Divorce is a way to weed out holiday rituals that have become stale from the ones with meaning. Revamp your holiday to-do list with some fresh traditions to start your new life as a single parent. Since it is only my two sons and
1. Ask the children for input on what they like best about Christmas Eve/Day – their answers may surprise you. Consuming an elaborate dinner that takes hours to prepare may not even be on their wish list. Getting a pizza or eating comfort food on Christmas Eve while watching a marathon of holiday movies may be what they desire. Save yourself loads of work by incorporating new, low-key traditions into this frenetic Christmas season. My sons wanted to stop the tedious activity of making and frosting sugar
2. It is the uninterrupted time spent with children that matters – not frantically flitting from
3. If you are negotiating how to split holidays, think about which part is more special to you. I picked Christmas Eve, which included going to early Mass and then looking at Christmas lights before an easy but elegant dinner. I still had them briefly Christmas morning before visitation started with their father. Others may opt for the bulk of Christmas Day if they are going to a big celebration with family. A few Christmases down the road after divorce, my sons and I went on
4. Build relaxation into your schedule during the turbulent time of divorce. Sitting around in pajamas while sipping hot chocolate or making a quick holiday treat is a stress buster. My sons enjoyed listening to me read Christmas stories. I did holiday chores, such as writing cards or wrapping friends’ presents while watching TV specials with my boys. This is a more fun way of getting tasks done while enjoying your kids’ company. A way to gain extra time during this busy season is by doing a holiday cookie swap with friends. Each person bakes a few batches of the same type of cookie and everyone goes home with a variety. I buy high-quality seasonal treats from a bakery, such as the French chocolate log cake, bûche de noël. Quiche loaded with many ingredients makes an easy holiday breakfast. Many of us line up the day before at a gourmet shop for quiche and other delectables.
5. If keeping the same holiday routines keep you on track, then go for it. Knowing what to expect and continuing favorite rituals gives constancy to the topsy-turvy world of divorce. Do what you can ahead of time, whether it is setting the table the night before or the prep work for a meal to be served later. It is important not to feel chained to the kitchen, but rather to find more time to spend with the kids. I know families who serve lasagna on Christmas Day, with each family member bringing a dish. There
6. The important thing is to allow impromptu fun to happen by not being too over scheduled. If some holiday activities do not get done, there is always next year. Instead of trying to cram too many holiday events into your tight agenda, consider doing some on alternate years.