- Keep the focus on your children – The bottom line, whether you’re married or divorced, is that being able to experience the Holiday Season through a child’s eyes is one of the best ways to really enjoy this time. And if you are focused on how to give them a fun Holiday Season, you will be less focused on the things that have changed or are missing. Think about ways you can create special times with your children, even if you don’t see them as often, and then really be present with them when you spend these times together.
- “In the eyes of children we find the joy of Christmas.
In their hearts we find its meaning.”
- Volunteer – along with experiencing the Holiday Season through a child’s eyes, volunteering is one of the best ways to really get in the Holiday Spirit. Volunteering helps us achieve two important things:
- Get beyond our individual situation – by helping others we often get a sense of being connected to something larger than ourselves and doing something positive to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves. This can be just what people need when they’re experiencing the isolation of divorce.
- Get some perspective – by helping others we understand that no matter how difficult our current situation is, there are two things we know:
- There are others worse off than us.
- This too shall pass – the difficulty of divorce doesn’t last forever!
- Be flexible with how and when you celebrate the holidays – new parenting schedules and only having the children for certain dates can make the holidays even more stressful. So be flexible with how and when you celebrate rather than fixating on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For example, make a big event of going out and going shopping with your kids or picking out your Christmas tree or doing some other holiday activity that doesn’t necessarily have to be on a specific date. Or even celebrate Christmas on the morning of the 24th if you don’t have your children on the 25th – believe me, children will have a great time celebrating two Christmases.
- Let the little things slide – getting into a big argument with your ex, or soon to be ex, is definitely not going to help get you in the Holiday Spirit so do yourself and your children a favor and try to let some things roll off your back. This is easier said than done, but coming up with a specific schedule ahead of time or even employing the services of a mediator to help you do this will help minimize the ambiguity and therefore the level of conflict.
- Don’t over-commit – of course, this is good advice for all of us whether we’re divorced or not, but it’s even more important when you’re dealing with a divorce or trying to restructure your Holidays. Spend some time thinking about what is really important to you and your children and what creates, rather than detracting from, a positive Holiday experience. Then really focus on these things and don’t worry about trying to do everything.