Christmas in 2020 could well be looking very different than previous years. After two national lockdowns and a year defined by Covid-19, we’re all hoping that there’s going to be a festive light at the end of the tunnel.
But what if you’re in the middle of, or just getting over, a separation? How do you make the best of the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ when things aren’t so wonderful? Let’s take a look.
The kids are alright
Let’s get the big worry out of the way. The children. There’s no doubt that Christmas for children of divorce can be a minefield, but if you commit to being flexible and reasonable, there’s no reason why it can’t be a success.
If your spouse is being difficult about arrangements for the children, identify that as a problem as soon as possible. That way, you can seek expert legal advice and put plans in place ahead of time. If it’s your turn to have the children on Christmas morning, enjoy every moment. If it isn’t, make sure you’ve got a way of contacting them and touching base. Then surround yourself with friends and family because that’s what they’re there for.
The bottom line is that the happier you are, the happier your children will be.
Spread the festivities across your calendar (if Boris allows!)
Christmas. It’s just one day, right? Well, no. It’s up to you how and when you choose to celebrate (lockdown rules aside). We’re not suggesting putting the tree up in March, but what’s stopping you from having plans throughout December? Seeing old friends, Boxing Day get-togethers, Christmas shopping followed by lunch and drinks – there are so many ways to keep yourself busy on more than just the 25 December.
When you feel as though your world is falling apart, there’s nothing like getting a bit of perspective. Whilst all things are relative, reaching out to help others at a time that’s difficult for many can provide a real sense of purpose and fulfilment.
There are various charities out there that need your help. Soup kitchens, hospitals, those working hard to combat loneliness – all worthwhile causes if you’re looking to channel your energy into something positive.
Make a change
How many times have you dreaded having the discussion about what you’re doing for Christmas this year? Will you stay at home or go to your in-laws? How many family traditions set by other people have you spent all these years following?
Well, stop it. Think about what the perfect Christmas looks like for you. Then start some new traditions of your own. Not only will this feel empowering, it means that you’ll spend more time doing the things that YOU WANT to do.
Take it easy
Christmas is a notoriously busy time of year. Remember to take some time out for you. If you don’t feel like celebrating, don’t. If you want to curl up with a book by the fire on Christmas Eve, do it. You’ve just been through an ordeal; it’s important to take care of yourself.
Keep in touch with people so as not to isolate yourself, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of you-time.
Dealing with divorce at Christmastime isn’t easy, but remember; things won’t feel like this forever. With the right support, you’ll move on and be ready to start your future. And you never know, next year, you just might be ready to get back under the mistletoe…
Get in touch
Harrogate Family Law are experts when it comes to divorce. We’re here all year round to help you secure an outcome that works for you and your future.