Its that time of year again. Its costly, knackering and quiet frankly it can be very overwhelming. Christmas. Loved the world over by little ones and probably dreaded by most adults. Never more so when money is already tight you have to pull something magical out of the bag and make it magical, special and have a huge smile on your face.
14 years as a single parent works out as 14 Christmasses under my belt. Not all have been perfect but not all have been disasters either. So here are my tips on surviving Christmas as a single parent.
Its not a competition to who can buy the most presents or spend the most. Work your budget out and stick to it. If possible talk to your ex as to who is getting what so there isnt duplication.
Children dont need the latest gadget or gizmo despite what they tell you. Try to get your children to focus on the meaning of christmas, dependent on your beliefs. Its what you install in them when they are young that hopefully goes with them into adulthood.
As a single parent it might be the case that either you or your ex who might not get to spend Christmas Day with the children. As much as you may not like your ex, be the better person and try to work out a compromise. In my house I have Christmas with the children on Christmas Eve and in the morning. Then they go to their Dad and stay for a few days. Yes this has meant I have spent several Christmas Days on my own. But I survived and the kids had a great time with Dad.
Just as some traditions get forgotten or cant be done, you can always create new ones. Its the little things that kids remember so you don’t have to do big extravagant things.
There will be at some point new partners brought into the mix, complete with their own families. Communication. Diplomacy and compromise too helps. Throwing a strop and demanding isnt pretty and only makes it harder for everyone else. Be the adult.
Lastly its one day. You eat turkey for days afterwards so there is no reason why you cant extend your Christmas period so that everyone gets their Christmas.