The first few holidays after a divorce are never easy, but there are steps that can make this time of year far more manageable and enjoyable. That’s especially true for same-sex couples in New Jersey who share children. The holidays should always be focused on the children in any family, even when the parents are coming to terms with a new relationship as co-parents. 

One way to make things easier is to take the time to sit down and create a list of what makes the holidays special and meaningful. The list will differ from one person to the next but might include gratitude, service to others, religious expressions, time with loved ones, or even things like seeing a big light display, visiting Santa or decorating the house. Once that list is in place, think about how the traditions and practices the family used to share can be reinvented to keep those values in place, even with an altered family structure. 

In virtually all cases, holiday traditions will be somewhat different after a divorce, and that’s perfectly alright. By focusing on what’s important to the family, new paths can be explored that still preserve those fundamental values. Older kids can even get involved in structuring new holiday traditions.

Same-sex couples who can work together on holiday scheduling can also help reduce stress for everyone involved. Enter discussions about scheduling with an open mind and a wish to place the needs of the children at the forefront, and be willing to compromise. Watching their parents work together to resolve problems collaboratively may be the very best gift New Jersey parents can give their kids this holiday season.