Immediately following a divorce, the thought of celebrating holidays and other events can be extremely overwhelming. The first holiday after a marital breakup can be both confusing and frustrating, as ways have celebrating pre-divorce have already been established. However, ways of celebrating post-divorce have yet to be established. Once partners have parted ways celebrating events as a single person can be filled with uncertainty and doubt.

Typically, when couples are still involved in a relationship they have the option to celebrate with either partner’s family or mutual friends. However, once a divorce occurs settling on a plan for how to spend the holidays can become difficult. The reasons for this include, not wanting to face one’s own family members and the ongoing questions surrounding one’s former partner, questions about the reasons behind the breakup, post-divorce dating questions, etc. Celebrating with mutual friends of you and your ex can also present a problem as it may be awkward interacting with friends that are still friendly and in communication with an ex as there are often limits on what can be talked about, shared, or villainizing the former partner.

Oddly enough many former couples struggle with who to remain friends with post-divorce, who should go to party or celebration thrown by a mutual friend, how should they navigate questions about their former partner, who can they trust to divulge their personal feelings about their former partner and the divorce, etc. However, as with most feelings associated with change, it too shall pass. Celebrating the holidays, gatherings, and other events alone can be a great joy, but it requires creative planning, a positive attitude and most importantly, realistic expectations.

Here are few tips to make your holiday alone special:

  • Go out and enjoy yourself. Try not to spend your holiday at home alone. Spending time alone on your first holiday can often cause people to become fixated on the changes in their life, perceived losses, increase feelings of inadequacies, and difficulty adjusting to changes. The first holiday following a breakup can feel like an emotional rollercoaster, swaying between feelings of independence, loneliness, sadness, excitement, etc. Having pre-arranged plans to spend time with close family members or friends can help eliminate some of the negative feelings of being single on one’s first holiday.
  • Do not try and relive holiday memories that were created between you and your ex. Holidays post-divorce will never be the same, that is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that things will be different. Trying to relive what once was will only bring another dose of reality of what is. Try to do something new, something you may have wanted to try with an ex but never got the opportunity to do. The purpose of this is to create new memories as a single person that does not include memories created and shared when you were with your ex.
  • Celebrate the holidays with your girls or your guy friends. You can celebrate by going out on the town or by going on vacation together. There is nothing like going on an amazing vacation with a few of your closes friends and confidantes. You can actually create a vacation tradition with some of your close male and female friends.

Do not view your divorce as a personal failure but as a part of your life that lead to your present with the possibility of influencing your future. A divorce does not mean your life has ended or no longer be filled with happiness it just means there is an opportunity for something different, another beginning, a new type of happiness.