woman holding coffee happily in the snowAs we have acknowledged before, splitting the holidays between divorced parents can present stressful situations, but there are many ways to get through it with joy and peace.  Everyone’s situation is different, and there is no one magic recipe for creating happy memories, so being flexible enough to find your best path to success should be your holiday goal.  

I know families that have successfully created new traditions, going to midnight mass with Dad, and baking cookies with Mom, or decorating the tree with Grandma. Others have successfully celebrated on different days, creating a new schedule where gifts are opened at Dad’s the weekend before Christmas, and at Mom’s the weekend after Christmas, and Christmas day is spent volunteering for a local charity.

When your kids are gone, you may want to reach out to join your single friends, or you may want to stay at home, watch the Hallmark Christmas movies, open gifts you’ve bought yourself and enjoy the peace of a quiet household.  When your ex-spouse picks up the kids, you may want to agree on a time to let the kids call you on Skype or Facetime so you can see each other smile, or make each other laugh. Older kids that have their own phone can send Instagram photos or texts using their uniquely created bitmoji to send positive loving messages.  If you’re feeling lonely, practice the art of counting your blessings: Be grateful for all the things in your life that are good.  

Hopefully, you already followed our advice to discuss gift giving with your ex-spouse long before the holiday is here, so no presents are duplicated and spending amounts aren’t wildly over budget.  If all does not go well, you might want to jot down the problems and set a goal to work out these difficulties for next year. If serious problems arise, you may want to discuss the need to modify your parenting plan with the family law lawyers at Molly B. Kenny.


Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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