It’s that time of year that many people dread. The holiday season is supposed to be full of laughing and love, happy times with friends and family and wonderful times with your special someone. After a divorce, this time of year can be a painful reminder of everything you no longer have in your life. Add to that the stress of sharing your children with a family you may not care for and instead of peace and love, you have anger and hurt.
The first thing you need to realize during this time of year is that your holiday season will not look like the ones when you were married and you should not expect them to. This may seem like common sense, but many people want those happy times to continue and believe if they do the same traditions in the same way, their season will be happy. Instead, those traditions often highlight what is missing now.
Set out to make new traditions for you and your children. If they ask for a certain activity, then by all means, do it with them. While it may cause you pain, it may help them understand that things are different, but some things can stay the same. If you always bake cookies the week before Christmas, then do so. Your children need to have stability in their lives. You can introduce new ideas, too. Take a long drive to look at the pretty lights or design all of your cards together.
Perhaps the hardest part of being divorced is not spending every minute of the holidays with your children. Instead of sitting home alone while your children are gone, try something new. There are many places that would welcome extra volunteers during this time or go visit people in a care center who may have no one to spend time with. Remember that no matter how lonely you are, there are always people who are worse off.
While your children are gone, read a book or binge watch a few seasons of your favorite show. Relax and enjoy the time for yourself. Go visit family or go to a movie. Think outside the box and spend the time doing something for yourself. Your first holiday season will be lonely. The sooner you realize that and accept that this year will be different, the sooner you can make plans to start new traditions that fit your new, happier life.
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