Two Families, one Christmas

Last night was Christmas Eve. My husband and I wrapped all the Christmas gifts for the kids. They aren’t at our house this year, they are with their other parents, so we could take our time and start at 6 rather than 9 or 10 when they would of finally fallen asleep, yet still somehow it took us till midnight to do this and no I didn’t have an abnormal amount of gifts but rather a perfectionist of a husband. Let’s just say my gifts look like a T-Rex wrapped em, while his might have well been entered into a gift wrapping contest, I love it (and him), however I knew the little people unwrapping them were not going to comment on the gift wrapping. Nonetheless (5 hours later) we wrote the kids names on each one, put them in a big Santa bag and hauled em to the car. Then we went back inside and went to sleep…I was like a kid again struggling to fall asleep waiting for the magic of Christmas morning. That magic that as a kid you believe in with every fiber in your body even when it doesn’t make sense but you choose to believe in it anyway?!

Today. Christmas morning. 5:30am, the alarm clock goes off. We roll out of bed, and still in our jammies, we start the car and drive to the closest gas station for 7 donuts and 7 hot chocolates.  My husband and I are giddy…This is going to be a great morning. As we pull up to the other parents house I take it in, where we are, where we have come from to get to this moment. We don’t knock, as per our instructions so we don’t wake the sleeping kids, we walk in with all our Christmas gifts and add them to theirs under their beautiful tree. 

All four parents, sat down and waited for the piter-pater of little feet running down the stairs. It wasn’t awkward as most would think…it was peaceful. 

Back up a few weeks prior, to when I got the text from Her. She had read my previous blog…eeek! I always get so nervous if the other half of this family will like what I have to say. I mean it is only my side and let’s be honest I have a tendency to overshare! So here she was telling me, she had first read my blog, and second she agreed that it’s hard not to be there on Christmas morning when the kids wake up and open gifts. Then she took a big step and leap of faith and invited Brandon and I to share in Christmas morning at their home. I can imagine that this was not an easy thing to do. It’s their time with the kids and although we were not where we are now, we didn’t share Christmas with them last year. I can only imagine the conversation between her (Brandon’s ex) and her husband (my ex) as they prayed and talked about a feeling they had to combine our Christmas Day for the sake of the kids. It is a decision I will forever be grateful for and I know our children will too. 

I hadn’t told anyone about our plans to go to their house and even the kids didn’t know we’d be in their living room waiting this morning. I wanted this decision to be a personal one with no one voicing their opinion and influencing our choices. Brandon and I prayed and knew without a doubt that this is what we need to do for our children and to continue on our coparenting road of success. 

So here we were four parents intertwined through three beautiful children on Christmas morning laughing and talking as not only coparents, but friends. It wasn’t long before we saw lights flick on and the Little’s awoke…this video is a confirmation to our decision.

​​Christmas morning 2016 -click to see

The rest of the morning was magical as the kids opened each gift and were able to give their gifts they bought at the school store to all of their parents in one sitting. No two Christmas’, that only become harder with age. Instead, we shared together the excitement the kids had with each gift. Although we all spent lots of money on the kids, the memory of Christmas 2016 all together is priceless.

As we all shared in this private moment of happiness, I couldn’t help but think of the gift of Christ’s birth. God had a choice to not share his child with us, he had a choice in heaven, and although we often think of Jesus Christ making the ultimate sacrifice for us, I can imagine how our Heavenly Father and Mother felt as they had to share their son with us. 

I know our Children are only lent to us here on earth, that Heavenly Father wants us to take care of them, and teach them until they can return to him again, and today it just became so clear to me. These three kids…they are shared between two homes, and we as divorced parents must make sacrifices for the good of our children and our posterity. They are not just mine and Brandon’s, or just our exes. They are all of ours and ultimately our Heavenly Fathers. Just as Jesus did not belong to Mary. Mind. Blown.

After the festivities of the morning, we had church. We decided during sacrament we would all sit together. I was overwhelmed as we sat and listened to the beautiful music of the choir, my husband on my left, our oldest daughter with her head on my shoulder, Brandon’s ex wife with Coen on her lap, and my ex husband with Jordyn on his lap! I’m sure to the outsider looking in it was crazy,but for me it was probably the best Christmas ever. Especially when my oldest whispered in my ear “I love you mom”. 

So on this very special Christmas, I want to share my testimony that God works in mysterious ways, but His way is always right. I know that this new tradition of Christmas as one Family (yes we fully intend to make this a yearly occurrence), will not only strengthen us as a family for years to come, but will Strengthen our testimonies of families as well. I’m so excited that our kids don’t have to say “this year I spent it at my moms”, or vise versa.

As we left their house this morning the sun was rising, the frost across the ground and in the trees was glistening, and tears filled my eyes. That magic that you hear about, read stories to your kids about, that Christmas magic did happened for me today, and I’m a believer.

Merry Christmas 



  1. I am crying, this is so beautiful! I just had to share, so that other co-parenting families that I know might benefit from this story! Thanks Jessie!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤


  2. We had a similar siuation this year in our home. My daughters ex-husband was with us at 2 of our family Christmas’s, Christmas Day communion and it made us all feel wonderful. It’s all about the love of Him in our hearts and home! So wonderful Joy to hear your families testimony!


  3. Love your mind blown moment. They aren’t ours only gifts to us as parents. Such a special moment you were able to share together.


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