July 31, 2017

Holiday Traditions and Parenting Time

With the holidays upon us, most of us are getting ready for gatherings with family and thanksgiving-1801986_1920friends and figuring out who is hosting which holiday.  Many families have traditions that may go back generations.  As parents, we may choose to keep those traditions or create new ones.  One of my family traditions was my grandmother’s cranberry marshmallow salad.  I have her recipe, helped her make it when I was a little girl, but I just can’t recreate it on my own.  No matter how much sugar I add, it’s too tart; sadly, I might just need to let this tradition go.  (Unlike the shredded carrot and jello salad many of us grew up with, this cranberry salad really was fabulous!)  I discovered and revised a cranberry sauce that my kids actually eat, so that has become part of our Thanksgiving tradition.  While she is no longer with us and I miss her terribly, I suspect my grandmother would be just fine with my new creation.

Whether your traditions are about food, going to Grandma’s every Thanksgiving or stopping by for dessert at Uncle Jim’s Christmas Day, traditions are part of who we are. For families experiencing separation and divorce, it’s important to try to maintain those traditions.  A new normal, along with new traditions, will eventually emerge, but if your kids love going to your in-laws because Uncle John makes the best peach pie ever and Santa makes a special appearance for the little ones – thanks to Uncle Al – please maintain those traditions for your kids.  While you might not want to spend the holidays with your (former) spouse and his or her family, based on what clients have told me, consider the following: 1) share the holidays, rather than trying to keep them all to yourself, so your kids can enjoy those special traditions (who doesn’t love spending time with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins?  On both sides of the family?) and 2) consider spending the holidays with your former spouse at some point in the future.  Sounds crazy, right?  No…your kids would love it!  While it is probably the furthest thing from your mind right now and might not happen for some time, parents who are able to step up for the benefit of their kids are glad they were able to come together as co-parents and enjoy their children together.  And if you have had a good relationship with your in-laws in the past, chances are, you will have a pleasant time, too.  ‘Tis the season for giving…and you will definitely be giving your kids a wonderful gift.

Audra HolbeckABOUT THE AUTHOR
Audra Holbeck
Attorney, Holbeck Law Office

Audra’s office is in Woodbury, Minnesota and she limits her practice to Collaborative Family Law and Mediation. She received her degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. She has been actively involved in the Collaborative Law Institute since 2004 and is passionate about helping her clients create realistic and workable settlement options. She believes family disputes can (and should) be resolved outside the courtroom, in an environment that allows the family to reorganize, engage in healthy and effective communication, and move forward. Learn more at www.HolbeckLaw.com

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