Tips for Surviving the Holidays After Divorce

  • Post category:Divorce Tips
  • Reading time:7 mins read

The holidays after divorce can be particularly tough. You have established traditions and may not know how to cope with the loss of those traditions. Maybe you have always made your kids’ Halloween costumes and have taken them trick or treating, but this year they will not be with you. You may be used to a big gathering for Thanksgiving with both sides of the family. 

Whatever the holiday and whatever the custom, this year will be different. However, being different doesn’t mean it will be bad. Now is the time to forge a new path and to start new traditions. With effective communication and collaboration with your former partner and with your children, you can survive the holidays after divorce. And, you can even have an amazing and enjoyable experience.  

Holidays after divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino
Holidays after divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino

Keep your routines and schedule

Keeping a routine is the best way to help your children cope with the holidays after divorce. This means keeping bedtimes and meals as consistent as possible so that, no matter how crazy things get, they know what to expect. In addition, allow them to continue activities that are important for your kids’ health and happiness, like music lessons, sports, or jobs. 

Although there can be the burden of additional travel commitments or events during the holidays, try to ensure the kids’ schedules are stable. The idea is to make sure everyone gets what they need without feeling like they’re missing out on anything important.

It is also imperative that you adhere to the settlement agreement or judgment that was established when the divorce was finalized. Of course, during the holidays, unexpected things may arise. If that is the case, communicate openly and in a timely manner with your former partner. You need to be on the same page with your childrens’ schedules for the holidays and those new special occasions. When everyone knows what to expect, you and your family will have more stability and security, which will help you through the holidays after divorce. 

Holidays after divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino
Holidays after divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino

Create New Traditions

If you have children, it is important to create new traditions with them. If you will not get to spend Christmas day with them, carve out some special time on a weekend to have that family dinner and exchange gifts. Maybe they are going to your former partner’s house for New Years Eve. It doesn’t matter. This year, you can celebrate and do your own countdown at 12pm and start your own tradition of Noon Year’s Eve. You can even include the noisemakers, poppers, and sparkling grape juice. 

Don’t feel guilty about not doing the same traditions you did before the divorce. Be honest with them about the fact that things will be different, but that you are still going to be together and have fun.  

Focus on the positive

When you’re celebrating the holidays after divorce, keep your children away from any drama or tension that may arise between you and their other parent. If you are discussing changing the schedule for special events, do it in private. Whatever decisions you and your ex have made need to be presented in a positive light to the kids. Even if you are going to give your ex an additional day, tell your kids that they will get to spend extra time with them for a special celebration. The last thing anybody wants is for the kids to feel guilty about being with either parent during the holidays. 

Holidays after divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino
Holidays after divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino

Make time for yourself

This is the time of year for family, friends, and fun. But after a divorce, it can be tough to balance these things with the emotional strain of the holidays. To make sure you don’t completely lose your mind this season, take care of yourself. 

It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget that you have your own mental, emotional, and physical needs. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating well so that you’re able to enjoy yourself during the holidays. Take time to relax and treat yourself to something special, like a message or another activity that can alleviate stress. 

You don’t want to wait until you’ve reached a breaking point. The goal is to take steps each day to make sure that you are getting what you need to deal with the stress and challenges you will face during the holidays after divorce.

You can enjoy the holidays after divorce

There will come a time when you look back on this holiday season and realize how far you’ve come. You may even find yourself laughing at the memory of how hard it was to make it through the holidays after divorce, especially if it’s your first one. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that even though it might be difficult at times, there are many things that can make the holidays more positive for your kids and yourself. If you have additional concerns about your parenting agreement and the holiday schedule contact us for a consultation.