While you could look at divorce as an end to certain holiday traditions, you could also view it as a new beginning. When you do this, you’re able to help yourself and your children move on in a positive way.
If your children are sad that some holiday traditions, they’ve grown accustomed to can’t happen anymore, it’s important to show them how exciting and fun it can be to begin new ones. Remember kids feed off of their parents’ energy. If you’re sad and depressed about not being able to do certain things, they’re likely going to feel the same way.
Instead, focus on these five ways to set new holiday traditions after divorce:
1. Acknowledge the Difference
One of the worst things you can do is pretend that everything is the same as when you were married. You need to acknowledge the divorce and the difference it has created. You can do this by talking to your kids and asking how they’re feeling. You can also share your feelings so that they can feel assured that they’re not in this alone. Once you do this, you can begin to move forward and set those new, important holiday traditions.
2. Include Your Kids in Planning the New Traditions
After a divorce, it’s important to include your kids as you plan new traditions. They want to feel like they’re still a part of something and letting them in on the planning is one way of doing this. Start by asking them what they want to do over the holidays. Many kids have clear ideas of what they like and what they don’t. You don’t want to take over and plan everything yourself because you may include things they just don’t want to do. This will make the situation worse.
You can also ask them who they want to spend the holidays with. Many times, having grandparents or favorite cousins nearby can help them deal with the divorce better. Being surrounded by other family members can make them feel like they are still part of a family.
Sometimes planning a trip over the holidays can be a way to set a new tradition. Ask them if there is anywhere reasonable, they’d like to visit and see if you can make it happen. If it can’t be done over the holidays, maybe it’s something that you can plan for the future so that they have something to look forward to.
3. Be Creative
If you want to set new holiday traditions after divorce, you’re going to have to get creative. This may mean finding a new show to see or checking out a new location for holiday lights. You may want to change up traditions altogether and find something you’ve never done before. This can create anticipation and excitement for the kids (and for yourself). If you can’t seem to find anything yourself, ask around. Many times, people would love to share their traditions with you. You can tweak them a bit and make them your own for a holiday you and your family won’t forget!
4. Include New Friends and Family
Chances are if you’ve moved due to the divorce, you and your children have had a chance to make new friends. Why not invite them over? This is a great way to set a new holiday tradition. Host a game night or a potluck dinner to get everyone together.
This is also a great opportunity to invite over family members you may not have seen in a while. Let them be a part of your new holiday tradition.
5. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself
You may have an idea of a perfect holiday that just isn’t realistic. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create perfection. Remember, your kids will be happy to spend time with you. Often those unplanned moments are the ones that really end up being the most perfect. If you spend too much time focusing on perfection, the holidays are going to whiz right by you without you enjoying one minute.
If you stress too much on trying to make everything perfect, you’re only going to hurt yourself. It’s important to practice self-care which means trying not to stress out so much!
When it comes to creating new holiday traditions after divorce, remember to include the kids in your planning. This will get them excited as you move forward. Also, acknowledge that while things are different, they can still be fun and exciting. Incorporate new people and events into your traditions as you just enjoy the moments. Throw out the idea that everything needs to be perfect and focus on your family and these wonderful new holiday traditions that you are creating.