10 Tips for navigating holidays as newly divorced
Check out our top tips for getting through the holiday season if you're newly divorced.
Money woe ho ho ho's
Being newly divorced, chances are that funds are tight around the house, and as we know, the holidays tend to put us in debt. If you can, start a "present fund" that will cover the gifts you need to buy. If not, don't go into debt to put gifts under the tree. Think outside the box. Make coupons for the kids for stocking stuffers like "No Chores for a Week," look for sales and most importantly, remind your children that the holidays are about family time and not gifts!
You are a new family, so make new traditions. Sit down with your kids and ask how they want to spend the holidays. Begin by taking a piece from each child and share your own ideas of how to spend the time together and come up with a new tradition that you all can enjoy.
Christmas doesn't have to come once a year
If you can't be with your kids on Christmas Eve or day, don't despair. Plan your Christmas traditions with your kids on another day of the year. It doesn't have to be on Dec. 25. It just has to be done as a family, and the memories will be priceless.
It might be your time with the kids, but remember there is a parent that is alone. Take the kids shopping to buy that parent a special gift to give when they see that parent next. Also, be sure to call the other parent or drop by his or her house for a special Happy Holiday pick me up. It will help the kids, the other parent and, most importantly, co-parenting relations!
Have an adventure
If you can't afford a big Christmas, pack the kids and the car and have an adventure. You don't have to drive far or stay in an expensive hotel – just be together and make this family time the gift of a memory that will last a lifetime.
Bring the party to you
Don't wait for invites from friends and/or family. Bring them to you. Invite your children's friends' families over or other divorced parents with their children and even without their kids and have a party, watch the parades, let the kids play and enjoy the holiday!
If you're disconnected from your family because you spent the holidays with your ex-spouse's kin, now is the time to reconnect with yours. Whether you have the children or not, take this time to spend the holidays with people you love.
Feeling blue? Help out those in need
If you can't seem to get past the depression of the holiday season and this new life, a great way to count your blessings is to help out at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen or make a hospital visit to sick children. This will not only brighten your day as well as theirs, but it'll also help lift the holiday blues because you will realize how fortunate you are.
Fun for everyone
Don't leave the kids out of any of the planning or decorating for the holidays. From the baking to the hanging of the lights, if you are doing it with your children, you will all have more fun and create new traditions at the same time. Don't worry about perfection – just have fun.
It's all in the attitude
If you are positive and upbeat, then you will have a wonderful holiday. Don't allow the thought of the holidays to beat you down. Take care of yourself, your kids and think positive. Keep yourself centered and remember that it isn't how you celebrate, but who you are celebrating with.