Like it or not, the holiday season is fast approaching! When you are facing it as a single parent, it can be an extra challenge to find joy amidst the chaos, but it’s far from impossible.
Here are some ways I keep things happy for myself and my kids:
Create new traditions: I love to bake and, in my previous life, I’d bake tons of cookies and give them as gifts to friends and family. I don’t really have the time or budget for that anymore, so now my kids and I make a batch of sugar cookies and we decorate them together (with our guests) after dinner. Oh, and then eat them of course!
Have an “everyone is welcome” policy at your house: Especially with other single parent friends who may not have other family nearby. This way, everyone has a place to go for the holidays. It’s even more festive in my house with a crowd!
Many divorced parents have custody agreements that involve sharing the holidays in some way. It’s important to keep in mind that there are advantages to whatever timing you have arranged (think positive!).
For example, last year my children stayed with me for the first half of winter break and their father picked them up at noon on Christmas Day. This meant I got to enjoy Christmas Eve dinner and waking up Christmas morning to unwrap presents from Santa.
When my kids left, I could clean up and rest! Plus when they returned home after a week with their father, the Santa gifts seemed “new” all over again. This year will be the opposite – which for me means more time to prepare before the kids come home at noon on Christmas Day. We’ll still get to unwrap presents from Santa, followed by a week of enjoying time together and playing with new toys.
Any other tips for staying positive through the holiday season?
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She also is organizer for Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.