Ho ho hostility? Change was in the air during Little People, Big World’s Christmas-theme episode on Tuesday, May 31. With Matt and Amy Roloff having recently split (they filed for divorce in 2015), the family decided to create some new traditions. The holiday season has a tendency to bring out the charitable nature in people, and the Roloffs chose to give back to less-fortunate children — but the festivities weren’t without some tense words.
New Marriage, New Traditions
Zach and Tori prepared for their first Christmas as a married couple by making wreaths and Christmas decorations.
“I think for Christmas this year — it’s our first year being married.… We kind of want to spend time with just the two of us,” Tori said. Zach added, “Kids are going to be coming pretty soon. For now, it’s Tori, me and Sully. We want to establish our own Christmas tradition.”
The couple suggested that it would be a fun change for the family to share gifts by having a white-elephant gift exchange. Why not stir things up with a little friendly competition?
Amy loved the idea of trying something different: “My memories of Christmas when the kids were young was that I definitely went overboard. I would be up until 2, 3 o’ clock in the morning still wrapping presents, and it was fine. With all the changes that are happening within the family.… New traditions are wonderful!”
A Farm Full of Festivity
What are the holidays without giving back? And what better way to give back than to invite kids to spend Christmas at the Roloff farm? Amy called the family together to tell them how her foundation partnered with Sparks of Hope to give children a Roloff Christmas experience.
“I want to find a way to kind [of] bring us all back to share what the holidays really mean,” Amy said.
Matt was on board with the plan, but had some other ideas up his sleeve. “I think we should do it for one reason,” he explained. “I mean, we’ve already done the whole holiday thing. You guys were raised doing big-time holidays. Let’s start doing them with other people. And these kids have probably never had a Christmas like you guys grew up with.… I think we can do better than just having kids in the barn. We got to kick it up a notch — or two. Or three.”
A Tale of Two Parties
Unfortunately, Matt and Amy had different visions for the party. While Amy pictured a Little House on the Prairie feel, Matt wanted to go all out.
A teary-eyed Amy told the camera: “I just don’t think he has a lot of faith in me, in the way I do things or the way I make decisions or how fast I make decisions. I’m never quite good enough.” She added, “I was a little sad and disappointed that Matt gathered all the kids around on this whole picture-taking thing, and he’s the center of it all. It would have been nice to have shared in that moment. I just suddenly thought: Wow, it wouldn’t have mattered if I was here or not. Things would have carried on.”
Aww, Amy! Even Matt acknowledged that their differences cause considerable conflict. He didn’t want her to feel left out, but he wanted to do something special for the kids too.
“My brain works differently than hers,” Matt told the camera. “She likes the practicality, and wants to do a traditional, old-fashioned thing. My mind always wants to do something that’s never been done before. I’m not trying to upstage her. It’s a lack of sensitivity on my part to hold back, so that I’m kind of in step with her. One of our fundamental differences.”
Reigniting the Christmas Spirit
As the snow fell in the barn around the colorfully lit tree, all disagreement was forgotten. The kids raced to open their presents as the Roloff family took in the happy moment.
“It’s pretty amazing, experiencing this party,” Zach said to the camera. “There were kind of two different elements. There was my dad’s element, which is something that’s never been done before. It’s crazy, and it’s just kind of this outrageous, awesome event. And then on my mom’s side, she brings in like the warmth and nostalgia. And together it makes a beautiful, awesome party. It’s just kind of a bummer they don’t come together to do it.”
Tell Us: Was Matt too harsh to Amy in their holiday planning?
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