While the arctic fronts of this time of year do not reach as far down as coastal Florida, the winter holidays are here. Divorced families who prepare ahead of time may have a more relaxed holiday schedule. 

Here are some tips to make this holiday season a success for your family. 

Holiday schedule 

Before you can plan for the holidays, you need to know what type of visitation schedule the court ordered in the custody agreement. Some couples have a fixed holiday schedule such as one parent having the children for Christmas and the other having them for Thanksgiving. Other couples alternate holiday years and some split the holidays. 

Depending on the schedule in your custody order, you or the other parent may need to make some adjustments or request some flexibility of each other. Or if circumstances have changed significantly since the divorce, you may be able to seek a modification through the court system. 

New traditions 

Newly divorced parents may want to create new traditions with their children rather than focusing on competing with the other parent. Perhaps you wait to decorate the tree until you are all together regardless of when that is. Or maybe you decide to buy a real tree and pick it out together instead of using a fake one for Christmas. 

Maybe you have never been to a ballet, or there is a neighborhood with Christmas lights that you have never visited. This type of activity may create stronger bonds between you and your children. 

Stay positive 

Especially if you are newly divorced, it may seem difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Instead of focusing on all the things you have to do, try to see the holiday season through your child’s eyes. Keeping a positive outlook may lessen the stress you place on yourself and allow you to spend more time enjoying the holidays than dreading them. Embrace the joy of the holidays alongside your children. 

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