1. Are both parents on the same schedule? If you have a court order for parenting time on the holidays, make sure you’re both on the same page, sending a polite email saying you’d like to confirm holiday parenting time, and setting out what you believe the schedule is, let’s you know if there’s a problem. An attorney can help you sort out a problem now, a month in advance, but not the day of the holiday.
2. Plan some new traditions! This is a hard time for you AND your children. Nobody relishes change. Make it fun by adding something new to your traditions. There are thousands of easy to do/make crafts and gifts on the internet, plan some family time to do something together. There are numerous free or low cost holiday performances at malls, theaters, and schools. Going to these can help put you more in the spirit!
3. Do a random act of kindness. By helping your children find, or make something nice for the other parent, you are showing your children that it’s okay for them to love the other parent, and there is nothing better you can do for your children, than to foster the love and affection of both families.
4. Treat yourself well. This is hard. If you take care of yourself, you will make it easier on you, which will make it easier on your children. Take some time to do something that you enjoy – a sports game, time with friends, a hike or snowshoe venture in the hills, or my favorite, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!