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Santa VS Harry Hanukkah

Christmas being 4 days away I had a question brought up which personally I thought was a non issue. However I pondered more on it and realized it can turn into a conundrum. What this issue is really about is respect, tolerance and understanding. When you met your ex it didn't matter that they were a different religion. Being Christian and they Jewish, or vice versa, it was a tiny issue among family members however between you two it was never an obstacle. There was a mutual agreement that both holidays would be celebrated or just the one. Now that you're no longer a traditional family, have you had the discussion with your ex regarding holidays? Which one will be celebrated? Both or just the one? Something as insignificant as this will set precedence and most importantly the lines of communication will be open. Keeping the focus on your children's well-being during the separation is about finding new ways of parenting beyond divorce. Here are some things that work: 1. Making this about the children; meaning don't talk about your exs religion poorly. If your ex wants to celebrate Hanukah and you Christmas then so be it. The children will benefit being exposed to two different cultures and traditions. Never make your child choose which is better or what should be celebrated, you don't want your children remembering you put them in the middle of your battles? And no child wants to feel pressure to choose you over the other parent. 2. Talk to your ex and figure out what he or she will be celebrating in their home. Most importantly if the children's custody time is being spilt during the holidays put it in writing the times of pick up and drop offs including location. This way everyone is on the same page and there's no confusion. The holiday season can be hectic it's nice to have a clear and concise break down of the intricate details. 3. Santa vs Hanukkah Harry, this isn't a competition of who bought what. Set a budget, a list and split it. This way there are no duplicate toys, Santa or Hanukah Harry knows where to deliver everything. Remember the holiday season isn't about buying outlandish presents to manipulate the children. A word to the wise, if your ex is against a certain toy, game, etc, don't buy it! Do not start an argument over something petty, have respect for the request. If there is room for compromising, i.e: keeping said item at your house, then ok, however if it's a no go, then so be it. 4. Keep your traditions going, for example if you've built gingerbread houses continue to do so. Little things like this, routine, consistency, familiarity is important for children. 5. The holiday Season can be hectic, If you and your ex can be civil during the holidays then you've passed a huge hurdle. In an idealistic world you two would be able to come together and share the holidays for the sake of the children. If you find that you can't spend all Hanukkah days together or half of Christmas Day together then don't. Discuss what's appropriate and plan the day's accordingly. Remember this is about the children, this isn't about the two of you. If you or your ex are in a relationship and will be bringing the new partner, do not cut them down in anyway. This person is in your exs life which in turn they are in your child's life. Show respect, welcome them and wish them a happy holiday. How you react to your ex-spouse is how you are teaching your child to handle conflict, stress and anger in their own lives. Lead by example, lead with confidence and don't allow your ego to come into play. Everything you do and say is for your children. May the holiday cheer be with you and your families. Xo, Kat

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