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It’s Halloween – which for many signals the start of the holiday season. Halloween signals the run-up to some of the most family-centered holidays in the calendar, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. For many, this is a season of joy and excitement – but those who are newly separated or divorced may be facing the holidays with fearful rather than joyful anticipation.

The holiday season can exacerbate the stress many families are feeling during and after divorce. Whether they’re going through a separation, or whether it’s another year of celebrating the holidays as a single parent, men and women head to DivorceMag.com for tips on how to handle the holidays. Divorce Magazine’s team of divorce professionals – as well as bloggers who have been there, divorced that – are always happy to offer their best advice to readers.

Dr. Deanna Conklin-Danao, Psy.D., urges parents to prioritize their children’s happiness over their own when planning for the holidays. “Using the kids’ experience as your starting point will help you to guide decisions from a centered place,” she advises in Co-Parenting During the Holidays: 5 Tips to Follow. “For example, if you are looking at squeezing in four different family celebrations in one day to give everyone time with the kids, you should take a minute and imagine the experience from your child’s point of view. How many transitions does that create? When does your child get the time to relax and connect with family? At some point, you aren’t making memories; you’re just creating chaos and exhaustion.”

Looking for new traditions to create new, happy memories for everyone? In 7 Ways to Create New Holiday Traditions for Your Family Post-Divorce, therapist Terry Gaspard describes how recently divorced parents can create new positive holiday memories for themselves and their children. “Let’s face it, it’s a not easy for parents to let go of grudges and bad memories of past holidays,” says Gaspard. “But you can give your children the gift of hope by setting up new traditions that will ease the stress during the holiday season and bring them happiness. For instance, Ryan is a single dad who likes to cook, so he began a tradition of baking homemade bread with his two kids and delivering it to a soup kitchen sponsored by their church. This has become an important holiday ritual for Ryan and his children.”

Other helpful articles and blog posts for the holidays include:

Divorce Magazine wishes everyone a safe, enjoyable holiday season – whether they are celebrating with family, friends, or friends who have become like family.

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