Our Philadelphia Family Law Attorneys Share 6 Ways to Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive During a Divorce
Sparkly lights, school vacation, family togetherness, the first snow, and the anticipation of a visit from Santa… the holidays are a magical time for children. While a divorce or separation can change the way a family celebrates, it is possible for the holidays to remain special.
These tips from our Philadelphia divorce attorneys can help you keep the wonder of the holiday season alive for your children even if you are struggling through a divorce.
1). Don’t focus on the divorce. Children love their parents. If you spend the holidays angry at your ex, your children will feel torn between mom and dad. They won’t be able to enjoy the holidays.
Don’t let your divorce stop you from putting up a tree or exchanging gifts. Emphasizing the negative instead of celebrating will only hurt your children.
Instead, focus on the holiday. Think about the parts of the holiday you enjoy most: the beauty of the lights or the joy on your child’s face when opens her stocking. Your holidays may not be as lavish as they were when you were married, but your children will appreciate and remember the effort.
2). Make the most of your time with your children. It can be hard to share custody of a child during the holiday season. You’ve always spent both Christmas morning and Christmas Day with your child, but now you have to give up some of your traditions. It’s hard.
If possible, discuss how you will fairly divide the holiday celebrations with your ex. If it’s not possible, celebrate the way you want in the time you have. If you can’t have Christmas morning, have a redo on the 28th. Does it really matter if your child gets two stockings from Santa?
3). Start new traditions. Have you always wanted to see The Nutcracker or attend Zoo Noel? Now is the perfect time to start new traditions. These new traditions will became positive memories that will strengthen your relationship with your children now – and in the future.
4). Involve your children in the decision making. Whether you are asking your child’s opinion about holiday activities and new traditions or allowing your child to bring a friend to a family event, giving your child an active role in the holidays is important. When parents divorce, children often feel that their life is spinning out of control. Letting your children decide how they would like to celebrate the holidays allows them to regain some control over their life.
5). Remember that money isn’t everything. Divorce often means financial stress. While dealing with tight budgets is especially hard during the holidays, it is possible to have a merry Christmas on a shoestring. Instead of buying lavish gifts, focus on shared experiences – a trip to the zoo, baking cookies, or even watching Frozen in pajamas on Christmas Eve. In 20 years, your child won’t remember Talking Barbie, but she will remember quality time spent with you.
6.) Get it in writing. Instead of fighting about the holidays, make the division of time and traditions part of your divorce or separation agreement. Our attorneys can help you create an agreement that will work now and in the future. Call us at 215-523-6900 to learn more.
We understand that it can be hard to feel like celebrating when your marriage is breaking up. But, you deserve more than just “surviving” the holidays. Focusing on the positive will help keep the magic and wonder of the holiday season alive for you and your children.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel.