Holiday planning can be difficult for a divorced parent. I never imagined seeing my child’s face light up on Christmas morning, every other year. This is the fifth year I will enjoy the holidays as a single mom. Each year I add new traditions and modify old ones that do not serve my family of two. Here are some of the things that are working for us this year.
Santa only goes to one house each year. This works for us for a few reasons. It keeps the overall gift total down. It prevents comparisons from Santa at one house vs. the other house, and it simplifies holiday planning; Santa always comes to the house where she wakes up on the 25th.
We spend time together. I took E to ride The Polar Express in Williams, AZ this year and we meet up friends to see the local holiday sights whenever we can. We spend time decorating the house together and making holiday treats. Doing these things helps me to keep perspective on my situation. I have an amazing kid, and we can enjoy the holiday together in a lot of ways. It’s not all about watching her open presents, it’s about being present as much as possible.
We watch holiday movies during dinner. TV isn’t allowed during mealtimes the rest of the year, so this is a special treat. Between work/school/early bedtimes this is the only way that I can fit in my favorite holiday classics this year. E loves the claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I try to keep things simple and keep our routines as close to normal as possible. Its hard enough for a 4 year old to have to travel between two homes, the added holiday hustle and bustle can be overwhelming. So far we have a had a wonderful holiday season, and I’m really enjoying watching my daughter enjoy all the things this time of year offers.
On a more serious note:
This can be a stressful time of year for those going through divorce (or any other challenging circumstances). Please reach out for help if you are feeling alone this holiday season. There are great resources at The Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call them at 1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
Scottsdale Mom’s Blog is not affiliated with suicidepreventionlifeline.org, we just want to make sure all of our readers are safe and taken care of this holiday season.