Have the holidays snuck up on you this year? Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed and the winter holidays are approaching at rapid speed. While most people may be busy shopping and figuring out how to celebrate this year, if you are a newly divorced parent, you may find yourself in a fog, trying to navigate a new approach to the holidays. If you are wondering how you can make the holidays a success for your children, here are some tips for a successful season.

Part of the new normal after divorce will be splitting the holiday time with the kids between you and your ex-spouse. It can be imperative to have a plan in place for how the time will be divided. A written parenting plan should outline when each parent has the children. The plan should be made clear to the whole family. This way grandparents know when they can see the kids and most important, the kids know what to expect.  

Additionally, informal planning with your ex-spouse may make the holiday run smoother. Sharing shopping lists will help assure the kids receive the gift at the top of their wish list, but not in duplicate. If you celebrate with Santa, be consistent in your approach, so the magic remains alive for the children.

The first year you are not with your children for one-hundred percent of the holidays will likely fuel some feelings of sadness. Please remember the kids are innocent children, who love both of their parents. The best gift you can give them might be remaining positive and encouraging them to have a great time when they are away from you so they do not feel guilty.

While things may look different, it can still be a special time to partake in traditions both old and new. People often thrive on routine. If you have been decorating gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve for years or making homemade latkes for Hanukkah, carry the traditions on. It would also be nice to add a new tradition for the kids. While you are at it, consider adding a tradition for yourself, such as a hike or an annual lunch date with a friend. Having your own tradition can  make the time away from the kids easier on you.

Follow these steps and hopefully you will agree that planning, positivity and partaking are the recipe for a happy holiday season. Should you need any assistance on related legal matters, our office is here to help. Together, we have over 40 years of trusted experience. Right here in Florida, and nationwide. Contact us on our website or by calling us at 850-386-2171 today.