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How divorced parents can plan for the holidays

Holiday season is here once again. Whether this is your first holiday season after your divorce or your eighth, you may wonder how to make the holiday experience better for you and your children.

Life changes after a divorce and previous holiday traditions may also change, but post-divorce life presents the opportunity to create new traditions.

Compromise and communication can be pivotal

Much like you want to make holiday plans with your children, your ex will too. That means that the two of you are going to have to coordinate who gets the children and when. For instance, maybe one parent eats with the kids on Thanksgiving, but you have your own Thanksgiving that following weekend. Likewise, whomever has the kids for Christmas Eve could drop the kids off on Christmas Day.

It’s also wise to discuss the details of things like gifts and meal plans to avoid duplication. Neither you nor your spouse are likely to receive all your wishes when making holiday plans, so it’s important to remember that compromise will play an important part in reaching a fair agreement.

Make a list and check it twice

Having a plan can reduce stress and set expectations for everyone in your family. One easy way to establish advance plans for the holidays is to build them into your parenting plan. You and your ex can choose a rotating or static schedule for holiday visitation and detail things like pickup and drop off plans. Remember, your plan can be as unique as your family and its traditions.