Surviving Christmas in the aftermath of divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Divorce on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas is just days away. The stockings have all been hung with care. The dinner is planned, presents are wrapped and mistletoe is dangling.

There’s just one small problem: for those who are newly separated or just gotten a divorce, the thought of the holidays can loom over them like a hangman’s noose.

A family law attorney writing for the Huffington Post recently addressed some of the ways the newly divorced and separated can cope with the onset of what is widely known as most wonderful time of the year.

She wrote that though that first post-break-up Christmas “can be immensely painful and sad, but it can also be a time of new experiences and traditions.”

If you’re intent on having a terrible time, chances are good that you’ll be successful. But if you want to avoid holiday blues, here are three steps the attorney recommends you take:

  • Step one: planning. Plot out your Christmas without your spouse or ex. Get a piece of paper and a pen and write down where you will be, who you will be with, what you will be doing and what you will not allow yourself to think about. That last one is especially important. If you’re so inclined, of course you can have an absolutely dreadful Christmas, crying in your despair about how lonely and wretched you’ve become. However, by planning events filled with people and places, you can avoid that most unhappy way to spend a Christmas day.
  • Step two: surround sound. Surround yourself with family members and good friends. The sounds of laughter, good conversation, familiar stories and new anecdotes are perhaps the best tonics available to keep yourself focused on living your new life rather than dwelling on your old life. Launch yourself into cooking a big meal for those closest to you, or take in a movie with a buddy, or find other things to do involving people and interaction.
  • Step three: new traditions. This first Christmas after your divorce or separation is a great time to remake traditions you had as a couple. Find new things to do, places to go and people to enjoy.

Source: Huffington Post: “3 Steps to Surviving Christmas for the Newly Separated or Divorced,” M. Marcy Jones, Dec. 22, 2011

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