The first holiday after your divorce is final will be hard. Even if you do not have children, you cannot help thinking about what your holiday was like in other years and traditions that you and your spouse may have had. If you have children, it can be even more difficult for you.
Understand it will be Different
This may seem obvious, but many people think about other holidays and cannot help but want those days to be back. Instead of trying to keep up with old traditions, this is the perfect year to come up with new ones. Get your children involved and see what they would like to do. They need to know that you are still going to celebrate holidays, even if the days might be a little different than in the past.
If your children will be visiting your ex’s family use that time as the perfect quiet time for yourself. Instead of being depressed that they are not there, grab a good book and stretch out for an afternoon of reading. Go for a walk or just take a nap. Try to focus on the good things from the day instead of the negative.
Focus on the Children
It will be hard, but you and your spouse need to focus on the children for the holiday. You want to spend the whole day with them and your ex does, too, and the kids want to see everyone. This is the time for you to compromise. Focus on what is best for your children. Some divorce settlements specify which parent gets what holiday, but if there is any way you can work with your spouse, try to split the day so your children will be happier. Remember that your children love both families and this day is not just about what you want. Doing anything that will make your ex happy may be the last thing you want to do, but do it for your kids.
Don’t Feel Pressured
Often, the first holiday, especially if it happens to be Christmas, is just too hard to be with large crowds of people. If you truly cannot handle the thought of your office party or a huge gathering of extended family, don’t feel pressured to go. People won’t remember in a few weeks whether you attended or not. Your friends and family will try to get you to attend events, because they love you and are concerned. Explain that you just aren’t up to it, but appreciate their support.
It may not seem like it, but you will have happy holidays after your divorce. You need to give yourself time to heal and then look for new ways to celebrate the special days of the year.