The holidays are fun, but they can also be hard. You're divorced, and your kids split their time with you and your ex. Usually, this goes very smoothly, but you find it complicated around the holidays because everyone can't realistically be together at the same time.
Making it work requires planning ahead. It requires cooperation. If you're dedicated to it, though, you and your ex can find a solution. Below are three options:
1. Split the holiday itself in half.
If you live close to each other, shuttling the kids over in the middle of the day isn't a big hassle. Just let them have breakfast and spend the morning with one parent, then switch at lunch or in the early afternoon. This way, you don't have to pick who gets the kids on Christmas. You both get to see them.
2. Switch back and forth each year.
Every other year, you get the kids on Christmas. On the off years, your ex does. It's not perfect, but it means you still get to make those special holiday memories. To balance it out, you can swap Thanksgiving back and forth as well, on the opposite schedule. This way, you know that you'll either get Christmas or Thanksgiving every year.
3. Embrace adjacent days.
You may be best off to move your celebration just slightly. For instance, your ex may get the kids on Christmas, but you can take the day off and spend Christmas Eve with them. Being flexible with your own scheduling gives you more options than just the holiday itself.
The key is to communicate and plan in advance. Be sure you understand your rights and what legal steps are needed to set up the optimal schedule.
Source: HuffPost, "Holiday Parenting Schedule: Make a List and Check It Twice," Nicole H. Sodoma and Robin Goulet, accessed Nov. 30, 2017