Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

Making a holiday happy when your kids are with the other parent

At the Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates, we understand that the holidays can be a lonely time of year for many Californians, especially when they are divorced. When your children spend Christmas with your ex, the sting of being alone can be particularly painful.

As the Huffington Post points out, you don't have to have a miserable holiday even if it's not your turn for visitation. The first thing to do is determine where your children are going to be during the holiday - for example, if you have your kids on Christmas Eve and they go to your ex's in the morning. You can then make your plans around your schedule. The following ideas might help:

  • Plan a special day to spend the holiday with your kids, such as a big dinner and opening presents on Christmas Eve.
  • Create a new tradition to make the holiday special, like attending a tree lighting ceremony or buying gifts for a family in need.
  • Unless you are looking forward to the peace and quiet, spend the holiday with family or friends.
  • Consider starting a group with other single parents who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.
  • Use the alone time to catch up on reading, get a massage or treat yourself to dinner and a movie.
  • If you and your ex are on reasonably friendly terms, make plans to involve everyone or to compromise so everyone can benefit - especially the kids.

As our page explains, visitation schedules can be difficult to navigate, especially during the holidays. When you create new traditions and are open-minded and creative with your planning, you may soon look forward to the holiday season again.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012