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Global Guide to Divorce
Jack Jack the Cat

Christmas Experiences Beat Materialism

Budgets may be stretched to the breaking point after a divorce – so think about concentrating on experiences vs a mountain of presents during the holidays. If you reminisce about your childhood, it is the fun times during the holidays that you remember – not the particular Barbie outfit or model airplane received.

Taking the focus off materialism and on to what is really meaningful, is a life lesson in itself. The children are now getting two sets of presents after divorce. Do not try to compete with your former spouse in the gift arena nor try to make up for their divorce experience with extravagant material goods. Shift traditions from having the opening of gifts as the main event, to more of a short activity before the festive feast, visiting grandma or whatever.

Explain to the children that you have less money to spend on gifts and to let you know one (or several) things that are most important to them. My sons’ favorite present is their stocking bursting with chocolate and small goodies. Decide together what holiday activities would be fun to do. Here are a few suggestions mainly supplied by my sons, to do before Christmas instead of blowing money:

  • Go to a live nativity and especially enjoy the animals who are stealing the show. A nearby church has one every year with hot chocolate, cookies and carols. The sheep, donkeys etc. are just adorable (and ornery).
  • Walk downtown in the evening and enjoy the festive holiday displays. It is like wandering around in a fairyland of lights. We top that off with lattes and a treat afterwards at a coffee shop which is opened late.
  • Check your Chamber of Commerce or another local guide for free holiday events, such as a tree lighting, Santa parade, children’s chorus and so forth.    Please read more: