I have been quiet recently. Today, however, it’s 3 posts in one day…
For non-U.S. readers: Americans refer to Thanksgiving and Christmas (Xmas) as “holidays” because they are distinct from “vacation” (this earned break from work is known as “holidays” in some other countries — I hope you’re all keeping up?). I don’t know when it started, but the Christmas season is now referred to as the “holiday” season (as in “Happy Holidays”) because of a desire to avoid offending the many people who don’t follow Christian religions.
For U.S. readers: It would be unwise to ask if/when Thanksgiving is celebrated in other countries. Trust me on this one.
This has been an awful year for so many reasons and it’s only early August. There are plenty of exciting opportunities for things to go wrong before the year is over — yay! OK, I’m not really a pessimist so this doesn’t mean I’m going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy and generate problems where none need exist.
But it hasn’t escaped my notice that it won’t be that long before I need to think about Thanksgiving and Xmas and how my runaway wife and I share time with the 3 girls. I’ve never really paid any attention to how other couples do this; it never seemed to be any of my business.
- Perhaps it makes the most sense for my runaway wife to have the kids for a few days for one holiday, and for me to have them for another
- Perhaps it is better if they see both of us on each big holiday (good luck eating two big dinners girls!)
- Perhaps, and this is probably the least desirable option for the girls, my presumed sole custody means they won’t see my runaway wife on either holiday
- Perhaps, and this would be
a crazyan odd request given the year’s progression, my runaway wife may assume we’ll be sharing some time together
If we split the time so we each get the girls for one of the two big seasonal holidays, it may not make a big difference which one the girls are with me. There are pros and cons to each. I know for sure that the ‘other one’ is going to be very empty without them around. And this has got me thinking…
First: What do most separated/divorced couples do in this situation?
Second: What should I do with myself if I don’t have the girls at all for one of the big holidays?
For both queries, I’m very interested in public or private suggestions based on the experiences of others.
If I’m alone for one of the holidays, one option would be to travel somewhere to visit a friend or go on some adventure. Travel requires advance planning because the holiday season is busy on the roads and in the air. If I do make travel plans, they would be hard to change without messing up some friend’s plans, so I need to get the plans right first time if I can.
If I’m alone for one of the holidays and have nothing to do, I could even do something quite different, like volunteer to help out somewhere in this region (Fire station? Hospital? Food shelter?). Perhaps this could give someone else time to spend with their family if I’m only going to be alone anyway.
As I said at the start, I’m not being pessimistic about this, just realistic. This could be the first time in my entire life that I have not had Xmas with other family members. It’s too far and too short a break to get to Australia, where my closest family lives.