A Divorced Dad's Guide To Holiday Happiness

A Divorced Dad's Guide To Holiday Happiness [EXPERT]
Heartbreak, Family

Three ways to flip the pain of divorce on its head this holiday season.

2. Starting New Traditions With Your Kids. Time that's free of activity is time to create something anew. Now that you don't have to go to both sides of the family this "emptied" time can be used to start a new tradition. One great idea that serves many purposes is decorating Christmas stockings. Each year decorate stockings and try to sprinkle in memories of the prior year. Magic happens as the years pass. The stockings reflect their memories, their maturity and their time with you.

3. Enjoy Your Independence. Every other year I had my kids for Thanksgiving. For Christmas, I had the kids on Christmas Eve, my ex on Christmas Day. Was I sad when I did not have my kids? A little, but that soon passed. I enjoyed my independence. Here are a few ideas you can do with your new found independence. 

  • Volunteer somewhere. On Thanksgiving start your day off early by volunteering, delivering food for Meals on Wheels, for example. Don't forget to reward yourself by getting a cup of coffee and donut on the way.
  • Do something you enjoy. After the celebratory dinner with family or friends, do something you enjoy like a night at the movies, watching a double feature at the local theater. Choose to enjoy your independence, grasp it with opportunity; don't wallow and surround yourself with negative emotions.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote, "It's not what happens to you, it is how you reach to it that matters." Divorce is difficult and hard but it does not have to be sad. Choose to be happy.

During the holiday season take off the dark shades of depression and focus your attention on making others happy. Create happiness by reconnecting with family and friends, starting new traditions with your kids and enjoying your independence. Each year you hear the ringing of the Salvation Army bells, it can be your rite of passage, turning sadness of divorce into happiness from your new found independence.