The gifts bit.
This can be one of the trickiest things to decide upon at Christmas especially where you and your ex are not in speaking terms or are experiencing anger, hurt and resentment towards one another.
Well, very, very briefly –
- No, it’s not competition time to see who will get them the “bestest” present ever nor the most expensive! Do continue getting them presents as you have always done, with them in mind, not revenge on your ex as motivation.
- If this is their first Christmas following the divorce, try not to “ease” the pain by furnishing them with every single present that they see on TV. If anything, a part from the tremendous expense, you will be setting a precedent on what they should be expecting from here on.
- Too be honest, the gifts are important, but nowhere nearly as much as the experience of a peaceful celebration – especially in high conflict separations. Do make sure they get that first.
- If you can, decide between the two of you what each one of you will be getting the children. This not only stops duplication but also a great way of knowing what they have and what they don’t have as well as what they need or don’t need.
- If they want a particular present that is costly e.g. the latest games console and 3 games, then split the cost. That’s what I did with my ex-husbands. It worked well and was much cheaper and most importantly, the children were really happy.
- Too many presents can be overwhelming – so if they are used to getting 5 presents then get them 5 and your ex can get them 5 too (one of the perks for children of divorced families, more presents!)
For peace, tranquility and serenity’s sake – Keep it simple.
Lots and lots of warm hugs,
Soila is a graduate member of The British Psychological Society, holds a Masters in Child Development and is a trained Family Mediator. You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66.