Your first Christmas after divorce or separation can be difficult, especially if you are spending the day without your children for the first time.


Whether you have been separated for a while, it’s your first year without having the children or you are still in the early stages of a divorce, this time of year can be painful.


Our Family & Divorce Lawyers at Lamb Brooks talk to many clients throughout the year about how they will make arrangements for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas once they have parted ways. In this blog we share some useful tips for surviving and thriving your first festive period after divorce or separation.


#1 Accept How You Feel


It is completely understandable to feel stressed, sad, lonely, angry, resentful or a number of different feelings about your situation. Whether you instigated the separation or were on the receiving end of a divorce petition, it can still be incredibly painful to see out milestones and key family events alone. It is important to accept how you feel and be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but then try to manage them and construct a way forward.


#2 Make Christmas Last Longer


Christmas is much more than just one day and often time flies by so quickly when families try to squeeze everything into the 25th December. Take time to enjoy all the elements of Christmas through the month. Whether it is wreath making, Christmas crafting, baking, going to church services, carol singing, family games, movie nights, visits to Santa, volunteering, ice skating or shopping together – make the most of time you have with loved ones or enjoy some festive activities on your own.


#3 Don’t Make Comparisons


Comparison is the thief of joy. Try your best to disregard what your ex-spouse might be doing over Christmas. Ignore how other families are spending the day or how other single people are coping and focus on yourself. Try not to put too much pressure onto yourself. This year might be tough, but it will get better.


#4 Make New Traditions


Your first Christmas after divorce is the time to banish the old and start your own traditions. There may be some sentimental things that are too difficult to do now, or there may be some traditions that you decide to continue for the children. But now is the time to do something you always wanted and create some new traditions with your children that you can continue for years to come.


#5 See Friends and Family


Ensure that you are supported by loved ones and positive influences this Christmas. If you are struggling, avoid spending time alone and surround yourself with friends and family that can help pull you through difficult times.


#6 Avoid Over-Indulging


Whilst it can be incredibly tempting to drown your sorrows in alcohol or dive into the Christmas chocolates over the festive period, it is important to remember that over-indulging can make you feel far worse afterwards. Take care of yourself, ensure that you are finding a good balance between enjoying yourself and making positive choices.


#7 Make the Most of Time Alone


Of course, one of the upsides of a separation means that you will have more time to yourself, but often in the early days, this does not feel like a blessing at all. It can be quite lonely and upsetting. When you do have time alone, especially over the festive period, plan ahead and use your time wisely. This can be a good opportunity to battle the Christmas shopping, take care of some household projects or take time to do something for yourself that you can’t do when the children are around.


#8 Plan Ahead


Your first Christmas after divorce doesn’t have to be terrible. How you feel will depend on your own personal situation, but you can make the most of Christmas if you plan ahead. Be organised, make arrangements with friends and family ahead of time and make bookings to avoid disappointment. Don’t leave your Christmas and New Year plans to the last minute and risk being alone with nothing to do.


Keep It Special For the Children


Whatever stage you are at with your separation, it is important to always be mindful of your children’s emotions. Ensure that they are spending time with both parents and are enjoying all the fun and magic that comes with Christmas.


If you are having a difficult time with your ex-partner, you should endeavour to protect your children from the issues, ensuring they are not involved in disputes or overhearing arguments to avoid spoiling this special time of year.


Seeking Legal Advice


Lamb Brooks can help with bespoke, specialist advice on divorce, separation, children, finances and wealth protection.


If you are having any issues with seeing your children over the Christmas period, need to formalise your separation agreements or are considering starting the divorce process in the new year, then please get in touch to speak to one of our Solicitors for some guidance.


Call us on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambbrooks.com. Alternatively, you can speak to our online chat assistant, who is a real person, not a robot, who can take some initial details and arrange for one of our Family Law experts to call you back.


Other Articles You May Be Interested in Reading:

Negotiating Your Christmas Plans with an Ex Partner

Managing Your Separation around Christmas Time

Keeping the Christmas Magic For Children


The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice.  The law may have changed since this article was published.   Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.