The Art of Balancing The Kids, Ex-Spouses and the Holidays

Posted: 11 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Family & Relationships | Read Time: 2 minutes, 1 second

Our community has had multiple major thunderstorms this fall. Trees including one in my yard have come down as a result of the high winds that whipped through the neighborhood. One large oak in front of the local nursing home snapped in half, leaving a large exposed trunk. I was sad to see the shade tree go and mentally calculated the cost of removing such a large tree. Fortunately, the owners of the nursing home had other ideas. They hired an artist to come in and carve a series of bears romping in and on the tree trunk. Daily I see people stopping to take a closer look at this clever and whimsical addition to the grounds. 

I no longer feel sad at the loss of the tree; I am happy to see the new art that enhances our community.  I see this as an analogy for my life. Not so much the concept of when you get lemons, make lemonade but more like make sure you don't miss a positive opportunity. We can spend our time grieving for what was lost or look for a new, equally positive opportunity. It may be different but that different "thing" can still bring us joy. 

This is our first Christmas since my son's divorce. I now see this change to our family as an opportunity to come together and create new and inclusive traditions. We can celebrate in the traditional way with good food and gift giving around the Christmas tree. But is also an opportunity to build something new and equally as meaningful as the Christmas celebrations of the past. This is our chance to take the exposed tree trunk and craft something clever and whimsical. It is our choice as to whether we will have a good experience on Christmas. 

As a grandmother, I believe that grandparent can be a steady force that welcomes new traditions within the framework of a newly fractured family. We can love, support, suggest and even, when requested implement the new ideas at the holiday. Our Christmas is still evolving but I know the most important traditions such as being together on Christmas day will be honored while new traditions such as a Champagne/ Shirley Temple Brunch will be started. What about your family? Does divorce influence your holiday plans? How do you handle it? Let me know, we are all still learning.