One of the greatest challenges that parents and families face after a divorce is reclaiming their holidays. Nothing feels the same, especially that first Christmas after the split, which can make the holidays seem strange, chaotic, and even a little sad. But all is not lost! Old traditions may be laid to rest, but there’s no reason not to start creating new and meaningful family traditions for your future holidays. Here are our top five tips to consider…
1. Trade in your old home cooked meal
If your family tradition involved a home cooked meal, but you weren’t the spouse who did the cooking (or maybe you were, and you really want a break) why not switch up your at-home-dinner for a restaurant meal. There are many nice restaurants that stay open for the holidays. Pick something you all love, or maybe even something new you’d all like to try, and enjoy a meal with your kids that you don’t have to clean up after. You could even invite other family members or loved ones to join you.
2. Break all the former rules
If your marriage ended because your ex was overly controlling, or made life miserable for everyone by having rules for everything, then this is your chance to start making a tradition out of rebellion. Weren’t allowed to snack on the couch? Spend Christmas afternoon draped across the sofa with your kids, munching on caramel popcorn, and watching all the movies your ex hated. Always had to eat on a fixed schedule? Make a point of enjoying your holiday meal WHENEVER YOU WANT TO. Seriously. The world is your oyster. Live it up.
3. Deck the halls… but differently
You may still want to decorate for Christmas, but consider putting a new twist on old favorites to help mark the start of a new season in life. Change up the ornaments on your tree this year, or pick a different color scheme for your holiday decorations. Put the tree up earlier (or later), and only take it down when you feel like it. Maybe invest in a fake tree if your ex always insisted on a real one each year (or vice versa!). Or scrap the tree all together, and do something completely different.
4. Change up your holiday routine
If Christmas was always spent at home, or at your in-laws, then change it up this year. Enjoy Christmas dinner in your pajamas. Open all your gifts on Christmas eve instead of Christmas morning. Eat all of your favorite things, and don’t make or eat anything you don’t enjoy. Spend the day with special loved ones, friends, or at the movies. There are loads of things you could do to make the day special in a totally new way.
5. Spend your holiday budget in new ways
Consider buying fewer presents, then using the money you’ve saved to share an experience with your kids. Spend the holidays at an indoor waterpark. Travel to another state and do some seasonal sightseeing. Go and visit out-of-state relatives that your ex never wanted to see. If the budget allows for it, maybe rent a cosy airbnb cabin for a few days and spend the holidays escaping all the madness. Do puzzles by the fire and drink hot chocolate in front of your favorite movies. You’ll create new memories, and the change of scenery may make the holidays more enjoyable for all of you.
Divorce can be very hard, but you can reclaim your family’s future
Getting divorced can make the parts of life that are supposed to be enjoyable, that much more difficult. Birthdays, vacations, holidays. But you and your kids deserve a fresh start. So shake of the dust and start looking for new and exciting ways to revamp your holiday traditions. Christmas is mere days away, and it could be a wonderful time to start making new memories with your loved ones.
If, as you head into this holiday season, you’re considering divorce and want to talk to someone who can explain the process and help you with whatever you decide is right, then call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled and experienced family law attorneys can answer all your questions, and help you come to a decision about your family’s future that’s right for you.