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The Christmas festivities when you are divorced or separated

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It can be incredibly hard for parents who are unable to spend Christmas with their children. There are often feelings of loneliness, jealousy and resent. Parents who are not living with their children often feel isolated; not being able to watch their children open their presents on Christmas day, or spend the day celebrating with them. It can be a very distressing time for some parents, so here are some tips on how to survive Christmas when you are divorced or separated.

Be organised. It is advisable that you raise a conversation as early as possible with your children’s other parent in regards to sharing time with the children. There are a range of arrangements which can be made to suit both parents. Suggest to alternate the years, this way you can create a rota in advance of when you will spend Christmas with your children as a result, preventing potential disputes and any miscommunication well in advance. Perhaps you could allocate a time slot where you can take presents to the children on Christmas day so you can spend a few hours opening gifts together. You can even celebrate Christmas a few days before or after – which in most cases suits the children as they get to enjoy double the celebrations.

If your child’s other parent is being awkward about arrangements for the children, ensure you identify this issue as soon as possible. By doing so you will be able to seek expert legal advice in order to prevent any difficulties ahead of time.

Christmas is a joyous time of year. Prevent as much conflict with your ex-partner as possible. It is important for your own, just as much as your children’s, sanity and happiness. Try and remain as amicable as possible, even if it is just for the holidays. This is why is it so significant to plan in advance of the festive season.

Do something nice for yourself. Particularly if you are alone throughout the festive period. Take some time dedicated to doing something nice for yourself. This could be a massage and dinner with some friends, a candlelit bubble bath or you could even treat yourself to a gift. There is no need to spend lots of money in order to make yourself feel a little uplifted, especially as Christmas is a difficult time of the year financially.

It is important to ensure any time you spend with your children during this festive period is special. Create new traditions with them so they have something to look forward to. Some parents try competing or outdoing each other which is disappointing and distressing for the children as most of the time parents can’t live up to the expectations they set, in turn disappointing the children. Communicate with your children’s other parent to discuss gifts in order for you to both gain an understanding of what you can purchase, perhaps you could even buy joint gifts so neither parent feels pressure to meet any high expectations.

If you are not spending this Christmas with your children, try and make arrangements with friends or family. Having nothing to do will lead to Christmas being a heart-breaking day, especially if it is spent alone and without your children. Essentially, the happier you are, the happier your children will be.