents have been divorced since I was eleven years old. I have experienced my entire family together for the holidays, and now, I see my family separately. Of course, I have gone through the struggles of being a product of divorced parents, and during the season of family unity it becomes even more difficult.

My schedule is every other week with each parent. Sure, it is a lot of moving around and management, but I get to see both of my parents equally. So, for the 2-week Christmas break, I have one with my mom and the other with my dad. I switch on Christmas day. I experience Christmas day with both of my parents, and even though travel time between households takes away from the celebration, I get to have the traditions of Christmas with my entire family.

I get 2 Christmas trees, 2 Christmas Eve dinners, 2 Christmas mornings, and basically 2 separate Christmases. I have heard that some people think a child of divorced parents gets double of everything -- but guess what? They divide their money, too. I get the same amount of presents collectively as I did when my parents were together, but with less time to spend with them. Plus, Christmas is not about getting, it's about giving, sharing, and being with your family. I have never held that understanding to the extent that I do now. I would love to have more time with my entire family, of course, but that's not the reality of my situation.

Being in a Catholic high school, it is very hard to hear about how divorce is wrong because matrimony is a sacrament that should last a lifetime. Every time I step foot in my religion classroom I get slapped in the face with "divorce is a sin." And when you have to face the hypocrisy of the situation where your divorced parents place you in front of Catholic teachers who teach you that divorce is a sin, you get a little confused. I have to face that confusion every day. But, at least I know I am getting a good education, even though I am being taught that my family should not be like this.

It is hard to see all of my friends whose parents are together, and I have to remind myself that I am not like them and it is not my fault. All I see during the holidays is big families celebrating Christmas together, while my family will never be like that again.

I will always love and care about my family together or separately. And even though I may not have one big happy celebration, I can at least enjoy 2 separate Christmases spending time with the people that I hold deeply in my heart.