You're trying to figure out how to split up your time with the kids during the holidays. As divorced parents, it's hard. Do you split up Christmas Day, putting a lot of travel time in the middle of what is supposed to be a relaxed, fun day? Do you give one person Christmas Eve and the other Christmas morning?
No matter what you do, both you and your ex feel like you're missing out on something. Plus, it's all very chaotic for the kids. You want them to enjoy the day. If a young child has a meltdown because he or she doesn't want to stop playing with new toys and get in the car on Christmas afternoon, is that really the type of holiday you wanted?
Remember that there is one easy solution. Just spend the holidays together.
Sound crazy? It may not be right for everyone. If you and your ex can't get along -- perhaps your ex was unfaithful and you still have a lot of hurt feelings -- you don't want to subject the kids to arguments and a stressful environment. However, many couples who are still on relatively good terms do use this strategy.
Keep in mind that the end goal is to give the kids what they need. If it's best for them that you both spend the day together, it's worth considering. Even if you have to grit your teeth and tough it out, your reward will be seeing all of their smiles and making fun holiday memories as you put them first.
It's typically wise to set up a parenting plan as far in advance as you can. Make sure it honors the parental rights you have based on your child custody agreement.
Source: Psychology Today, "Managing Divorce and Children During the Holidays," Robert E. Emery, accessed Dec. 08, 2017