The first holiday season post-divorce can undoubtedly stir up feelings of anxiety and downright gloom. Although I dislike pessimism, realistically, nailing your first post-divorce Christmas is unlikely. There are so many feelings and unknowns. Your saving grace will be encapsulated in three words: gentle, gentle, gentle.
Writing this divorce and Christmas blog, I hold two perspectives—from my present self and my younger self. My parents divorced when I was nine, and their poor handling of it taught me some valuable lessons. And thanks to that, I am passionate about helping ease divorce for children. Treating each other kindly and refraining from negative comments about the other parent is crucial. As a child, hearing one parent speak negatively about the other feels like an assault on the heart. This causes confusion and quite literally, alters the child’s reality.
As an adult, divorce will undoubtedly reshape what Christmas looks like. It can ground us back to what’s important and can be an opportunity to reflect on what we want. Here are some things to consider, and they may just ease the holidays as well:
- Maintain Traditions: Hold onto traditions you love or create new ones symbolically.
- Embrace the Spirit: Engage in festive activities like games, tobogganing, baking, or volunteering.
- Fake It If You Have To: Speak about the other person positively, especially in front of children.
- Love Language: Remind everyone of their love languages to foster growth mindsets.
While no one knows how this Christmas will unfold, the choice is yours in how you navigate it. Be proud of your approach, even if it involves a bit of faking it. Choosing kindness over conflict is the best-case scenario for you and your children. Opt for amicability, don’t take the bait, and be the best version of yourself—for you.