Dreamstime_3424733 Getting through the holidays can be a challenge for any family, but it can be especially difficult for a newly-divorced family. In her Divorce Ain’t So Bad After All series, Barbara Scala, Life Transition & Divorce Coach, offers these tips for surviving the holidays:

Find Your Holiday Spirit

Where is your holiday cheer? Hiding behind anger you’re holding toward your ex? Or is there sadness because you’re not part of a couple or loneliness when your kids are not around?

Forget that. Instead, look for joy everywhere. It’s there in your kids’ smiles when they help you bake holiday goodies or in your dog’s wag as he rips open his stocking stuffed with treats. What about helping those in need by volunteering for a worthy cause at this time of year? Lend a hand collecting warm clothing for a coat drive or bring toys to kids in hospitals. Your holiday spirit is there. You just have to find it. Look hard, look deep, search. Once you do find that magical feeling of love, peace and goodwill, hold onto it all year long.

Celebrate Twice

Kids of divorce seem to find out quickly that they get the chance to celebrate holiday events, not to mention birthdays and other milestones, twice; once with you and once with their father or other family members. Why not carry that “twice as nice” feeling to yourself as well?

New Year’s Eve can be spent with your friends, a date, your kids, or just you. Going solo? For the ladies out there, why not light a bunch of candles, draw a great bubble bath, put on a mask and place cucumbers over your eyes while listening to old Beatles tunes. Get gourmet take-out and include a decadent chocolate dessert. Then watch hours of chick flick movies with popcorn while treating yourself to a manicure/pedicure. Get the picture? Spoil and pamper yourself and enjoy simple self indulgent pleasures.

On New Year’s Day, celebrate again. If you spent the 31st in that bubble bath, have a neighbor over for fondue, take your nephew to the movies or have sushi with your sister. The key is not to wallow but to get up and out, savor your freedom and find enjoyable outlets in your life.

Something Old, Something New for the Holidays

Ring in a new life by incorporating some new ways to celebrate the holidays while keeping some of your old favorite traditions. Bring out the family heirloom menorah for Hanukah but serve the meal on something other than your wedding china this year. Instead of feeling deprived of present opening rituals because Dad has the kids, create a new one of your own. And, who cares about a date on a calendar anyway? If you can’t be with your kids on the actual holiday day, declare another day of celebration with all the trimmings and fun.

Hold on to some time honored traditions of the past so the holidays have a familiar feel, but bring in fresh ideas and creative ways to be festive.

Source: Divorce Ain’t So Bad After All: Even at the Holidays by Barbara Scala, former attorney and Life Transition & Divorce Coach, published at her website, BloomOnline.

SOURCE FOR POST: DivorceNet.com