Parents need to consider what is best for their children during the holidays and get their egos out of the way.
A child is not a possession that can just passed back and forth or cut in half. Their child is a little human being who loves both parents and wants nothing more than to reduce the conflict between the parents. For divorcing parents, a decision must be made about celebrating together or splitting the day where one parent has the child for the morning and early afternoon and the other has late afternoon and evening. Or parents may be able to hold their tongue and grit their teeth for a couple of hours to celebrate together.
There are some families that come from different religions. They can celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas with few issues. For some families, Christmas Eve is important while the other side views Christmas Day as more important. One family may use Thanksgiving as a bigger celebration than Christmas or vice versa. Compromises can be worked out that way.
It is tempting to try to get revenge on the other parent by fighting for a holiday you know is important to them even though celebrating that holiday does not mean much to you. You need to put aside the impulse for revenge. Think about not only the holidays this year but all the holidays to come. If you start off on a bad note at the beginning of the divorce that will set the tone for all holidays in future years. The more you can set aside how you feel today, and think about all of the holidays to come, the easier you will be able to reach a better agreement that reduces conflict and focuses on what is truly best for your children.
Holiday Time by Yourself
The hard part of the first Christmas after you are divorced is the time that your kids are with the other parent. During this time, you should plan to start some new holiday traditions – ones you with your children and new ones for yourself when your children are with the other parent. Even though we are in COVID-19 right now, there are still ways for you to volunteer somewhere and help others who are less fortunate. Find a food bank, homeless shelter or a similar place where you can volunteer with masks and social distancing to help others in a situation worse than what you are experiencing. The important thing is to come up with some new traditions and not obsess over the fact that your children are not with you at this moment.
Remember the holidays are a time when memories are made. Do not let those memories be bad memories for you and for your children.