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Arranging holidays..Christmas in particular

(17 Posts)
Aeriefairy Mon 25-Sep-17 17:02:22

Obviously I'm the step parent and I'm not involved in the contact arrangement but just wondering how other separated parents do it? My DP initiated discussion with his ex re Xmas hols to give both of them plenty of time to make arrangements. School breaks up for on 22nd, leaving two days before xmas day and the rest of the hols after.

The 24th, 25th and 26th are governed by the Court Order and they alternate every year, so my DP tries to arrange time either side of these days so DSS has time with both mum and dad in the run up and after the big day and is therefore able to do "normal" stuff both sides as he would if his parents were together i.e visiting family, wrapping presents, preparing and all that.
The ex is trying to dictate the hols based on what she wants to happen because of her work (she recently started her own business). My DP had proposed arrangements which took her work into account throughout (easy handovers in line with her hours) but shes trying to prevent DSS from spending the Saturday before Xmas with Dad (bearing in mind DSS spends the 24th with her this year).
How do other separated couples do it? While I could be said to be biased, I do think my DP is being reasonable as he is trying to give his son the best of both, being able to spend time before and after Xmas Day with both of them. I'd just like to know how Christmas is split in other separated families and how it works for the kiddies!

BackieJerkhart Mon 25-Sep-17 17:11:37

What is their normal contact pattern? Its sounds fair to see his dad on the 23rd if he is spending the 24th with his mum.

Aeriefairy Mon 25-Sep-17 17:19:22

HI BackieJerkart, the normal contact pattern in term time is EOW plus up tot two teatimes after school. Holidays are to be shared equally and Easter Sunday and Xmas are shared too with handover in the late afternoon. I know some separated couples don't see their kids at all (the days alternate completely) so I think both Mum, Dad and DSS are very lucky to have an arrangement where they all have the best of both worlds!

Aeriefairy Mon 25-Sep-17 17:22:00

Oh the alternating weekends are suspended while term is out so the holidays are taken into account as a whole...not classed as weekdays and weekends..just holiday time, regardless of the day. though she tried to stop DSS seeing Dad during weekends in the past claiming that the term time weekends suspended means there's no contact on the weekends at all during hols facepalm

Aeriefairy Mon 25-Sep-17 17:23:34

would really like to know how others split the christmas hols though, as I dont have any friends in the same boat to compare with!

BackieJerkhart Mon 25-Sep-17 17:28:12

Well for us it was business as usual (EOW) during holidays in theory with Xmas day shared. Usually middayish handover. The reality was that EXp wasn't really keen on contact so other than the Xmas handover he didn't really see them. Social life far more important wink

If his ex is trying to prevent the arrangement can he go back to court to have the days specified?

WhiskeySourpuss Mon 25-Sep-17 17:31:29

DS will spend Christmas Eve with his dad & stepmum (it's technically my weekend but it's their turn to have Christmas Eve this year) then he'll come to me at 2pm for dinner on Christmas Day & he will remain with me until 31st then return to his dad's until Friday 5th January when we'll drop back into the regular schedule.

Easter, Summer & October hols are split equally - one week each Easter & October & 3 weeks each during the summer. We're in Scotland though so don't have half terms to consider which I think makes it a bit easier to be equal.

Aeriefairy Mon 25-Sep-17 17:38:12

The Judge left it up to DP and ex to arrange the holidays outside the specified Xmas Eve, Xmas Day & Boxing Day... DP has only just been back to Court because she was abusing the order and refusing contact willy be honest DP isn't keen on returning to Court and would like to be able to arrange it amicably with her (we can all dream [hmmm] ) he's sent her an email agreeing to the other changes but insisting on the 23rd, just so DSS has a day with each parent before Father Christmas arrives! so maybe she'll agree.. the other issue is the holidays change every year, last year there was a good week of hols before xmas and this year just 2 days, that might be complicated to put in an order. I'm sure it's better for the kid if its left to a bit of flexibility too (in the long run)
DP is very keen on contact and does his level best to see DSS as much as he can smile within the Order. The Order does permit additional contact that can be agreed between the parties, but she is hostile to any attempt at it.

Aeriefairy Mon 25-Sep-17 17:55:19

WhiskeySourpuss does your DS have any time with his dad before Xmas Eve?
the half terms aren't so bad, they just handover at 1pm on a Wednesday and the contact attaches to the Dads weekend!

WhiskeySourpuss Mon 25-Sep-17 19:44:53

Aerie DS actually lives with his dad but he'll be with me for Friday 22nd & Sat 23rd then go back on Christmas Eve at 4pm.

Last year I had the 23rd through until 2pm on Christmas Day & then the 30th Dec until 6th January.

We try to work it so that DS has a decent amount of time with each of us with minimal to-ing & fro-ing for him.

Chasingsquirrels Mon 25-Sep-17 20:01:35

We do half of all holidays, agreed between us in the months before.
Christmas depends on how the school holidays fall.
We alternate Christmas Day itself, with handover around 10am on Boxing day.
We've done various things over the years, this year they break up on 15th so we are doing the following;
Sat 16-Sun 17: dad
Mon 18-Fri 22: mum
Sat 23-Tue 26 (10am): dad
Tue 26-Fri 28: mum
Sat 29-Mon 1: dad

Mum does nothing for NY, dad does things with other families so we try and fix it that they spend NY with dad regardless.

It's all pretty amicable though.

Justdontknow4321 Mon 25-Sep-17 20:33:56

Normal routine which is every other weekend for us which stays the same at xmas except we have sd Boxing Day and dropped back the next day

Justdontknow4321 Mon 25-Sep-17 20:34:44

We have asked for xmas eves and days but always met with a no and we don't have the money to go back to court so no it is.

heidiwine Tue 26-Sep-17 06:24:36

Our situation is far from amicable and DPs ex does whatever is convenient to her. This year we agreed 23/24 (because it's our weekend) and then 29/39/31/1
A couple of weeks ago we got an email saying that the kids wanted to go away to visit relatives for Xmas and that they didn't mind not seeing us. So they're going away from 22-1st. We have no Christmas with them. Sad thing is that's not unusual behaviour.
We were never 'allowed' Xmas but always had new year and we built lots of traditions around that. It worked well enough I guess and if I'm honest the kids probably wanted to be at their mums on Xmas day.
I really wish DP had pushed for a court order early on.

Blues123 Tue 26-Sep-17 07:37:41

I have two SDs, 16 and 9. They always have xmas with mum and come to visit us in January and we have Christmas in January. It's our tradition and no one minds. We'd love to see them for xmas but they live internationally and flights are too expensive around then.

1moreRep Sun 15-Oct-17 07:30:28

well my exp and i are very amicable and generally one of us has xmas eve to christmas 11am and the other christmas on to boxing day.

however due to me having to work xmas night we're swapping so i have xmas eve late evening -11 xmas day then also boxing day

my p and sd don't make plans until very late on due to her mother etc i just don't let their plans affect mine thou and have had to adopt the attitude great if she comes no probs if she doesn't to my family activities

Aeriefairy Mon 16-Oct-17 00:33:17

Thanks everyone for your replies!
Dp is very grateful to have a court order, Justdontknow4321 don’t know if it’s any help to your situation but my dp self represents at Court now, only pays application fee usually £215 (still quite a lot of money but less than £1000’s for solicitors).
Interesting to see how other steps families arrange things, dp’s Order is definined so that Xmas hols are shared equally and the festive days alternate annually! Would like it to be more amicable though for all of us but that’s pie in the sky stuff smile

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