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Christmas arrangements when you are divorced.

(18 Posts)
MattBerrysHair Sun 09-Oct-16 16:56:02

Hi all. I'm interested in how people 'do' Xmas once they are separated. Last year was our first post-separation Xmas and exdh and I spent the day with the dc as we had in previous years. He now has a dp who lives with him and the dc, we have 50/50 residency.

Alternating xmas's is probably the most straight forward thing to do, but I have to admit that the thought of not seeing my dc on Xmas day breaks my heart a bit. I know it's only one day and I'll get over it eventually.

What are your arrangements and how successful do you feel they are?


Sunnydawn Sun 09-Oct-16 16:58:47

How far away do you live from your exdh? My sister and her sxdh live 10 mins away, and they split the day - breakfast and presents at Dad's, and then dinner at Mum's.

This was at the dcs' request, rather than the parents, but it works.

PopFizz Sun 09-Oct-16 16:59:28

Could you do alternate, but swap in the day - so one year you wake up with DCs on Christmas day, the next year you have tea with them and put them to bed?

My exH and I have the same arrangements every year, they are with me Christmas eve and morning, and go to him about 6pm until late on boxing day. Then he has three nights between Christmas and new year (we have a one night a week arrangement) and new year's eve is alternated.

DP has DSS on boxing day. Once we have been able to pick him up Christmas day night. But its always boxing day, usually for a few days. He has an every other weekend arrangement though.

In both our cases the mother is by far the primary carer (2 nights a fortnight with dad in both cases) and it's worked out mum also gets Christmas morning. Your case is more 50/50 though.

NotWeavingButDarning Sun 09-Oct-16 17:03:11

I accept we're not the norm, but exDP and I have still done Christmas Day together, until this year, when he's moved out of the country. No new partners on either side though. He slept on the sofa on Christmas Eve so that he could see the DC opening their stocking presents in the morning, as they're still pretty young. (2 and 5 when we split).

Whatever works for you, really. If the new DP is amenable you could all do it together, I know a few split couples who all muck in together with exes, DC and new partners.

2sCompany Sun 09-Oct-16 17:11:12

We still do ours together. I've slept on the sofa at exH's house on Christmas Eve and Christmas day (we're actually still married but separated about 2.5y now) for the last 2 Christmases. I had a partner the first year, he had one the second year. Neither of us has one this year!

Works fine for us. We get on really well and I couldn't imagine not being with the children at any point of the day, neither could he. It's never been an option to do anything else.

Good luck with whatever you decide smile

instantly Sun 09-Oct-16 17:13:35

We alternate. We don't live near enough to split the day.

I've got used to a quiet Christmas Day every other year. There's something to be said for wine, chocolates, old films and peace and quiet.

MattBerrysHair Sun 09-Oct-16 17:13:38

I'd love to be able to do the whole day together but ex is not keen. We live 10 mins away from each other but he has family an hour's drive away and thinks committing to every Xmas all together would be too restricting. I think the real reason is that he would feel uncomfortable spending that amount of time with me, which I can accept.

fizzyapple1 Sun 09-Oct-16 17:17:35

I don't have any issues with the dc being away on Christmas day. He can have them every Christmas day if he wants. I have full residency and know that at the end of the day they're coming back to me. Also I leave it up to the dc to decide. All arrangements are made direct between the dad and the dc via txt. Even though he's a total tosspot he's still their father, they can have as much time with him as they want. I don't feel the loss, they're our dc to share.

mayaswellbebridgetjones Sun 09-Oct-16 17:17:44

When I was a child I did Christmas eve (evening) and Christmas day at mums one year and dads the next,
returning to the other's house on boxing day

However after a few years when I was around 10 it became apparent I preferred mums and then was allowed to choose each year.

