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How parents can keep holidays jolly for their kids post-divorce

If you and your spouse have recently decided to divorce or have recently had a divorce finalized, your holiday calendar make look somewhat foreign to you. Perhaps you ordinarily spend Christmas Eve with your parents and Christmas Day with your in-laws. Perhaps your family ordinarily celebrates Thanksgiving as one large group. Those plans may be changing dramatically this year for both you and your children.

Whether your child custody arrangement provides that the children split holiday time between you and your co-parent or all holiday time will be spent with one parent or the other, it is important to find a way to keep the holidays special for your children. This does not mean that you must shower them with material wealth. In fact, your divorce may have left you with little income or you may already be at risk of trying too hard in terms of purchasing your children too many possessions in order to help “make up” for recent chaos.

What your children need most is to know that you care for them and are willing to put in effort in order to make their holidays special. If they will be with your co-parent on a major holiday, celebrate it with your kids on another day with the same amount of joy and urgency that you would on the formal day. Or, invent a new tradition for your smaller, re-organized clan.

If your divorce has left you feeling depleted, this task may take a great deal of energy. But celebrating holidays post-divorce in significant ways can teach your children a great deal about love and resilience.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorced Parents: How to Help Your Kids Get Through the Holidays,” Rosalind Sedacca, Nov. 11, 2013

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