The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

Not so Merry Christmas

Not+so+Merry+Christmas

Over the years holidays have changed for me. When I think about the holidays, I think about many things. I think of the gifts I’m going to get, the gifts I’m going to give and how I won’t get to do that with my dad. 

My mom has always been my best friend–she helps me get through everything. When me and my dad stopped talking, my mom did everything she could to get me through it. My mom always tells me it’s my decision and she supports me in every way. 

Me and my dad used to constantly argue and fight about the littlest things. It was an everyday thing at one point, and our arguments would escalate and sometimes get physical. I knew I was hurting my mental health just by living with him half the time. I never thought me and him wouldn’t talk again. 

I never blamed myself for our situation because I knew I was the kid and he’s the adult, and he shouldn’t have done those things to his kid. 

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I don’t spend holidays with my dad anymore, but when I did it didn’t feel like I was spending time with my family. I felt like I was only there because I had to–like I wasn’t a part of the family, and I wasn’t supposed to be there.

It’s not just my dad who I don’t spend the holidays with. My grandma stopped calling me to tell me happy holidays, and I didn’t get to spend those holidays with her anymore. I loved spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with her and getting to see the other side of my family. But at the end of the day, I could only control what I could control. I couldn’t make them want to spend the holidays with me.

I realized that I should never feel guilty for not having a relationship with all of my family. And I feel that people who don’t have a relationship with their family should never feel guilty about it. Everyone has their reasons. Whatever the reason, no kid should ever feel like it’s their fault for not having a relationship with family. When I feel at fault for everything me and my family went through, I try to take time to think about how I’m the kid in the situation and I shouldn’t have to take the blame for what happened or fix anything by myself.

Getting through these situations can be hard. Spending time with chosen family and family who isn’t blood during the holidays can help take your mind off these issues. Trying not to think about it during the holidays and just staying in the moment with the rest of your family can really help get through everything. I’ve been able to keep my mind off missing family when I’m with friends and chosen family. 

This holiday season, I’m going to spend time with people I love. That might not be all of my family, but they’ll be family to me.

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About the Contributor
Aliah McGrew, Staff Writer
Aliah McGrew is in the class of 2026 and is a staff writer for Portrait.  This is her first year on staff as a sophomore.  Aliah's favorite thing about journalism is getting to learn new things everyday and being able to capture moments.  When she's not in the newsroom, Aliah enjoys spending time with her friends and attending basketball games.

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