It’s almost Christmas. Even if you and your kids love this time of year, it’s not without its challenges, and those can be exacerbated if you have recently divorced. The first Christmas after divorce can be tough for children, parents and their wider family. It signals a break in the usual routine, one they may have respected ever since the oldest child in the family was born.
Anticipating some of the issues that could occur increases the chance you can all enjoy the holiday, perhaps in some new and creative ways.
How can the children get to spend time with you all?
While Santa can whizz between houses in a flash, your kids cannot. One of you will miss out on seeing the kids wake up and run downstairs for their presents on Christmas morning unless you and your co-parent choose to celebrate the holiday together.
You need to look at ways to share the joy. The possibilities depend on how close to each other you live and whether you intend to travel to spend time with your extended families. Options include the child spending part of the day with each parent, spending Christmas with one and New Years with the other or this year with one side of the family and next year with the other.
Do you need to put some controls on gifts?
It’s easy to get drawn into a competition over gifts for your children, and that can be disastrous, especially if one parent or set of relatives can afford to spend more than the other. Agreeing on a budget and coordinating to avoid duplicating gifts can help. You might even want to pool your money to buy your child something together.
Considering special events such as Christmas in your parenting plan can help pave the way for smoother holiday seasons for years to come. Don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance if you need help making these adjustments.