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Surviving the season together or apart

Whether you’ll be celebrating the holidays long-distance with your honey, or spending the festive season holding hands in front of the fireplace, there are compromises to be made. The mistletoe always looks greener on the other side of the room, but there are perks and pits to both situations. Here, two students share their perspectives on making their differently-distanced relationships work during December.

Toughing it out together
I would argue that celebrating Christmas with a boyfriend or girlfriend in the same city is more difficult than not seeing your boo for a few days (read: weeks). It isn’t more difficult in the emotional deficit sort of way—because being miles away from someone you love during the holidays is a significant bummer—but what it does is change the way your Christmases operate, and change can be a bitch. What’s tricky is trying to weave new things into old traditions.

The average student has been celebrating Christmas just about the same way every year for the better part of a decade. For my family, it’s always been Christmas Eve at my Oma’s house and Christmas Day at my house. That’s the way it’s been for as long as I can remember. But my girlfriend has her own family and traditions. This year, like always, we’ll both have to make some sacrifices.

My girlfriend and I are coming up on our fifth Christmas as a couple. It’s still hard to get used to, and even this year we had some tense discussions about how to arrange our holiday schedules, but we finally both seem to get it. No one wants to give up a family tradition, but even though I might miss out on part of my family’s Christmas one year, I’ll still have the chance to be a part of it next year. I’ll be missed—but not for long.

The holidays will be a bit different every year. And I guess in essence, that’s just what growing up is really about.

—Adam Feibel

Long-distance loving
I met my boyfriend in my first year here at the U of O. Thankfully, because we live in the same city most of the year, we’re able to hang out all the time. However, when school is out for the summer, or on holidays like Christmas, we’re torn apart.

Now we’re in our fourth and final year of university. We’re used to living 10 minutes away from each other when we’re at school, so it’s definitely upsetting that when we’re both at our respective homes for the winter break, we can’t spend time together like we always do. It’s especially a bummer since Christmas is such a special time of year.

Not living in the same town as my boyfriend has its ups and its downs. When I’m at home, I can spend lots of quality time with family and old friends. Although it’s good to reconnect with these people, my boyfriend still hasn’t met them after three years of us dating. This is not because I don’t want him to, but because we can never figure out a time for him to meet my entire family. It’s hard to not have him there for Christmas. Usually that’s the one time of year I have everybody I love together in one place.

Lucky for us, he doesn’t live in another province, but he’s still three hours away. It doesn’t sound like much, but factor in Canada’s winters: It can be dangerous for either of us to get to each other in the dead of December, rushing from one Christmas morning to the other’s Christmas dinner. Instead, we’ve come up with a fairly successful alternating system. To ask either of us to miss our family Christmas celebrations isn’t fair, so what works for us is to spend New Year’s with each other instead. It’s still over Christmas break, and we’ve found that alternating where we go every year works just fine. I’m happy, he’s happy, and that’s what matters.

—Nicole Leddy