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Christmas and Divorce – Tips for Divorced Parents

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Christmas is supposed to be that special time of the year. That’s especially true when young children are involved. Even as adults we still remember the awe and excitement of Christmas we had as a young child – from Santa Claus, to milk and cookies, to opening up gifts on Christmas morning. Those special moments left a lasting impression on all of us. As adults, we try pass along those same special Christmas traditions to our own children.

Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce and it can make it difficult to celebrate a traditional Christmas. Instead of opening gifts with both parents on Christmas morning, children of divorced parents need to be prepared to spend time with their parents separately. Children may have a harder time understanding or adjusting so parents need to go the extra mile to ensure Christmas still retains that special magic, even after divorce.

Below are a few tips, or reminders, on how divorced parents can help to ensure Christmas remains special for their children.

  1. Always ask, “How will this action affect my children?” Divorce is already hard on your children, especially during Christmas.
  2. Talk openly with your children about how the Christmas holidays will be different.  Acknowledge that plans may have to change at the last minute.
  3. Remember that the Christmas holidays are supposed to be a time of hope, kindness, and cooperation.  Apply those same principles in your communications with your ex.
  4. Be prepared to celebrate Christmas on a day that is not December 25th.  Make the alternate day special, just like Christmas. Have a special breakfast, have presents under the tree, watch a holiday movie, etc.

Merry Christmas!


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