Christmas After Divorce: Learning to Enjoy The Holidays Without Your Kids

One of the biggest struggles parents face after divorce, is learning to enjoy the holidays, even though their children may be with their other parent at the time. Spending the day with family is part of what makes the holidays magical, and if your custody schedule places your children with your ex during the yuletide festivities, it can take a little getting used to. Especially if it isn’t what you’d hoped for. So what are your options now? What can you do to make Christmas feel special, and to ensure that future holidays aren’t as lonely?

A happy woman standing in the snow, surrounded with Chrsitmas lights, laughing.

Plan ahead with your ex (if possible)

If you and your ex are able to work together without fighting, it would be worth having a discussion about ways to ensure that the children get to spend time with both parents for the holidays. If Christmas falls during your ex’s time with the kids, you could ask to spend Christmas eve with them, and then bring them back at the end of the night so they’re meant to be for Christmas day. 

You could also discuss alternating the holidays, so you get every other Christmas with your kids, which might be a more fair breakdown of the parenting time agreement. Talk to your ex and see what they think is reasonable (assuming they’re capable of being reasonable). Many divorced parents find ways to share the holidays and ensure that everyone gets time together. There are many ways to do this, and flexibility is key. Also, keep in mind that it’s beneficial for your children to let them see all their loved ones during the Christmas season.

If you’re kidless for Christmas, find other ways to have fun.

If this is your first Christmas without your children, it will likely be a challenge for you to enjoy yourself. We get it. Christmas just doesn’t feel the same without their joyful cries of delight as they open gifts, and the pleasure of being together during this season. But it doesn’t have to be a sad day for you, just a different one. There are other ways to make Christmas special if your kids are with your ex for the day.

Some people enjoy a lazy day alone. Reading a book uninterrupted for hours, or watching all the movies you love with a huge bowl of popcorn (and no fight over the remote) can be very rewarding. But it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you don’t want to spend the day alone, plan to spend it with friends or family. Find out who’s getting together (or who else is spending the day alone but wants company) and plan a fun time together. Sometimes the best new traditions are started when we’re forced to step out of our comfort zones.

Are you unhappy with your Christmas custody agreement?

One of the most common complaints we hear from divorced people during the holidays (especially if this is their first Christmas after the divorce), is that they don’t see enough of their kids, and they want more time. Whether it’s the parenting time schedule they want to change, or the custody agreement they believe is unfair, we want you to know that there are options. (Although please understand that the courts move slowly, and the process involved in changing custody agreements is slow – nothing you do now will affect this year’s Christmas, but it may help for future holidays.) If you need help this holiday season, whether it’s with divorce, parenting time, or custody, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced family lawyers are standing by to help. We’re available 24/7, including on holidays.