Celebrating Christmas With the Kids, Divorce-Style

Being a Mom 9

When my husband and I decided to throw in the ole white towel and separate, I moved out to an apartment a stone's throw away from my former home.

We'd made all the right choices for our kids, making sure that we'd each be seeing them as much as possible and that we'd do our best by our kids.

That included celebrating the holidays.

I know a lot of people who separate and decide to do everything separately. Two Christmases. Two Thanksgivings. Two Bastille Days. Okay, maybe not EVERYONE celebrates Bastille Day, but it's the day before my birthday, so I like to pretend to be French once a year. Either way, you get my point. Most people keep the separation thing pretty, well, separate.

While I dig it and understand why, it's not really my style and we're going to move ahead like we always have. It's new traditions all around.

Since we're fairly new at this separation thing, I wasn't sure how Christmas would play out. My family is pretty big on traditions -- in fact, if we tried to serve anything but ham (which I loathe) for Christmas dinner, there would be a revolution. It's what we DO, you see. That's what we eat! Like it or not!

THE TRADITIONS MUST GO ON!

I'm a... bit more flexible than the rest of my family when it comes to this sort of stuff, but even I wear a YOU'RE NUMBER ONE finger for traditions. So I was a bit worried about this whole "holiday" thing.

Until we decided to do what we'd done for Thanksgiving: celebrate it alllllll together. And while this would normally elicit a random Partridge Family song from me, I'm pretty excitable about it.

We'll start on Christmas Eve -- the holiday we NEVER knew what to do with -- at my husband's house to celebrate with his family so that I can be there to watch the kids squee and yell and not have to worry about the mess they're making because it's not my house!

The kids will all sleep there and come over here on Christmas morning to eat delicious... something (cooking is something I don't do, but I can make a mean batch of pancakes) and open the gifts I'd managed to buy AHEAD of time, rather than running out to Walgreen's on Christmas Eve and buying the kids all soap and ibuprofen.

Then it's off to my parents to open MORE presents (for the kids) and eat the festive Christmas ham that like one member of my family actually enjoys. But... TRADITIONS! WE MUST HAVE OUR TRADITIONS!

I don't know how it will all unfold. I don't know if there will be weirdness or not. I can't predict how, on a scale of one to a pap smear, comfortable I'll be, but I'm more than happy that this Christmas won't be a divided one. That we've managed to work through our differences and form a new normal.

And while some days, it feels as though I'm barely surviving this new normal, most days, I know that we're all going to be just fine.

child custody, activities, christmas