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You can survive the holidays following a divorce

After a divorce, it can be hard to want to celebrate the holidays. Maybe your divorce was very recent, so the pain of it is still fresh, or perhaps this is the first year you're celebrating without your child at home on the holiday. Here are a few tips to get through this first year.

Remember that if something is a painful memory, you don't need to participate in it. Avoid the so-called "ghosts" of the past holiday by making new memories. Sure, you might end up spending time with a friend who knows your ex or going to a restaurant where you have good memories, but you don't need to dwell on what has happened. Instead, focus on making new memories in the environment with the people who you care about.

Next, know that if you've had to share time with your kids this year, you're not alone. Many divorced parents work out parenting plans to decide where their children will be during the holidays. Giving your child time to spend with your ex is important; he or she is his or her parent and needs to have that bonding time just like you do. If you don't want to see your ex at your house, opt to drop off the kids and to pick them up at a neutral location.

Finally, start the New Year right. Last year might have been disappointing, but that is all behind you now. Focus on the future and create new resolutions to get your groove back. If your divorce is still unresolved or you have concerns about aspects of your divorce that were contentious, your attorney can talk to you about your options.

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