Christmas After Divorce

by | Dec 23, 2020 | Family Law

By Alexis Doree |

How to Survive the Christmas After a Divorce

While the holidays may be the best time of the year, they can also be the most stressful. This is especially true for families going through a separation or divorce. These families are faced with the challenge of keeping old family traditions alive while also creating new ones. Here are a few helpful tips to make the holiday season a little easier:

1.     Plan your holiday schedule ahead of time

 Start planning as soon as possible to give all parties time to voice their concerns and preferences. The more time you allow to discuss your options, the less pressure you feel during the holiday season. This allows everyone to enjoy the holidays without adding additional stress.

2.     Be flexible 

Holidays don’t have to happen on the day of. Just because the children are with the other parent on Christmas Day doesn’t mean that you celebrating with them the following day makes it any less special. When you and your children look back, you won’t remember that it wasn’t on Christmas Day. Instead, you’ll remember the laughs you shared and the fun that was had. While details fade, happy memories don’t.

3.     Receive input from your children

 It is important to listen to your children’s preferences and expectations for how they want the holidays to play out as this not only affects you and your co-parent, but your children as well. Giving your children a voice will not only help them adjust to the divorce but it will show them that working together is important.

4.     Create new traditions while respecting old ones

Each family has its own holiday traditions and the thought of changing them can feel devastating. However, while a divorce may break some of those traditions, it also opens the door for new ones to be built. If possible, discuss with your co-parent how your families can come together to create new ones this holiday season. If you are struggling to come up with ideas for new traditions, Pinterest and a Google search may do the trick. The possibilities are endless!

         As you create new traditions, make sure to acknowledge and respect old ones. Keep in mind that trying to fulfill a tradition that you were not initially part of can be hard. Therefore, it may be better to leave those traditions to the other parent and their family while you keep your own traditions alive.

5.     Don’t fall victim to unrealistic expectations

 With the holiday season comes an abundance of unattainable expectations (thank you, Hallmark). If this is your first year separated or divorced, it is natural to hope and feel immense pressure that your holidays go a certain way. When those expectations aren’t met, it can lead to disappointment and feel as if the holidays were a failure. However, just because it didn’t go as you expected, that’s okay! While it is easier said than done, don’t bind yourself to a particular image of what makes a perfect holiday. Take any hiccups or mishaps in stride and enjoy the special times and memories you are creating with your family.

 Celebrating the holiday season post-divorce or separation stirs a mix of emotions. It may take a few years before you find what works for you and your family. Keep in mind that there is no one right way to celebrate the holidays. However, knowing your schedule, setting aside unrealistic expectations, and respecting all traditions are key steps to ensuring you enjoy this holiday season!

 If you have any questions, please contact Rosenquist Law Office at (701) 775-0654 or email us at

The information contained in this article and on this website is for informational purposes only. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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