How to Manage Christmas Day and the Holidays Following Separation or Divorce

Christmas is often described as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, however for many, it can be the most stressful and unhappy time of the year too. 

Wrapping up work, coping with Christmas shopping and crowds and dealing with family dynamics can be incredibly difficult, let alone when you add separation or divorce into the mix.

Separation and divorce can add yet another layer of stress and angst to this tumultuous time and so it’s understandable if you are anticipating the holiday season with dread, instead of joy.

So, how can you navigate the holiday season for yourself and your children without despair? Read on for some strategies on how to manage Christmas Day and the holidays following separation or divorce. 


Accept change

Although accepting your new reality can be extremely difficult to come to terms with, it’s important to know that you will get through it. Acceptance is often one of the most important steps towards moving on and processing change. 

Acceptance can also make it easier for you to rise above any feelings of resentment. If you feel ready, a great way to start the Christmas proceedings is to take your kids to the shops and help them pick out a gift for their other parent. 


Plan and plan early

Planning is essential to avoid any anxiety caused by last-minute arrangements. These plans should be child-focused and accommodate the needs of your children first, within reason.


Make room for new traditions

By making a list of your traditions alongside your partners, it can become easier to gain a realistic expectation of what activities can be maintained and how much time you can each spend with your kids. 

Coming in with a list of reasonable ‘wants’ is okay, however, it’s important to understand that everything you used to do may not be achievable anymore. It’s important to make new traditions alongside some of the old traditions you used to enjoy with your kids. 


Shift your perspective

In many cases, it may not be possible for both parents to have time with the kids on Christmas Day, particularly if distance or significant travel is involved. In many cases, it can be common to alternate Christmas Day with the kids and allocate Boxing Day as an ‘unofficial Christmas’ for every alternate year. Understandably, this can be emotional and hard to come to terms with initially, however, it’s important to keep some perspective about this and realise that it won’t negatively impact the relationship you have with your children in the long term. 


Treat yourself

Whether you are spending your first Christmas post-separation or divorce alone, or you are with your kids, practice self-love. Whether that involves buying yourself a gift you’ve had your eye on for a while or taking some time to relax, do something that makes you feel good. 

When you are feeling recharged and more positive, you will be able to be there for your kids more easily.


How we can help at All About Kids

If you are going through your first Christmas alone after a separation or divorce and would like some advice or reassurance over this stressful period, then get in touch with us today.

We have a broad range of professional knowledge and we offer straightforward advice for families who experience separation and divorce, and who seek to understand how to help their children through this emotionally driven time of change. We can offer support for parents as individuals or couples during separation.

Get in touch with our friendly team today here.

Working together to provide the best
possible support for your family.

Keep in touch!

Stay up to date with the latest news from All About Kids