It's supposed to be "the most wonderful time of the year".
So why doesn't it feel like that?
It's a reality I know all too well.
It's been six years since I last saw my stepmother and her adult child, aka my step-sibling. Six years since that giant blowup. Six years spent awkwardly trying to dodge one another at extended family events. Six years of wondering how the other is doing or if they ever wonder about you. Six years of resentment. Six years of silence.
Watch: things mums never say at Christmas. Post continues below.
After our fight, which for context was centred heavily upon her alcoholism and also our mutual disdain for one another, my stepmother and I chose to no longer communicate. It was the right decision, a healthy call for both of us in fact.
Fortunately, the three-year pandemic made it far easier not to speak to each other. And six years in, I know it was the right decision, although estrangement does make things extra tricky.