Divorce is hard and the holidays make it harder. If each parent has time with the children at Christmas, it is really nice for everyone. Hopefully your extended family can work around your parenting time schedule and you can have a wonderful time as a family. If this is one of your first Christmases without the children, maybe your parenting schedule gives you every other year with the children, it can be really heartbreaking. It is okay to be sad and to miss the children. Try to continue your traditions with your extended family despite those feelings of sadness.
Maybe you feel bad because you have had regular traditions with the children and divorce has interfered with those. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This is a chance for you to come up with new traditions to share with your kids. Life as a single parent doesn’t have to be bad. You can make things fun and special. Even if you don’t get to be with the kids on Christmas day, you can have a special day before or after the holiday. Can you take a day off when the children will be with you and on winter break from school? Can you plan a long weekend out of town with family during your regularly scheduled weekend? Find a new activity that you could do with the kids every year around Christmas. For example, you could plan a sleigh ride . You could invite your siblings and their children to make it an even bigger event. If you’d rather stay home and warm, you could do a movie marathon day or night. Each family member can pick a movie they want to watch and you could do sleeping bags in front of the TV with lots of snacks. If you are celebrating with your kids before your gathering with extended family, you and the kids could bake some treats to take along so the kids can still feel like they are a part of that celebration.
Whatever tradition you and the children decide on, you can do. Your kids will look forward to time with you no matter what the date is. Often times kids enjoy having something special, something not everyone gets to do. It will be even more special because they will know that you are always thinking of ways to make their life fun and special at your home regardless of a number on the calendar.