If you are new to divorce and facing your first Christmas post-divorce, I empathize. I remember those days well! Very hard times emotionally.
I'm not going to tell you that you can sidestep those negative emotions but I do encourage you to not allow them to cause your children to lose out on the spirit of the holidays. The tips below will be helpful to anyone who is feeling anxious about what their first post-divorce Christmas will mean for them and their children.
1. Refuse to engage in conflict with your ex over holiday visitation schedules, who buys what gifts for the children or, ANYTHING that can negatively affect your children.
2. Don't sit around worrying about the time you won't be spending with your children during the holiday. Focus on the time you will be spending with them and making that time memorable and pleasurable for yourself and them.
3. Start new holiday traditions with your children. If old "family" traditions bring up negative emotions, start new traditions that will keep your and your children's minds off of Christmases past and on Christmas present.
4. Don't compete with your ex. Your children don't need a bigger and better Christmas. They need a peaceful and joyful Christmas. Don't try to out-gift your ex or spend more money than she/he. Focus on your relationship with your children and teaching them the "meaning of the season."
5. Take your children shopping so they can pick out a gift for the other parent. Doing so will teach your children valuable lessons about being gracious in all situations, showing respect for others, even those they have differences with.
6. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest; tend to your emotional needs, workout regularly and eat healthy meals. If you aren't at your best physically and emotionally no one will enjoy Christmas. Seriously!