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How to cope during the holidays after divorce

Christmas is always a stressful time of year. But if you gotten divorced recently, it can seem almost impossible to cope during the holidays. Though it won’t be an easy time, these tips can make it bearable.

Divorced woman at Christmas1Keep traditions

After a divorce, some traditions seem to fade away. Make an effort to keep old traditions alive and start new ones. For example, if your husband used to take the kids to go pick out the tree, assume that role yourself this year. Or if you both traditionally take the kids caroling, let him done alone and find something special to do with your children on another night.

2Don’t make kids feel guilty

If your children are spending Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with your ex-husband, don’t make them feel guilty that you will be alone. Tell them how you are looking forward to a post-Christmas celebration, then plan your “me” time.

3Put on a happy face

Spending time with your ex during the holidays? No matter how much you despise him, during the holiday season put on a happy face for the sake of your children. You never know, the two of you might actually be able to become friends…eventually.

4Don’t overspend

Finances are often hit hard during a divorce. Don’t be tempted to overspend during Christmas to make things appear “normal.” You’ll dread the credit card bills come January. Make a game plan with your ex about buying gifts for the kids, and then create homemade gifts for everyone else on your list.


If you aren’t spending the holidays with family or friends, volunteer to help out the less fortunate. Working in a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, battered women’s facility or children’s hospital can really put things into perspective.

6Do something nice for yourself

If you are alone on Christmas for the first time in years, don’t spend your holiday crying under the covers. Instead, make it a “me” day. Cook (or order) any food that you want. Eat dessert without guilt. Spend the evening in the bath with a glass of wine. Curl up on the couch with some popcorn and watch your favorite Christmas movies.

More tips for coping with divorce

New divorced: Try a one-night stand?
Don’t let divorce define you
4 Outrageous ways to get over your ex

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