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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

How to survive your first post-divorce holiday season

Next week, children across Georgia will get dressed up in their spooky, sparkly costumes and go from door-to-door, seeking candy handouts from neighbors and friends. Although it may not be possible to enjoy Halloween as much as children do (Costumes! Staying up past bedtime! CANDY!), most parents really enjoy experiencing the holiday with their children. So what happens if you are recently divorced and, per your custody agreement, will not be the one taking your child trick-or-treating this year?

Certainly, your first holiday season after divorce can be, and usually is, quite a period of adjustment. Now only must you relearn what holidays are like without a husband or wife, but you will probably have to significantly alter your holiday traditions. For example, if you used to spend Christmas Eve with your spouse’s extended family, it may be difficult to accept that your holiday will no longer look like that.

But possibly the most difficult aspect of the first holiday season after divorce is having to spend those special days and nights without your children. So with the holiday season just around the corner, we thought we would share a few tips on how to survive the holidays after divorce, and even how to have a good time in the process.

First, always keep your children at the forefront of your mind. Remember that they have also just gone through the same painful, difficult divorce as you, and that they, too, may be clinging to happy holiday memories. So when you are tempted to become bitter and resentful, think about how you can keep those memories happy.

If you can do that, you may see some unexpected results. Putting on the holiday show for your kids, even if you are faking it at first, could end up putting you in a good mood, too. At the very least, it will keep you busy!

We will share some additional tips for making it through the holidays post-divorce in our next blog post.

Source: The Huffington Post, “O, Come All ye Newly Single Parents: How to Get Through the Holidays Without Singing The Blues,” Christina Pesoli, Oct. 19, 2012