Trying To Celebrate The Holidays During Divorce

holidays during divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Ask anyone who is divorced and he or she will tell you that the pain it causes can sometimes feel unbearable. Then add in the holidays—especially that first Christmas or Hanukkah and New Years after a separation. Trying to celebrate the holidays during divorce is stressful, sad, confusing and sometimes bittersweet. It is during this time that the pain of divorce is intensified, both for the couple and the kids.


The holidays during divorce can feel so depressing, both for the newly separated, and even for those who have been divorced for awhile. It starts with receiving holiday cards with other people’s family photos, or how about going to holiday parties without a spouse? Or, experiencing broken traditions. This woman expressed pain she was experiencing while putting up Christmas decorations with her kids:


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Then she should talk to them about what Christmas and the New Year really mean. It could mean gratitude for life and family, or the beauty of giving, or the chance for a new beginning (For New Years.) Whatever the holiday means to them, she should bring that out and help them to realize what they still have: health, family, and most importantly, love.


I realize that it is very hard for kids to appreciate the basics, and most tend to focus on the immediate problem at hand—in this case, the divorce. That’s why their mom might benefit from putting things in perspective.


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It isn’t easy. Trust me.  But in the end, I think it’s very important to do one thing in life, both during the holidays and all year long: BE HAPPY.

Just be happy. Do things to make you happy. Spend time with people who make you happy. Go after things you know will make you happy.


To all those who are newly separated or divorced: Big hugs and kisses and all the best for a wonderful holiday season. I promise you will get through this holiday and that next year will be easier.

Try to be in the moment as much as you can, because the pain you are feeling is lined with three things: faith, love, and hope. And aren’t those the very things that define the holidays?

Like this article? Check out, “Holiday and Christmas Card Etiquette After Divorce.”





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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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