The Christmas holiday is a time when many families all across the U.S. come together to celebrate with one another. Both kids and adults eagerly await the arrival of the holiday as most use this time to travel, and of course, exchange gifts with one another. But for many parents that are divorced, this time of year is one they dread more so than any other time. The reason being is that there are some divorced parents out there who don’t even get the opportunity to spend the holiday with their children and there are others who do but have to split their time with their ex-spouse.
Given the fact that Christmas can be extremely difficult for many divorced parents to get through, below we share some tips provided on behalf of CNN that may help you or someone you know survive the Christmas holiday rather than allow it to bring you down.
- Keep your focus on the kids. Rather than get into it with your ex over the time either of you gets to spend with your kids on Christmas day, make your kids your primary focus and don’t feed into the arguments or the bickering. The last thing any child wants is to wake up on Christmas morning to a disgruntled parent who is frustrated or to both of their parents fighting. Christmas only comes but one day a year and do you really want your children to start remembering it not for the joy and happiness is usually brings but as a day their parents are destined to argue?
- Try and sort out all the details in advance. If you plan accordingly with your ex-spouse so you know who will get the kids and at what time along with how you both plan to celebrate the holiday, it can make your Christmas day run much smoother than most divorced parents.
- Don’t try to out-gift your child’s other parent. The news outlet highlights a good point and that is “remember the spirit of the holidays and avoid trying to buy the children off with fabulous presents.” Sure it’s nice to get your kids the things they truly want, but when you buy things out of spite just so that they can be more excited when they open your gifts as opposed to those their other parent buys them, then it can cause a bit of a conflict between the two of you and that is not something you want to have to deal with on Christmas day. Instead of trying to out-do your ex-spouse, perhaps the two of you can come together and agree on a budget. This way, your children don’t feel more favored by one parent over the other simply because one had a higher spending budget for Christmas.
- It’s okay to keep certain traditions alive and it’s also acceptable if you can’t. If there is something you know your children love to do, talk with your ex-spouse about making it happen. Just because the two of you are no longer together doesn’t mean you can’t keep some of the amazing traditions you had going alive. In the event this isn’t a possibility, consider creating some new traditions that you and your kids can enjoy together as you begin this new chapter of your life as a divorced parent.
- Don’t be too pushy. If you know your children want to have Christmas Eve dinner together with both of their parents yet your ex-spouse has already explained numerous times that they don’t want to, then perhaps you might find another way to celebrate the night before Christmas. The reality is, if you force your ex to do something they don’t want to do, it might backfire on you when you all sit down to enjoy the dinner you worked so hard to prepare.
Now, if you aren’t yet divorced but are currently separated from your spouse, these tips can also help you survive the Christmas holiday if the two of you have children together. And once the holiday passes and you decide that you want to proceed on and file for divorce so that you can make your separation a more permanent one, contact Hollywood, FL divorce lawyer Jodie Bassichis to help you. Although filing for divorce might seem like a big step to take, it isn’t as scary as you might think when you have a legal professional who specializes in divorce law helping you each step of the way.