You had the kids for Thanksgiving and now your wusband is going to take them for Christmas. Just the thought of not leaving milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve or watching your children open their Christmas gifts first thing in the morning can send you into a deep funk.
Whether this is your first or tenth holiday season without your children, this is one of the most grueling situations in divorce.
It’s alright to feel sad. It’s okay to feel angry. It’s normal to feel resentful.
Unfortunately, not having your children for every important moment is part of divorce; it just may be the part that you didn’t think about before the process started down the tracks. While many people suffer the “holiday blues”, being apart from your children during the holidays may feel like a deep navy blue. You may feel tempted to skip Christmas altogether. What’s the point if your children aren’t with you?
Actually, there is a point and that is rediscovering the Reason for the Season. If you aren’t opening presents at six a.m., what is the meaning of Christmas for you? Where do you find individual joy and gratitude? Where do you connect to the religious meaning rather than the commercial meaning? How do you want to take the personal message of Christmas and extend it to your extended family, friends and the world at large?
Yes, it would be wonderful if your children were with you on December 25th; there is no getting away from that. However, maybe this year you will have the opportunity to contemplate the larger meaning of Christmas for YOU. While you may not watch your children open gifts on that day, you may realize that YOU are a gift and YOU have many gifts to give others.
Why not create a new tradition for yourself this Christmas: make it a time to revel in the beauty, strength and courage that is YOU.