Surviving the Holidays After Divorce
Nothing disrupts holiday cheer quite like the fresh wound of a divorce. At first, most divorced couples find it difficult to adjust to the holidays. While you may or may not have your children on certain holidays in any given year, it is important to remember that holidays are about celebrating with family and friends and don’t have to occur on one specific day. Children usually won’t complain about celebrating a holiday twice, especially if it involves receiving gifts. While gifts are always nice, remember that gifts don’t need to be purchased to appreciate the holidays. With separation and divorce, funds for the holidays may not be as plentiful as before. Sometimes the gift of time and attention mean more than any store-bought present. Your children will remember the memories that you make with them, not the items that you purchase for them.
If you’re celebrating the holidays for the first time after your divorce, understand and acknowledge that the holidays can be especially stressful. As you navigate the holiday season, remember that this is new for everyone and a little patience and perseverance goes a long way. While old traditions may bring about anxiety or painful memories, some find that starting new family traditions is a way to begin healing and enjoy the holidays. If you can afford it, maybe plan on taking a vacation with friends or family during the holidays or go to visit out of town relatives. If you prefer to stay local, some find that giving back to the community through volunteering and helping those less fortunate is a rewarding distraction.
If you happen to know friends or family members who are going through the holidays for the first time after a divorce, invite them to join your family for the holidays. Most people don’t want to ask for help but reaching out to them could mean a lot. Many people are unsure how to navigate their life after a divorce, especially during their first holidays. Help them resist the temptation to be alone by inviting them into your home and joining your family.
We like to view life after divorce as a new chapter. During a divorce it can be like traveling through a dark tunnel, but it is important to see the light at the end. Once you reach it, be sure to embrace the change. Whether the change was something that you wanted or not, embracing your new circumstances will make life and the holidays much more enjoyable. No matter your circumstances this holiday season, we hope that you and your family have a festive holiday season!