With one holiday past you, you look towards the visitation schedule for Christmas. Maybe the kids are with you, maybe with your ex. Regardless of the circumstances, the holidays are painful after divorce because they remind us of the past.
The solution? Build new memories. Make new holiday traditions. As parents we strive to ease the pain by shielding our children, and we can make this possible by celebrating family and the season in new ways that center around love and thankfulness and joy.
When possible, share family traditions with your ex that you built during your marriage. It will be helpful for your children to have the continuity and safety of a shared tradition. I know in many situations that's just not the reality. The next step is to then find ways to create fun and memories as a new family unit. Give thanks. Spread cheer. Sometimes the best way to get through pain is to give. Give to other families in need with time or toys. It will lift everyone's spirits. It will show your own family where those true riches can be found.
Another excellent way to begin to build your own traditions is to pay attention to the area seasonal celebrations. In our own town we have a public park where people gather to drink cocoa, ride a steam engine, and walk through the many lights in the park: it's pure magic. Sure, the cocoa costs a quarter and so might the train ride, but that's fairly cheap for the experience you share. I have one friend who takes her daughter to The Nutcracker every year; I have another friend who buys everyone a new ornament. Catch one holiday movie of the season, or watch one on Netflix. With a little thought and planning you can fill your holiday with love instead of loss.
Waste time with your kids and lavish love on them while they are in your presence. Happy Holidays!