The quintessential Thanksgiving image to many is a family sitting around the table cutting the turkey with a smile on their face. The holiday is often promoted as a time where parents and children get together after they respectively have their work and school days off. A lot of stress and preparation is involved for this one day, but many find it worthwhile to work hard for one of the few days of the year where all can celebrate being together.
Parents that recently divorced face a different obstacle this holiday season. It is their first time going into Thanksgiving without a spouse and potentially without their children on their days off. This could be one of the toughest parts of the year as several divorcees in Texas are constantly reminded of what they once had. However, no longer having a spouse should not stop you from celebrating the occasion. Your status presents opportunities to create new lifelong traditions.
Celebrate it early with the children
A study by Custody X Change shows that on average, most parents in Texas often alternate custody on Thanksgiving every year regardless who the Sole Managing Conservator is. Parents who do not have Thanksgiving with their child that year still likely will see them in November, so use the opportunity to have a feast early so you can still have that warm feeling most families have on the holiday even if it is not on the actual day.
Thanksgiving after a divorce can be just as hard on your children as it is on you. While they may get to eat with their other parent on the fourth Thursday of the month, it still may feel incomplete not celebrating it with you. This can ease some of the stress of the situation and helps let them know that you still value your time with them as their parent. You want them to know that you still want to raise them like any other family even if it is not with your spouse.
Find other people and activities to celebrate with
Those along on the holiday should not just sulk around about their former marital life. This is one of the few days of the year you likely do not have to request PTO for. You could sit down and relax by getting some extra sleep, making yourself a feast or turning on the television to watch the parade or latest football game. You could also see if any of your friends are available on the day to either eat or perform activities with. The nation promotes people getting together for Thanksgiving, but that does not always mean it has to be with family members.
You can also come up with newer activities to do on your day off. You can see what places are open or have Black Friday deals to get a head start on Christmas shopping. You can check local volunteering opportunities to make someone in need thankful for this holiday. You can even request Friday off and spend your 4-day weekend traveling to someplace you have always wanted to go to.
While Thanksgiving may be tough for divorcees, they can also present potentially exciting opportunities to relax and experiment with their days off. You can still celebrate the holiday with your children and those you hold dear to help you get through this difficult portion of your life.