The holidays are typically depicted as a special celebration of the traditional – and intact – family. For this reason, when there is a significant life change it can leave parents and children feeling disappointed, conflicted, and unsure how to make the season merry. Fortunately, it is possible to create joy and meaning into the holiday season by setting new routines and embracing them with love, enthusiasm, and support.
Establish a New Tradition
Take Care of Yourself
Chances are that during any significant life change, you were more focused on getting yourself and your family through it, rather than tending to your own emotional needs. The holidays are an excellent time to catch up in that regard. Go for regular walks, read a book for pure enjoyment, or sign up for a distance learning class in a subject you enjoy.
Have Some Real Fun
Be honest: when was the last time you did something that was carefree or spontaneous? Chances are that it has been a while. Go see a romantic comedy, spend time with friends who truly lift your spirits, or indulge in some enjoyable activities that your former spouse never embraced, such as ice skating or cross-country skiing.
Spend Time with Your Family
Work with Your Former Spouse
Although you may feel angry or sad about the past, resist the urge to make this obvious during the holidays. It will not only make the children happier, but prevent an argument from affecting the celebrations.
Give a Gift… to Yourself
Count Your Blessings
If you start feeling down or depressed about your changed circumstances, take some time to appreciate the positive things you have in your life now: your kids, your family, and the opportunity to spend the holidays as you wish.
Even if this holiday season doesn’t quite “feel” the same post-divorce, it can still be a highly enjoyable one for you and your kids. Be creative, accept the new, and focus on creating memories that you will treasure for years to come.
Here’s to new beginnings and an amazing 2017!