A divorced Christmas doesn’t have to be a miserable Christmas for a divorced family with children. Here are 12 tips from a divorce lawyer to make your Christmas a happy one for you and your children.
On the first day of Christmas, recall what matters most to you.
This will tell you where you need to negotiate, compromise and stand your ground. Does Christmas morning matter most? Dinner with the family on Christmas Eve? An extended weekend with family friends?
On the second day of Christmas, check your custody order.
Your custody order will tell you what is settled and what needs to be negotiated. It is easy to forget arrangements from year-to-year.
On the third day of Christmas, go beyond your custody order.
Tuck any bitterness away. Give more custody than you need to or just say something nice about your ex to your kids. Even the best custody order only gives an outline for custody. A happy Christmas for you and your children often means going beyond the order.
On the fourth day of Christmas, if you must go to court, go early.
Don’t wait until December when the courts are packed, stakes are high and plans are dangling. By going in November, you can avoid all of that and reduce your stress levels dramatically.
On the fifth day of Christmas, be open to compromise.
Being divorced means that you often won’t have all of the time you want with your kids, but you can still have all of the time that they need.
On the sixth day of Christmas, find a tradition to continue.
Longstanding family traditions are a great way to make your kids comfortable and to keep yourself centered.
On the seventh day of Christmas, find a new tradition to start.
Divorce is not just about loss. It is about starting over fresh, with new ideas and new energy.
On the eighth day of Christmas, work with your ex on a Christmas list.
This is a great way to save money and disappointment. As an added bonus, it helps create a sense of teamwork between both parents.
On the ninth day of Christmas, include your ex in something beyond the necessary.
At best, this will make your children grateful and secure. At worst, you will have gone above and beyond for your children.
On the tenth day of Christmas, make time for extended family.
Extended family is most important when the nuclear family has split. This is a chance to make yourself feel the love and bring your children to others who love them.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, do something for yourself.
It doesn’t need to be big. Work out, take in a show, do a spa, attend a sporting event or go out to dinner. You earned it!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, don’t sweat the small stuff.
Some things will go wrong, they always do. Be grateful for what you have and those you love.
On every day of the year, put your kids first.
They only have a few years of wonder and magic. By focusing outside yourself for the holiday and the rest of the year, you will find happiness too.