A joyful and peaceful holiday season
It is that time of year again – the holidays are upon us. For many, the holiday season is more stressful than joyful. And, if separation and divorce isn’t tough already, keeping the peace and joy during the holidays can create even more of a challenge.
If you are separated and have children, here are some tips to keep the joy in the holiday and have some peace:
- Planning and traditions. Whether you have a written parenting agreement or not, you will remove some stress in your life if you take a few steps to plan out the holidays with your children and ex-spouse. If possible, decide together how each of you would like to share the holidays with the children and have a conversation about it. You and your ex-spouse get to decide how to bring peace and joy into your holiday break.
Even if you do not celebrate the Christmas holiday, chances are you are having some sort of celebration over this extended holiday period. And, the children are typically out of school for as many as 10 days. To keep things joyful and peaceful, planning on how to spend time with the children over the break is important. Some parents like to alternate the break with one parent having the beginning of the break until sometime on either December 25th or December 26th and then the children are with the other parent until school resumes. This schedule is alternated each year. But, some parents only alternate a few days around the actual holiday. And, others divide the holiday itself exactly in half. What is important to know is that you and your ex-spouse should make the decision together and do what works for your new reality and the family, remembering the children come first.
There is no law that requires you to do one specific thing; the decision is up to you and your ex-spouse and the sooner you can reach an agreement, the sooner you can check that box and start enjoying the holiday.
And, do not forget you need joy and peace too. Keep many of your long-standing traditions – decorate the tree together, bake cookies, attend services – but also remember this is a good time to start some new traditions so that you find new peace and joy and can start enjoying this magical season.
- Ages of Children. Of course, joy and peace comes in different forms depending on your age. When considering how to spend your holidays, consider the age of your children. If the children are still napping, take that into consideration. If the children still believe in Santa Claus, take that into consideration. If the children are teenagers, take that into consideration since teens will likely want to spend time with friends rather than with you. And, remember to find some time for yourself – that me time may bring you the most joy and peace over the holidays and you are important too!
- Travel during the holidays. Many separated parents have extended family who live out of town or who simply like to travel during the holiday break. Perhaps it is even a new tradition a parent wishes to start when he or she has the children. If you want to travel with children, you need to take the other parent into consideration. Although the children may be traveling, make sure to arrange for the children to speak with the other parent regularly while gone. Or, perhaps it makes sense to set up Facetime or Skype so the children can share their joy with the other parent. When traveling, make sure you plan ahead and consider the age of the children.
Both adults and children can experience stress during the holidays, and everyone wants to experience the magic of the holidays. With some planning, understanding what you want out of traditions, and creating workable travel plans, you can have a peaceful and joyful time.
Our team of family law attorneys is ready to help guide you through all parts of your divorce, including the holidays. We are ready to help you achieve a more joyful and peaceful holiday season. If you have questions on this specific subject, please contact us to set up a consultation with Deb Dilman today at 704-919-1519 or visit our website at www.yourncattorney.com.
Wishing the best this holiday season to your family.