Making the Holidays Special When Divorced
The holiday season is upon us, and holidays can be a difficult time for divorced families!!
That’s because more and more people are feeling so possessive over their children and their time with their children that they have difficulty seeing a broader picture. If you alternate holidays – which is common in divorce – don’t lament that you won’t have your children with you on what was formerly a special day.
Instead, accept that it’s just a fact of life of divorce that you have to recreate some traditions — or create new traditions – to weather this major change. Things are not going to be the same. And people have to accept that it’s just part of the divorce.
A divorce is a change in family and marital status – for everyone involved. That means your way of living life will inevitably change – and not always to your liking.
But part of getting divorced is creating new ways to celebrate – not only holidays, but everything good in your life. And a lot of good remains.
So this season, ask family members to have your Christmas gathering at a different time if your kids won’t be with you on December 25th. Or plan a special celebration with you when your kids will be around.
Whatever traditions you can hold on to, do so, but if you can’t, create new traditions. And involve your children in coming up with ideas and observances, so that you can own them together!
If you have an amicable divorce, you can always try to celebrate together as a family. For some divorced couples, that will work.
If it doesn’t though, don’t lash out, lament or otherwise focus on what you’ve lost. Anxiety will ease when you accept the parameters of your Parenting Time Agreement, and communicate openly and well in advance of the holidays with your ex to create ease and understanding with your children.
When parents are ok with the situation, the kids will be too. So make sure to articulate as early as you can what can be expected for this season, so there are no surprises.
And if you don’t have your children for a special day, do something good and fun for yourself. Make a Thanksgiving meal with friends. Pour bubbly and bake appetizers for New Year’s Eve. See a play on Christmas, or go ice skating for Chanukah.
Figure out ways to make it all OK rather than compete for time and attention. That way, everyone wins and you can move forward with grace.