New Holiday Traditions for Your First Post-Divorce Christmas

New Holiday Traditions for Your First Post-Divorce ChristmasWhile you may have made it through the hard part – finishing the divorce process– there are still going to be new challenges ahead of you. For example, what do your holiday plans look like? Do you have your children for this time, or are they with your former spouse? No matter what your predicament is, you do not have to let your divorce ruin your holidays. While you may not be able to continue all your old holiday traditions, new ones can help you to move on and find new sources of joy.

Talk with your kids

First things first. If you have children, it is important to talk to them about how things are going to be different, but it doesn’t mean things will be bad. While a divorce can be a traumatic process, it is important to reassure your children that their happiness and wellbeing is still your number one priority, and that while things may be different during the holidays, that there is still fun and joy to be had.

While it is good to reassure children of their future wellbeing, it is also important to be frank and realistic with them. Your finances might not be where they used to be after your divorce, so your budget for gifts may be much smaller than it used to be. You may not be able to take them to special holiday events or fly them out to their grandparents this year. While you do not want to ruin their holiday, making sure they know what to expect can help them to not be so disappointed going forward.

However, just because your budget may be smaller, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with your kids in different (less expensive) ways.

How to spend the holidays with your kids

You have the kids for the holidays, and there are some holiday traditions that you just cannot afford or achieve this year (whether due to finances or lack of the other parent). Fret not, there are other ways that you can celebrate with your kids.

  • Creative with crafts. One way to fill the time (where you might usually be wandering the mall and getting expensive photos with Santa) is to delve into arts and crafts. Using cheap materials like cotton balls, paint, markers, popsicle sticks, glitter, pipe cleaners, you name it, you and your kids can make holiday decorations for the tree and around the house.
  • Do something you’ve always wanted to do. In the past, your former partner may have been the deciding voice in certain holiday activities, and wasn’t a fan of certain activities that you may have wanted to try. Train rides (Check out this winter favorite only a couple hours away in Chattanooga), driving around and seeing holiday lights on houses, or even visiting certain relatives your partner was not a fan of (or maybe relatives who weren’t a fan of your former spouse).
  • What do you kids want to do? Finally (or perhaps, firstly), ask your kids what they want to do for the holidays. While you may not be able to grant every one of their wishes, they may surprise you. They may suggest old traditions that you may or may not be emotionally ready for. They may also ask for new traditions that you’ve never even considered before.

What is most important is that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday. Invite over friends and family for get-togethers, watch Christmas movies with your kids. Whatever it is (old or new) that brings joy to you and your kids, then consider it thoughtfully in light of your new circumstances.

How to spend the holidays without your kids

Maybe you don’t have kids at all, or your former spouse has them for the holidays, and you find yourself having to be on your own. First, let’s not think of it that way. You may not have your kids around, but you still have friends and family who you can spend time with. Though, frankly you may be looking forward to having some vacation time to yourself. Whatever it is, you have options.

  • Go on vacation. A divorce is exhausting. If you find yourself with free time on your hands, don’t waste it. If your budget allows it, take a plane to some Caribbean beach and relax for a week or so. If your budget is perhaps a bit smaller than it used to be, perhaps a more local away destination is a better choice. Reserving a few days at a nearby airbnb or renting a cabin might be just what you need. If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, a few at-home spa days might do the trick as well.
  • Call in the reinforcements. See your family, friends, and colleagues. Go to the work holiday party, host a party of your own, or attend get-togethers that you might normally be unable to attend. Just because you don’t have your kids doesn’t mean your holidays are ruined. Your friends and family will rally around you and make sure that you have a good time. People who care for you will want you to have as happy a holiday as possible.
  • Don’t self isolate. It’s tempting to simply stay in bed all day, or sulk your hours away on the sofa by yourself. Getting a divorce can be an emotionally difficult, traumatic process. To say there is a lot of baggage from it would likely be an understatement. All of this emotional weight can make you want to simmer in your misery, but it is important to care for yourself even if going out and being around friends feels like a chore. It is possible to feel better during this time of year, and to do that, you need to be proactive.

With or without the kids, you have to handle holidays differently going forward. If you’re in the middle of a divorce, or just beginning to contemplate it as an option, know that life isn’t over afterwards. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, you can better prepare yourself. The attorneys at the Law Offices of LaFevor & Slaughter have helped countless clients with their divorces, ensuring that the experience is as stress-free and simple as possible. We want you to have an easier time moving on after your divorce, finding new traditions with your loved ones, and being able to celebrate the holidays without a cloud looming overhead. To schedule your initial consultation, call us in Knoxville or use our contact page. We want to help.