Your first holiday season after your divorce may seem lonely, or it may seem very exciting. You no longer have to compromise about how you celebrate in your own home, which is often necessary for married couples.
Whether you look forward to bringing back your family traditions for your children or you feel a bit blue about being single for the holidays, you will still need to talk about the holiday season with your ex. If you proactively coordinate the three issues below with your ex, you will set the entire family out for a smooth and pleasant holiday season.
Your holiday work schedule
Although you may have a basic outline of custody matters for school breaks and holidays, it is important to talk about the actual details. The two of you need to discuss your individual work schedules and when the children will be off of school.
Openly sharing any secondary obligations, like your office holiday party or your children’s soccer gift exchange, will also be important as you coordinate the overall parenting and childcare schedule during the holiday break.
On birthdays, Christmas and any other celebration where you give the children presents, you need to talk about your plans ahead of time. This is not a competition to outdo one another but rather an opportunity for the two of you to cooperate.
Parents spend, on average, more than $400 per child on the holidays, and that price tag tends to rise as they get older. Pre-teens and high school students ask for more expensive gifts, like name-brand clothing, concert tickets and video game consoles. Especially when the children want big-ticket items, it may still be a viable option for the two of you to go in together to make those purchases.
Your celebration plans
If your children will celebrate separately with each of you, it is important for their enjoyment that they don’t have to attend two identical parties with different sets of people. Talking about the meals you intend to have and the other basics of your celebration will reduce the likelihood of the holidays becoming repetitive and dull for your children because they have to celebrate twice.
Proper coordination can take a lot of the stress out of sharing the holidays when you also share custody of your children.