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How to Split Christmas Between Divorced Parents

How to Split Christmas Between Divorced Parents: Full Guide

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Having divorced parents during Christmas can feel similar to trying to untangle a bunch of holiday lights – confusing and challenging.

I remember when my mom and dad first separated, and I had to figure out how to spend Christmas with them. 

It felt like I had to be in two places simultaneously, and I had no idea how to handle it. But over the years, I’ve learned simple ways to make the holiday season jolly for everyone.

Today, I’ll share how to split Christmas between divorced parents without problems.

5 Easy Ways To Split Your Christmas Vacation Between Divorced Parents

Boy Opening Gifts

1. Splitting The Day

One simple yet heartwarming way to navigate Christmas when your parents are divorced is by dividing the day. 

This means spending part of the day with one parent and the remaining part with the other. 

“You never really know a man until you have divorced him.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor, American Socialite and Actress

This way, you can enjoy special moments with parents and their extended families [1], creating beautiful memories you’ll cherish.

2. Rotation Schedule

Another practical approach is to use a rotation schedule. This means that each year, you celebrate Christmas with a different parent. 

For example, if you spent last Christmas with Mom, it’s Dad’s turn to host the festivities this year. 

This rotation ensures both parents can share the holiday with you, promoting fairness and equality.

3. Yearly Alternation

Some families find comfort in alternating specific holidays by year. 

Mom takes charge of Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve during odd-numbered years, while Dad assumes these responsibilities during even-numbered years. 

This method offers predictability and consistency, allowing you to plan well ahead and anticipate where you’ll be for each holiday.

4. School Breaks

Remember to consider school breaks, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break. 

You can assign these breaks to the parent with the corresponding holiday or split the time between both parents. 

The most important thing is discovering a solution for your family’s specific situation and school schedule. But how can you gift a trip for Christmas?

5. Spending Holidays Together

In the early years following a divorce [2], you may explore spending holidays together as a family. 

This approach helps you and your parents maintain a sense of togetherness during special occasions. 

It’s a gentle reminder that even though your parents are no longer together, you’re still a family, albeit in a different way. 

Check out these reasons why Christmas is the best holiday here.

Should Divorced Parents Celebrate Christmas Together?

Decorating Christmas Tree

For most divorced parents, separate celebrations are the more practical choice. 

Divorce often changes and adjusts family dynamics, and celebrating Christmas separately can provide stability and comfort to both children and parents during this time. 

“Divorce doesn’t mean the end of family; it’s a chance to redefine what ‘family’ means during the holidays.”

Howkapow Gift Site

However, there are exceptions to this norm. In some cases, divorced couples maintain such amicable relationships that they choose to celebrate big holidays, like Christmas, together. 

This unique arrangement can provide a sense of continuity for the children and remind them that while parents may be divorced, they can still come together to create cherished memories during special occasions. 

Find out when parents will stop giving Christmas gifts here.

How Do You Deal With The Holidays After A Divorce?

  • Plan Ahead: One of the first steps in managing holidays post-divorce is to work out the schedule well in advance. Knowing when you’ll be with each parent helps reduce stress and uncertainty.
  • Alternate Celebrations: Consider celebrating with one parent on the holiday and the other on a different day. You can enjoy quality time with your parents and their families.
  • Set Expectations: Open communication is key. Discuss with your parents what the holiday will look like so everyone is on the same page.
  • Coordinate Gifts with Co-Parent: Coordinate gift-giving plans with co-parents to avoid duplication and ensure everyone is included.
  • Make a New Tradition: Embrace the opportunity to create new holiday traditions that reflect your evolving family dynamic.
  • Have a Support System: Surround yourself with supportive family and friends who can provide emotional support and make the holidays feel special.
  • Self-Care: Lastly, prioritize self-care during the holiday season. Take time for yourself, engage in activities you enjoy, and focus on your well-being to make the holidays more enjoyable.

Also Read: Simple Tips To Celebrate An Anniversary In A Bad Marriage

FAQs

How long should you rest after getting divorced?

The duration of recovery after a divorce varies, but it typically takes between six months to two years, with some experts suggesting it may extend up to eighteen months.
 
The timeline depends on individual circumstances and emotional healing processes.

Which part of getting a divorce is the most stressful?

One of the most stressful aspects of getting a divorce is often the grief and emotional turmoil accompanying the end of a relationship. 

Dealing with the emotional impact of divorce can be a challenging and distressing experience for many individuals.

How do blended families celebrate Christmas?

Blended families can celebrate Christmas by honoring their bonus children’s traditions with their other parents and family. It’s essential to let the children keep those traditions.
 
If they want to include aspects of those customs in your celebration, be open to it. 

Final Say

As someone who has gone through the holidays with divorced parents, I’ve learned there’s no one right way to divide Christmas with them. 

It’s a choice that depends on your family’s situation. Most divorced parents find it better to celebrate separately, which helps to keep things stable when life has changed. 

But in some cases, like mine, when parents still get along well, they celebrate together, making kids feel like things haven’t changed too much. 

The important thing is to choose what works best for your family. Whether you split the day or celebrate together, the goal is to create happy memories during the holiday season.

References:

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/05/18/more-than-half-of-americans-live-within-an-hour-of-extended-family/
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/093015/divorce-planning-checklist-what-you-need-know.asp
Kimberlee Johnson
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