Suddenly finding yourself in a divorce just before the holidays begin can be quite a shock to the system. It can be devastating.
Even if this is “your year” with the children, the fact that you have little flexibility with regard to when you must return the children to the other parent, when your time starts, and when it ends, may prevent you from making plans to spend the holidays with out of town family that you would otherwise be able to.
With Thanksgiving coming up and Christmas right behind it, now is the time to think about whether you have any friends that are going through a divorce, or a contested custody case.
Years ago, I found myself at the outset of a divorce with the holidays looming. And fortunately, I found myself with some great friends.
Even though my young children were going to be with me for Thanksgiving, the thought of having them without our entire family present was depressing. Luckily, good friends invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner with them and their family. The day ended up being wonderful, and I remember the kindness shown by my friends often, even 20 years later.
Just a few weeks later, of course, Christmas approached. Fortunately, I had another set of friends that realized what I would be going through, waking up alone with no family around on Christmas morning. They invited me over to spend the morning with them and have Christmas breakfast with them and their family. Once again, I will never forget the kindness shown by them at a time when it would have been easier for them just to ignore my situation.
In this day and time, contact with those that are alone or are in crisis is simpler than it has ever been. Cell phones, Social Media, and texting make it easy to at least touch base with friends that are going through personal turmoil, including divorce or other family law matters. All of those things are great, but nothing can replace inviting them into your home.
This year, if you have a friend that will not be able to be with his or her entire family at Thanksgiving or Christmas, think about spending time with them on the holiday. They will never forget it, and it may be just what they need to make it through.