Tips for Surviving Christmas as a Divorced Parent
Some ideas to help you survive the season of good will as a single parent
- Reach out to family and friends for support. Make them a part of your Christmas celebration. You’ve heard the old saying, “the more the merrier.” It’s true during the first post-divorce Christmas, the more people you are around the better your mood will be. People are a great distraction from the past and if you do have a down moment you will be surrounded by people who love you.
- Make new family traditions. If there is certain Christmas music that has been a family favourite, change it. If you drive around on Christmas Eve looking at all the lights and decorations, instead stay home and watch a movie. The idea is to shake things up, do something different. Any past seasonal traditions that were once wonderful but now dredge up negative emotions can be done away with and replaced by new and exciting activities.
- Guilt is a wasted emotion so don’t feel guilty over your children not having both parents to celebrate with. Heck, they will be having two Christmas celebrations, one with you and one with your ex-spouse. If they come to you and express sadness, don’t dismiss their feelings but do remind them that change can be a good thing and due to the changes from the divorce they will now have two Christmas celebrations to look forward to. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?
- Participate in some form of charity work or activity that means doing something for those less fortunate. You will be teaching your children a great lesson and nothing can make our own situation look better than being around those in a less fortunate situation.
- Work with your ex-spouse in a co-operative manner. Share with each other the details of what you are buying the children for Christmas and how you will be celebrating. Christmas really is all about the children and the more you and your ex can work together the more likely your children will enjoy their holiday.
The biggest gift you and your spouse can give your children at Christmas and any other time of the year is your survival. If you are able to take lemons and make lemonade it will mean that, no matter the season, your children will get what they need most. Two parents who are able to put their children's need for peace and contentment first.