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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Coping with the Holiday Season

First xmas post separation and will be with no kids for Xmas eve, I quite dread this first holiday season, as the last nail in the coffin the final realization that this divorce is now 'for real' and that this is my new life. Is it normal to feel so sad and down? I would love to hear how others deal with that. Any tricks? thanks in advance.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ele110 View Post
First xmas post separation and will be with no kids for Xmas eve, I quite dread this first holiday season, as the last nail in the coffin the final realization that this divorce is now 'for real' and that this is my new life. Is it normal to feel so sad and down? I would love to hear how others deal with that. Any tricks? thanks in advance.
Don't be alone. Spend time with friends and family, overbook yourself until you get to the point where you don't want to talk to anybody.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:29 AM
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Yes it's perfectly normal and just an adjustment period. I recall the 1st xmas that my son went off w/his dad and the gf (now wife). It was strange that he was not with me, but that Christmas I was with my siblings and mom, and it was ok. It just takes a little time to wrap your head around it. They'll be back before you know it Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:33 PM
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If family is far away and it is proving hard to get together with people, volunteer. Give your time so people and you will quickly forget your woes and have a good feeling deep down inside. Its amazing working a soup kitchen until you fall asleep, or packing and delivering christmas hampers and so on and so forth. Lots of things you can do and they will help.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:14 PM
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Hi Ele:

I guess I have a slightly different perspective on this since Christmas with my ex was always a horrible, sad time for me personally. It was another one of the reasons I wanted to get divorced so badly.

I always worked hard to be joyful and happy for the kids but it was truly difficult. Some of the worst memories from my terrible marriage were over Christmas. My ex didn't believe in gift giving...even for our kids...he would lecture me about "mass consumerism" and refused to help with buying anything, wrapping anything, or xmas eve preparations...until Christmas morning, where he would rush downstairs and sit there and watch the kids open presents and pretend that he had participated.

He wouldn't know what was in the packages and would sit and complain that I didn't put "from dad" on enough of them when I wrote the tags. He'd lecture the kids about how spoiled they were because all he ever got for Christmas was a pair of socks. A lot of it was about the fact that he felt jealous of the things they got since he had a bad childhood. And I tried really hard to make a joke of it rather than to really let on about what a self-absorbed ahole their father was.

I remember one holiday where we had a christmas party that he, of course, didn't help with at all. With a houseful of guests, in the middle of the party, he went to bed because he was tired.

I used love the holiday as a kid...but my marriage holidays were horrible. I was truly a struggle to provide a normal holiday for my kids every year. I started saving my own money from my paychecks to buy their presents during the year...but even that didn't satisfy him since he thought we should do other things with the money.

Last year, Christmas was literally the last 2 weeks before I moved out from my 1 1/2 year in-home separation...so it was pretty hard managing it both financially and emotionally...but I was so glad to be moving out soon...it made it bearable.

I gave the ex every single Christmas decoration...I didn't want anything to remind me of what a nightmare he made my Christmas every year. I can't wait to buy all new ornaments and things on-sale this year after Christmas day. My kids and I have planned a shopping trip to the States to get new things together.

This year is the first Christmas in my new home and I can honestly say that I'm really, really having a great time. Its obviously financially tight but I'm loving it. I bought a new tree (with no decorations on it since I can buy them on sale after the holidays...lol) and I'm going to have the kids in my house with true peace and happiness this holiday. I made them photobooks this year and I truly can't wait for Christmas day.

I know that if you didn't want to get divorced, its a lot tougher to enjoy this time of year...so my sympathies. But it truly is a time to celebrate new traditions with your children and to enjoy the peace you have without having suffer through time with someone who isn't right for you.

My suggestions, make your own little xmas oasis. Put on some music, have a glass of wine or eggnog, and be around the people that you love and who love you back. Change up your normal routine and do something new with the kids this year to start a new tradition just for you. Going to the movies, or cooking something together on xmas eve, or sledding, or decorating, or playing games...whatever...something you guys didn't do before. Just have fun!

Best wishes for the holidays!!!
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:17 PM
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great advice pursuinghappiness - make a new tradition. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:18 PM
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Great advice above and also good suggestions from Fireweb. S14 may be doing something like that THIS Xmas. Like PH: Xmas was not "fun" w/the ex in my life, so every Xmas is better for that reason alone
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for all the great advice! And for taking the time to write.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:05 PM
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Christmas season...is what you make it.

I find myself dreading this time of year each year, mostly because of tight finances, and also having to deal with uncooperative ex(s), around reasonable Christmas period time/antics, with the kids.

Do you alternate Chirstmas Eve, with your ex? I would assume and hope so. If so, just keep that in mind.

I never, ever have my D4 for Christmas eve, which is sad, because the ex would not budge on that at all. That bums me out each year, but... it kind of backfired on her, because I then get my D4 the rest of the Christmas period. So when I get a whole few days with her, over Christmas, I figure, 1 lost night, is not a big deal. It's more time to enjoy Christmas morning instead, with her. Santa still comes to my house for her. Fireweb has good suggestions, if the family is not close either. I'm in the same boat as you, in that regard. None of my family is local.
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Old 12-20-2012, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dad2bandm View Post
I never, ever have my D4 for Christmas eve, which is sad, because the ex would not budge on that at all. That bums me out each year, but... it kind of backfired on her, because I then get my D4 the rest of the Christmas period. So when I get a whole few days with her, over Christmas, I figure, 1 lost night, is not a big deal. It's more time to enjoy Christmas morning instead, with her. Santa still comes to my house for her. Fireweb has good suggestions, if the family is not close either. I'm in the same boat as you, in that regard. None of my family is local.
For us, I always pick up our daughter at 3 PM on Christmas day and get her until 3 pm on new years eve. My ex did not want to split the christmas holiday 1 week and 1 week, did not want to miss christmas eve and christmas day some years so I suggested this, she didn't like it but the case conference judge strongly suggested she take it. So far it has worked out well for us. Many a year though the weather "is to bad" on new years eve lol and my ex says its better that I keep her that night. One time it was even bright and sunny but I accepted anyways.
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