For Texas parents who are divorced, celebrating the holiday season can be tough -- especially if it's your ex's turn to spend them with the kids. But just because your child custody arrangement dictates that you won't be there on Christmas Day doesn't mean you have to hunker down with the lights off until the holidays have passed you by. The holidays aren't just for children, and you could probably use some celebration time yourself.
First, remember that you're under no obligation to create a picture-perfect holiday, nor do you have to keep up the same old traditions. This is a good time to get creative, in fact, because without all the obligations that a two-parent family with children has, you have some freedom to create new traditions - with or without your children and their other parent.
If you're on good terms with your former spouse, don't be afraid to host your own holiday get-together, even if it doesn't fall right on a holiday. A brunch or a gift exchange can recreate some of the fun you had together as a family, and your children will have happy post-divorce memories of the holiday without having to worry about one parent or the other feeling left out.
If you'd rather not spend the holidays with your ex or it's simply not an option, you can always go for a more adult celebration with friends. For some parents, escaping all of the faux cheer they've suffered through in past holiday family gatherings is a refreshing change.
Whatever you decide to do, it helps to make your plans well in advance. Know where the kids will be, and if you're not joining them, decide where you want to be so you don't suddenly find yourself alone -- unless that's exactly what you want.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Holiday Divorce Advice: How Divorced Parents Can Make The Most Of The Holidays," Dec. 19, 2012