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Single parents can create new holiday traditions


Stock Xchng / Ckforjc

Family holiday traditions are a large part of the season.  They bond us together, excite our children, and are just fun.  But what happens when a relationship breaks up?  Do you simply stop doing every tradition that has been created?  Many single moms are choosing to introduce new traditions along with keeping a few old ones so that children can still have a magical holiday experience.

The key to transitioning from the way the holidays was, and the way it is now, is to introduce new traditions slowly.  Simply cutting off all old customs, and adding in multiple new ones is too much of a shock to any child.  Consider what their favorite thing was in the past.  Did they bug you relentlessly to decorate the tree, but didn't care to bake cookies?  Then you should continue to make trimming the tree one of the key moments of the season.  By then adding in one or two new ideas like driving through town to look at lights, or watching a favorite holiday movie, you will slowly adjust your child to life with single parents.

What if your child isn't really a child?  Teenagers are most likely to be apprehensive about any changes during the holidays because they've had enough change.  They might give attitude about not wanting to do new things.  By trying not to hype up the changes you've made, you might surprise them.  If you decide a new tradition will be seeing a local lights display for example, you don't need to announce that this is a new holiday tradition that is here to stay.  Trying to be overly excited to convince them won't work.  So just tell them to hop in the car and off you go.  You may end up creating a tradition without them even noticing.

Lastly, remember the most precious gift you can give this season, especially as a single mom, is you.  Spending time with your children and showing them you care and are dedicated to them will be a tradition to last a lifetime.

Here are some popular holiday ideas you may want to add to your family traditions:

  • Baking & decorating cookies
  • Reading "Twas the night before Christmas"
  • Watching a holiday classic like "Rudolph", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" or "Frosty the Snowman"
  • Participating in caroling with others
  • Trimming the tree
  • Creating crafts for decorations
  • Going to holiday mass
  • Hanging stockings
  • Lighting the menorah
  • Delivering food to charities / food bank
  • Volunteering to serve those in need