cashmerecardigans Sun 09-Oct-16 17:18:42

We took turns, one if us had Christmas Eve until about 12 on Christmas Day, when they were dropped at the other parent for lunch etc, coming back on Boxing Day. It worked really well for us, no one missed out on seeing the children on Christmas Day. As they got older (late teenagers), they'd often reappear later on Christmas Day if they were at their dads, which was lovely. I tried to not get too stressed about it to be honest and no make sure I had something special arranged for the rest of the day if they weren't with us.
When we moved further away (only about 30 mins), when they were early teens, I decided we'd stop Christmas Day being mad as we had stepchildren too and we seemed to spend forever running around on the day. We started to forgo Christmas Day altogether and have a massive family Christmas meal all together on Boxing Day, which we still do 10 years later. It took all the stress out of trying to make sure everyone saw everyone on Christmas Day. I love it, it means Christmas lasts an extra day and it seems to work for al, of us, but maybe only doable when they're a bit bigger

TheWrongAlice Sun 09-Oct-16 17:26:30

We tried splitting the day, or doing Christmas at one Boxing Day at the other on alternate years but after a few years and with each having new partners we found it too restrictive as it meant we both had to stay home for Christmas each year. No going away or visiting family or friends. So in the end what works best for us is a week each of the two week period. One gets Christmas and the other New Year and we swop each year.
I hate it when it's not my year for Christmas, though it is better if I go away and do something totally different. Hate being at home without DS. However now me and new DH have our own DD it is going to get really hard again to not have her brother at home. It's just one of the shit things you have to accept about separating.

Cary2012 Sun 09-Oct-16 18:04:15

fizzyapple1, what a wonderful refreshing post! I feel as you do, and as I've always had my kids for more than my ex, I don't mind him having Xmas day with the kids, it's up to them though, if they're happy I'm happy!

PrincessHairyMclary Sun 09-Oct-16 18:26:55

We alternate 12 noon Christmas Eve to 12 Noon Boxing Day. I work in a school so get a long holiday and do Christmas the day after Boxing Day when I don't have her. Christmas is over whelming enough for children as it is, I didn't fancy splitting the day and having her have to leave her new toys before she's had time to play with them to be whisked elsewhere, having to eat potentially two Christmas dinners etc and she gets a decent amount of time with both of us.

I don't mind not having her Christmas morning, I stay at my parents Christmas Eve spend the day eating chocolate, drinking and watching grown up (12+ films) with my parents and brother.
Then when DD gets back Boxing Day evening is done exactly as I would Christmas Eve.

Left Sun 09-Oct-16 19:16:25

The first year after splitting Ex came over for Christmas dinner. It was pretty horrible as I did all the cooking, prep, cleaning. He didn't thank me once. After that we alternated Christmas and New Years... I genuinely don't mind a quiet Christmas on my own x

shopaholic999 Sun 09-Oct-16 19:33:16

We've been separated 9 years now and we've done it like this:

Me: Xmas eve and Xmas morning
Ex: Xmas day from 12 ish and Boxing Day

Me: nye
Ex: nyd

Year after it's the only way around and days inbetween are a play it by ear approach depending on what we have planned.

Was hard st first as dc wasn't even 2 when we broke up but with this arrangement we both get to see dc on Xmas day!

Myusernameismyusername Sun 09-Oct-16 20:41:20

We alternate and each have an entire new Christmas with the kids each no matter what day it is. My family all end up with alternate double Christmas too which is nice of them to participate.

I have never felt too sad about it because when they were little I used to choose to work in a hospital on Christmas Day because the money was so good so we all used to pretend Christmas was another day. I now always think about people who don't have anyone to spend it with if I ever catch myself feeling sorry for myself so if it is my turn I get drunk on wine and cover myself in crisps watching terrible films in my PJ's for an entire 24 hours and love every moment

If it's my Christmas it's also my new year so everything is just swapped

Myusernameismyusername Sun 09-Oct-16 20:41:59

*my turn without them

Cabrinha Sun 09-Oct-16 22:35:30

Have just agreed arrangements for our 4th Xmas.
My XH is local and has family around, including my only child's elderly grandmother - I think it's nice for my child to see her.
So each year so far I've said the same thing: you can have Xmas Day from 11:00, but this is a year by year decision so no expectations please!
It will be my 4th Xmas dinner "on my own", but I don't care - I prefer Xmas Eve anyway!

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