October 28, 2020
Creating Holiday Traditions that Survive Divorce or Death

Creating Holiday Traditions that Survive Divorce or Death

Holiday traditions are what count during this time of year and for many of us, its what makes this time of year feel the most special.

Whether it means sitting down around a huge table chowing down on an elaborate feast or if it’s stuffing your faces full of stove-popped popcorn watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  The holiday season revolves around the traditions we create with our family members every year, for most people. Some traditions are time-honored and span generations, like each one of your family members cooking the same dish every year for Thanksgiving dinner or watching your Nanna roll out pie crust dough in the kitchen.

Share Holiday Traditions with the Next Generation

It’s an amazing feeling when we get to see our favorite holiday traditions be passed down. There’s seriously nothing better than watching the next generation of kids get excited about Easter egg hunts or having diving competitions in the pool over the 4thof July. However, there are some families who have been split by divorce or by loved ones passing away and they have a difficult time recovering from that loss to continue with what they used to do. It’s never easy to lose a family member, no matter how that loss happens and the holiday often makes that loss a great deal more difficult to process.

How to Move On and Enjoy Holiday Traditions

Moving on after divorce or death is nearly impossible for a lot of people, but there are ways to process that loss and enjoy the holidays. The holiday traditions may have to shift a bit and you may want to include new angles, but it is possible to get past it and make sure the next generation can celebrate the holidays. Here are some tips to help kids through the holidays after a loss.

After Divorce

After a divorce, the biggest part of creating holiday traditions that last during the holidays is to make sure that your kids know that both of their parents love them and that the way they remember the holidays doesn’t have to change that much. Kids are very sensitive to change and divorce is really hard to process on regular days, much less when they’re used to sitting around the table with both of their parents.

Don’t Overschedule

Don’t bounce them back and forth too much. If your ex’s dinner is at one in the afternoon and you don’t eat until six, give them the morning and most of the afternoon with one parent and then amicably exchange them.

Don’t Allow Each Other’s Families to Interfere

While the temptation may be headspace to talk smack about each other, for you or your family; don’t. It will just harm the kids.

Keep Important Traditions

If your kids are used to a huge Christmas tree that you cut down yourselves, let them keep that tradition, but make a fun game of getting new ornaments and new lights and stuff. Let them help you make new traditions.

After Death

Losing a parent at any age is hard, but it’s especially hard for kids to process that kind of loss. The best thing to do is to make sure they’re comforted and that they know that their family member is always with them. While comfort may be hard to attain, allow them to reminisce freely as it’s part of their grieving process and allow them to create some new traditions that remind them of their lost family member. Put an ornament on the tree in remembrance, bake their favorite cookies, and watch old home movies. Most of all, remember it may be a sad occasion and allow for that emotion.

To kids, traditions are a routine that they’ve become accustomed to and their holidays are going to be different without creating new ones or continuing on with the old. If their year was hard enough due to change, just keep everything on an even keel and keep discipline consistent if they act out. Don’t let your negative headspace ruin the days for your kids.