Article Review, “21 Tips to Survive Divorce and the Holidays” by Dr Karen Finn

Yes, it is the holiday season.  Back before my separation and divorce, the holidays had an air of magic about them.  A time to celebrate our family and our faith.  This is no longer true now that we are a family divided.

The first holiday season I spent alone was in 2013.  I remember the confusion and pain like it was yesterday.   The holidays are more comfortable for me now, but I hate all of the complicated plans that my kids have to make to include everyone in their newly divided family.  I will repeat myself as I have over the years, “I would never have done this to my family.  I feel that in this case,  it was a very selfish act.”
Take a few minutes and read Dr. Finn’s article, “21 Tips to Survive Divorce and the Holidays”.  I will read it and base my thoughts on 2013 vs. 2017 and see how my views have changed over this four-year span.  I will focus on just a few from her writings.
#1 Be Patient, and #2 Be Flexible.
“Be patient with yourself, your kids, and the rest of your family as you navigate the holidays. This is new and different for everyone and a little patience will go a long way toward making your first holidays post-separation/divorce more enjoyable than you might believe they can be right now. 
Dr. Finn.
“I remember clearly the pain of facing my first holiday as a separated woman.  My children were in pain, and so was I.  The only one who showed no regret was the one who divided us.”
“Today, I am still disturbed that someone can do this to a family especially for nothing other than selfishness.  I no longer miss him, and I do not want to be around him.  I now realize I never really knew him.  My only concern is the example set for my children and the instability that comes with that example.  I will not see my family on Thanksgiving Day, but that is not an issue for me.  I know we can celebrate the holiday on any given day.”
#14 Count Your Blessings.  
I don’t know that I did that in 2013; the pain was too intense.  Four years later, I have so much that I am thankful for—my kids, my grandbabies, my friends, my home, and my dog Brodie.
#7 Make New Family Traditions, #10 Continue your Traditions but simplify them.
Back in 2013, I can’t seem to recall how holiday celebrations went.  I know I was upset that we were no longer a family. In 2017 we were, continuing some of our traditions such as getting our yearly Christmas PJ’s.  It seems like each year there are tweaks, but that is ok.  I guess we are learning what does and does not work.
I don’t know where you are in this process.  If this is your first holiday season, hold on; things will get better.  I find the best thing to do is cling to your faith and spend time with your family and your friends.  That is what pulls us through, what I have found to be, potentially, the most challenging time in your life.
Always remember God’s Promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
God bless you this holiday season.