Shouldn’t Your Kids Get to Celebrate Christmas with Both Parents?

When I got divorced my daughters were 8 and 6 years old.  Although we seperated in August, one of the first things that I thought about was Christmas.  What will we do?  How will we schedule holidays?  Where will the kids go?  Will they want to be with me or their mom?

All of these questions swirling around in my brain without any answers.  I decided to talk to my soon-to-be ex-wife.  We came up with a schedule, but not one I was happy with.  What would happen was that I would get the kids on Christmas Eve and she would get the kids on Christmas day.  They next year we would switch.

Seemed like a fair enough plan, but that meant that I would only see my kids open their presents on Christmas morning every other year?!  That can’t be right!  Christmas morning with little kids is one of the reasons we even  stick out all those sleepless infant nights… am I right?  I came up with a solution, that worked for us for years.

While our kids were little, we would be together on Christmas morning.  In our divorce contract we stated that we would reside in the same city until our youngest child was 18 years old, so this was doable for our situation.  I discussed it with my ex wife, and although reluctant, she agreed.

It ended up being a great experience for all of us for years.  Whichever one of us “had the girls” on Christmas that year would have the other one over before the kids woke up and the four of us would all open presents together.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t get complicated when you start dating or marrying other people, but for as long as we could  figure out how to make it work for the sake of our kids, we did.  With all the life changes that we put our children through during a divorce, it was nice that they could rely on a couple of hours a year where  life as they once new it remained unchanged.

Len Stauffenger is a successful attorney, business owner, and the divorced father of two children, both of whom are now independent, secure, happy young women. He is the author of Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents. He can be reached at 330-865-7400 or via email. Find more information:


  1. Cheryl Gowin says:

    This seems like a plan that worked well in your family situation. I think the key is to remember that you and your spouse may not be married but you both are still joint parents. This requires building a healthy blended family system.

    Congratulations on finding a way that works for you and your children!

  2. Putting children first..As a parents you suppose to know what are the needs and wants of your children..and as a parents you should also know what things could give your children happiness during holidays,that is to see you both together even you are already separated. Seeing parents by their children despite the fact that they are separated could somehow give them joy, being there to your children in the most important days is enough to make them feel they are still important and being loved.