Planning for the Holidays

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June 12, 2019
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Planning for the Holidays

One of the most important parts of a parenting plan separated or divorced parents should consider is how to divide the holiday times with their children.  Holiday times are often times spent with extended family and when important childhood memories are made.  It is important for children to have the opportunity to spend holiday time with each parent.

Planning the holidays is significantly more difficult for a separated family.  There are a number of things which must be included in the planning:

  1. Is either of the extended families having a special gathering? Is there a wedding, memorial service or family reunion that the children should have the opportunity to attend?
  2. Is either family planning a “special” holiday – a larger trip or trip to a special locale?
  3. Are there traditional holidays that the children participated in prior to the separation?
  4. Are there religious services or family traditions that are important to the children? These can be especially important around holidays like Christmas, Easter, Passover or Eid, depending on the family’s beliefs.
  5. Do the children have plans that are important to them? Maybe they usually spend time with friends at the Stampede Midway, or connect with friends from out of town at summer camp.

Whatever plans are made, try to ensure that they are made with consideration for the circumstances of both families.  If one parent has had to put in for their holidays in February, they are not likely to be satisfied if they are informed in May that their planned vacation is not going to work.

If the children are not allowed to participate in summer holidays with each parent, it is the children who lose out on opportunities to grow closer to their extended family and create important childhood memories.

Catherine Regier
Catherine Regier helps you navigate the turning points of life. She is a partner with Pritchard & Co. Law Firm, LLP. Contact Catherine at (403) 527-4411 or at