Recently, I asked people in the BuzzFeed Community who decided to go no-contact with their families to share their winter holiday plans, and we got some downright heartwarming responses. In that spirit, here are a few more:
1. "We went no-contact with my mom's side of the family in 2020 and haven't looked back since. They tried to ruin my sister's wedding and said the most horrible things to my mom that was undeserving of their time. My dad's family is distant, but his mom comes around every time she's stateside since she lives in Scotland for the majority of the year. It's been the eight of us since 2020, and honestly, I love it so much because we are all happy and just together for the day. Last year, it was my nephew's first Thanksgiving, so we celebrated that, and it made the holiday extra special. We do an 8K race every Thanksgiving morning, watch the parade, and then The Godfather. Then, we eat dinner around 4, we are normally done around 7, and then, we just talk and play games. It's simple, but I love it!"
2. "I've rented a bigger house for the week and am having a joint celebration with eight friends and my partner. I can't wait!"
3. "I went no-contact with my parents and extended family about a year ago, and I have amazing self-affirming plans for each major holiday this year: Over Thanksgiving weekend, I took a solo trip to Paris. For Christmas, I'm a member of a professional holiday caroling group that performs at high-end Christmas parties that will keep me busy right up until Christmas Day. And over the New Year, I'm visiting the one set of relations I do have a good relationship with: my brother, his wife, and my 1-year-old niece. I don't feel like I'm missing out at all. I get to spend the holidays taking care of myself, doing fulfilling, creative work, and seeing people I care about, rather than grudgingly attending family events where I'd just get treated poorly anyway."
4. "I spend it with friends after cutting off my biological family due to their homophobic reaction to me marrying the love of my life. No regrets."
5. "With my children and my friends for Thanksgiving, international travel for Christmas. Living across the country certainly makes it easier."
—Anonymous, 50, Mississippi
6. "A day of peace. Sleep in. No drama. A TV dinner. Complete control over the remote. Snacks that I prefer. A good book if I want. Eat whenever I'm ready. No dressing up fancy. No one else's agenda. No arguments. Bliss!"
7. "It’s just another day. I will have dinner with my wife out at a restaurant, but holidays have never really been a family affair for me even before I went no-contact."
8. "We skipped everything for Thanksgiving and took a trip to the beach. Family is even more unbearable during the holidays. Christmas will be a roadtrip doing what WE want to do."
—61 yo married female in Texas
9. "Taking my first trip out of the country. I’m roadtripping solo through Mexico. My birthday is also two days after Christmas. I’m going to celebrate myself, the close of the year, and the beginning of the new one in the country of my ancestors."
—39, New Mexico
10. "I'll be volunteering at my local animal shelter! I'm a regular volunteer, but if you have nothing to do for the holidays, ask your local shelter if they need volunteers! So many of the regular workers will be celebrating, which means that so many rescues will be alone."
11. "Friendsgivings and relaxing! The holidays should be rejuvenating, not stressful."
—28, North Carolina
12. "Cooking a meal of foods I prefer, reading a good book, and watching a heartwarming movie with a face mask, foot mask, and great smelling candle burning for ambiance."
—51 New York
13. "I have spent many holidays with no contact from my family, but this year will be with my boyfriend’s family. I have spent nearly every holiday with his family over the last eight years, and when I wasn’t with his family, I spent the day with my three dogs and cat. Before I met my boyfriend, I would usually get pre-made holiday food from Whole Foods and go on a hike with my dogs. Some years, I would spend the holiday with a friend going on a hike or to a movie. My dogs were and are my family."
14. "I haven't spent the holidays with family in over 20 years. This year, I'm volunteering at a local homeless shelter, then a small dinner with my partner."
15. "My husband and two kids have created all new traditions! We get hot chocolate and drive around to see the holiday lights, game night, waffle bars, local kitschy parades, etc. The best part of the holidays...is actually (finally) not dreading the holidays. It's taken YEARS, but I finally look forward to the holidays and redefining what fun is for my little family. The freedom that came with estrangement was hard-fought and is now protected at all costs. We're also a haven for anyone who needs to escape — friends of my kids, friends of ours, neighbors, etc."
—37, Washington DC
16. "I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving in years. It’s just me and my 14-year-old daughter. After her dad died, his side of the family cut ties with her. When he was alive, my side of the family hated him, so now, it’s just me and her. We go to IHOP on Thanksgiving to eat, put up our Christmas tree, and hit up some Black Friday sales. We only ever need each other."
17. "My parents are incredibly toxic. Everything came to a head a couple months ago, and I realized for my own mental health and for my family (husband and children), I need to cut ties. This will be the first holiday without my parents. We are planning on continuing some of our own family traditions and spending time with close friends. My kids have even mentioned looking forward to lazy days. Everyone is looking forward to a non-drama holiday!"
18. "Other than our children, my husband and I cut off contact with both sides of our family. We have, however, made our own family out of friends and neighbors in similar situations. We'll have a giant cookie cook-off and make some sort of holiday dinner and share with our chosen family."