8 Survival Tips for Christmas without your Kids

12th December 2015 | By More

Christmas SadAs the festive season approaches, you might be dreading Christmas without your children. Whether it will be your first time or you have accumulated many bad memories of lonely Christmas Eves and days, consider this:

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1. Accept it

This is the reality of your separation and divorce. Instead of pondering everything you have lost as a result of it, embrace a new era with abundant opportunities to make positive changes, renew and gain a blessed future. Teach your children to be resilient and look forward to the new way of celebrating Christmas.

2. Drop the Guilt

You don’t need to take all the blame (or blame your ex-spouse) for the way things are now. Your separation or divorce has changed your lives irrevocably and that is all right. Forgive yourself (and your ex) for your mistakes and move forward with enthusiasm. Going on a guilt trip is no way to spend a holiday.

3. Have a Christmas Spirit

Remember the purpose and meaning of celebrating Christmas? Focus on displaying an attitude of reconciliation, forgiveness and grace. Honour your personal beliefs and celebrate your rituals uninhibited, but at the same time, be respectful of the beliefs and rituals on the other side. Set a good example for your children, as they will also be facing the same Christmas without you.

4. Minimise the Pressure

Let go of all the pressure you have always put on yourself, to make it a memorable event for everyone. The responsibility does not have to rest on your shoulders alone. Depending on the ages of your children, invite them to contribute their ideas for a merry celebration and encourage them to start doing something special for your family too. Every member of a family has a role to play in accomplishing successful festivities.

5. Indulge in the Solitude

Have compassion for yourself during this time and spend the day within your emotional means. Don’t force yourself to do something or be somewhere you are not comfortable with. Rather spend the day doing your favourite things or even something you can never do when your kids are with you. A little quality time with yourself, to rest and revitalise will go a long way in the new year.

6. Stop taking Responsibility for your Ex

You are not responsible for the way your Ex behaves about arrangements with regard to the festive season. You might experience it as inconsiderate, spiteful or deliberately hurtful, but you cannot bend over backward to try and make up for it, for your kids. Each parent has to go on living a separate life and children need to adjust to the differences realistically. How the children spend Christmas with their other parent, is not up to you.

7. Do not Burden your Children

No matter how terrible you might be feeling about your pending suffering, do not burden your children with your trepidations. They cannot adjust successfully and enjoy Christmas if they are feeling guilty about leaving you alone or feeling sorry for you being without them or constantly worrying whether you will be alright. Free them from feeling responsible for you and encourage them to have a good time. You will feel a whole lot better when you see the relief in their eyes as you take that weight off their shoulders.

8. Be practical

Create new Christmas traditions with your children and celebrate before or after their return. Plan ahead to ensure that you have somewhere to go if you do not want to be alone. Make prior arrangements to contact your children and wish them a merry Christmas, wherever they are. If you and your ex are on good terms and your respective families are comfortable with it, spend Christmas together.

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Written by Sinta Ebersohn (Creator of fairdivorce.co.za – Johannesburg RSA)


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Category: Parents, Perspectives, Practical, Single Parenting

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