The holiday season can be challenging, however, careful planning and communication with your co-parent can help make the season a smooth one.

Start planning early

Conflict arises when parents wait until the last minute to arrange an event with the children. During the holidays our lives are already overscheduled with festive parties and events and dinners. It is considerate to take a look at each of your calendars and choose a day and time that would work best. Make arrangements at least a few weeks or months ahead of time. This way you each can arrange your other activities around this important family time.

Be flexible

Life happens! We can choose to be upset or understanding when arrangements need to be changed. If you find that your plans need to be rescheduled, let the other person know as soon as possible and offer another date. If the other parent needs to rearrange plans, do not assume bad intentions, simply offer to reschedule. Be as open as possible to alternative ways that allow time together.

Be creative

If you have children, the easy option is to simply alternate holidays with each parent. Why not consider sharing a holiday meal or activity together, even if it is during the other parent’s “time”? It benefits children to spend an hour or so together with both parents at a festive gathering especially during a time of transition.

Start new traditions

Start new traditions this year. If the old tradition of opening presents with both parents on Christmas morning is not going to work, try something different. Look for alternative dates around the holiday, such as Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas. If you are unable to enjoy a holiday dinner together, use the leftovers by having a quick lunch together the next day.

A bit of planning and creativity can ease the transition for you and your children. If you would like more information on mediating your holiday schedule or other issues, please contact Dawn at to schedule a consultation.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.