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Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas for the newly divorced

Tips for Christmas on your own

So Christmas is coming.  How about a list for those of you who are facing the holiday after a divorce……some tips to maybe make it a bit better….especially if it is your first Christmas as a divorced person.

1)    Select some traditions out of your past Christmas celebrations that you are going to make a point to retain this year.

2)   Find a way to create at least one or two NEW Christian traditions that carry your own personal mark on them.

3)   Of course, if you have children---young or grown----things always depend on the goodwill of your ex….if you have one who plays games or ignores court orders, planning Christmas can be really tough.  The first tip is that YOU choose to be a person of goodwill….you abide by the court schedule, do what you can to make it an easier experience for the kids.

4)   Don’t forget YOU are important, too.  Don’t just cave on everything by accommodating the whims of your ex……it easily becomes “given an inch they take a mile” sort of thing.

5)   You aren’t Santa Claus, real life is you may not be able to fulfill every Christmas wish, nor should you feel obligated to do so.  The goal is to have a good Christmas, but a realistic Christmas, and one that maintains as best a normality as possible for the sake of your kids.  Remember, they are probably grieving the loss and change as well… even if they are adults.

6)   In divorce, money can get very tight with lawyer bills and new housing and making ends meet.  Don’t let your emotions and guilt run your wallet….make a budget and stick to it.  It won’t help to create post-Christmas regret with your credit cards. 

7)   If this is your first Christmas apart, do your best not to aggravate your sense of loss or loneliness.  Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family, avoid places or experiences that do nothing but remind you of what you have lost.  Instead, choose to get involved in some fresh, meaningful celebrations.

8)   Remember I said in #4 above that YOU are important, too?  Well, you are still important here at #8.  Do something in your Christmas that is a gift for yourself.  It can be a night away, or a purchase of something you wouldn’t normally buy yourself, or an experience you always wanted to have.  But do something that is for YOU, that will bring a bit of joy to your holiday.

9)   Remember, though, it isn’t ALL about you.  Find a way to do something to make Christmas a bit more special for somebody outside your normal sphere of influence.

10)  And, most of all, remember, it isn’t all about you, nor all about them.  It’s all about Jesus!  Make a point to make this one of your most worshipful Christmases ever by how you celebrate it with the Lord.


  1. Richard, excellent post. For the first time, second son Jarod has invited me to enjoy Christmas with his family (wife, 3 kids). I know there will be "triggers" and I may fight back tears, but it is important to reconnect after quite a few years of only seeing them maybe once or twice a year and a few years not at all. Also, no bed. Well, I can sleep on the floor. It's Christmas and a different season in my life...many women are alone (I know men, too), so I'm fortunate to receive the invitation. Praying that I feel well enough for the drive to Basehor. And, not waiting until Christmas, I invited my sister to go shopping in Pittsburg today, we don't spend much time together, bought myself 2 church hats, and 2 prs. church shoes. Last Sunday I went to the COGIC church at 22nd & Appleton, my denomination since 2008. Small but we are going to dinner together Friday. Meet at the church at 4pm...how awesome God is that I met a cashier at Walmart, we discussed church, found out that we were both COGIC! Nobody but God. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  2. My husband was abusive, and I was finally able to leave him and get a divorce (I thank God for the judge and my lawyer, Marshall Davis Brown, who helped make sure I was protected). It has been two years, and the holidays are difficult. I have my son, so I always try to hide how I feel around him, but I know not having his father around hurts him, too. It is tempting to rack up the credit card bills to try and buy some happiness for us both, but I try to remember that things do not bring happiness and that happiness is with God. These are great tips, and I think next year, I will try to implement some of your suggestions, especially, creating new traditions with my son. Thank you. May you be blessed.