Let’s normalize making Christmas on December 27th or celebrating on December 24th or Thanksgiving on Black Friday. I think people often forget that the holiday is not actually a certain day of the year, but more about the effort put in and the time spent with our loved ones. Our children have no idea what day the holiday technically is or when it should be celebrated.
I am seeing more and more FCS mediator’s recommending holiday schedules that are in the best interest of the child, but often times people are not happy with it. More and more are we seeing schedules that say Parent A gets Christmas Eve and Parent B gets Christmas day on an alternating year basis, rather than Parent A getting 8 AM to 2 PM and Parent B getting 2 PM to 8 PM on Christmas Day.
As I was once a child of divorce and my husband as well, we were often subjected to the 8 AM – 2 PM to 2 PM – 8 PM switch. This often made my holidays chaotic and rushed and I felt like I was bouncing back and forth between all my family’s houses with never enough time to create memories or have special time with my loved ones. I always had to leave to go to the next house, while my cousins spent the entire day at that certain location. It just never made sense to me. As a parent now, my family has 3-4 houses we must go to on the holidays since both mine and my husband’s families are divorced and I often do not want the same chaotic and rushed feelings to flood my children during the holidays.
The best thing that happened to me was when my dad started doing Christmas on Christmas Eve. I now take my children to my dad’s on Christmas Eve and we always have “Christmas Dinner” and open presents. Having the holiday on a different day allows for all of us to get to spend quality time together and enjoy the moment without rushing to the next house and the best part, my children have no idea this is not the way it should be.
I think when looking from the outside in, this type of scheduling really is within the best interests of the children. They don’t feel ripped away from family, they don’t feel like they’re missing their cousins or aunts or uncles or they didn’t get enough time on Christmas with one of their parents.
Why can’t we do Thanksgiving on Friday, so we are not stuffed full of two meals forcing ourselves to eat at the second house? Why don’t we open presents and have Christmas Dinner on the 26th or 27th? Why does the calendar get to dictate when we celebrate family time and make cherished memories. Let’s go into 2024 with the idea of screw the calendar and that status quo, lets make our own rules for our families and ensure that our children feel loved and warmth during the holiday season. Who cares what day it is, the littles sure won’t remember if it was three days late or two days early, they’re going to remember the excitement from Santa and spending time with the people who love them the most and isn’t that what we really should care about the most? The impact that we leave on our children so they don’t have to recover from the childhood we gave them, but rather they grow up knowing that sometimes its okay to go against the grain, if it benefits the people who we love the most?
All in all, let’s normalize making our own holidays and doing it on our time for the benefit of those little faces that will light up when they realize Santa came twice!