Catherine Hyde, Family Law Clerk.

reindeer.jpgThe commercials have already started advertising the upcoming Christmas season, displaying those warm fuzzy families.  Now that you are separated or divorced, you can’t help but wonder how you can still have the best Christmas for yourself and your children.

Even though it is still just over a month away, it is best to start planning for Christmas now.  If your access schedule has not yet been finalized for Christmas, make sure that you start negotiating Christmas access now. Do not leave it until the week before Christmas to contact your lawyer and advise that you need him/her to do something because you don’t have any access at Christmas.  Any motions required to facilitate Christmas access will need to be done now.

Practice stress management during this busy season. 

  • Ensure you are getting plenty of exercise.  Go outdoors in the crisp winter air. Keep up your regular exercise or try out one of the many exercise DVDs
  • Take time to meditate  – focus on your breathing or focus on a lit candle
  • Make lists, strategies of how to deal with those situations that come up i.e. no babysitter, no time to make dinner – have backup sitters, casseroles in the fridge and a list of go to quick 30 minute suppers
  • Don’t over schedule yourself or the children.  Ensure you have time to simply sit and enjoy your own home, your decorations and watch the old Christmas specials on the television together
  • Learn to say no.  If you don’t have time to bake cookies or attend an event, just say so.
  • Let the children know what realistic expectations they can have for presents this year.  Get them involved in making presents for some of your friends and family. It will give them pride in their accomplishments and save on your pocket book
  • Talk to a friend or counselor if you are having problems 

You may wish to check out these blogs for further tips:

My hope is for you to enjoy all the season might bring and that you will still be standing on January lst.  To that end I would refer you to an earlier blog article I wrote New Year, New You! : Matrimonial Matters.