The Single Mom & The Holidays: 5 Tips to Thrive!

The Single Mom & The Holidays: 5 Tips to Thrive!

What do you do when your holiday celebrations no longer look like the dream you had always envisioned for your family?  

You make a new dream.  You don’t have to “Survive” Christmas.  You can THRIVE!

“Be in love with your life, every minute of it!” -Jack Kerouac

(I actually changed the name of this blog last minute to make sure we make this paradigm shift.  I called it “Survival Guide”.  It looked so negative. No more “surviving” until January 2nd.  This Christmas we will thrive!)

It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of year” but what do you do when you dread the “handoff” to Dad, when you don’t know how to celebrate the holidays alone, when meeting the gift requests of your kids would take a Christmas miracle?

You make a new plan.  There are 5 things you can do now to THRIVE during the holidays….

1. Keep Old Traditions

You may want to launch every memory with your ex as far as the east is from the west, but your kids likely feel different.  You know that favorite ornament he gave them? You put it on the tree.  You know that meal that he used to make every Christmas morning?  You keep making those special cinnamon rolls.  They need life to go on as usual.  You set the tone for them.  You keep life the same, and you keep life moving forward!

2. Make a New Tradition

Let’s start moving forward.  In addition to keeping their favorite holiday traditions the same from when you were possibly all under the same roof, it’s time to solidify your family bond as the head of household.  It’s time to create a new tradition.  Was there something you always wanted to do, but disagreed on?  Do it!  I decided to chuck the fake tree and make a new tradition of cutting down a real one.  There’s something incredibly empowering about hacking down the tree your kids picked and strap it on top of your minivan.  Although you might want to take some friends with you so you don’t have a Mama meltdown.  Trust me, I’m a cautionary tale!  Do something new.  Show your kids that life can go on and it can be beautiful!

3. Keep Gifts Simple

It’s no secret a Single Mom’s budget is a different animal compared to a dual income family.  So this year keep it simple.  I have this rule. My kids know it, expect it, and it’s become our normal. They get 4 gifts every Christmas.

1. Something to Wear
2. Something to Read
3. Something they Want
4. Something they Need.

4. OMO (On My Own) Plan 

Don’t wing it.  If your holiday involves dropping the kids off at Dad’s for the day or for the vacation, you need to set yourself up for success.  You need to make fun plans so you don’t end up depressed.

If this year is Dad’s turn for Christmas day, you choose your own day!  Who says it has to be on the 25th?  You have your Christmas morning on the 23rd if you have to!

If this year is Dad’s turn for Christmas vacation than this your chance to change the world!  Or just maybe catch up on some sleep.  This is what I call OMO (On My Own) Plan a getaway, host a party with your friends, do some Christmas returns and get what you really want for heaven’s sake.  Just don’t spend it cleaning or catching up on laundry okay?  There’s plenty of time for that.  This is your chance to do the stuff you typically can’t do when you’re a single parent with no budget for babysitters.  Check out my OMO Rules blog for some ideas!

5. Celebrate The Real Gift

Okay, so maybe this year there won’t be something shiny in a blue box with a white bow under your tree from your beloved.  I’m asking you to do something different.  This year celebrate the real gift of Christmas.  We are celebrating God’s RESCUE plan for his children.  He knew we would mess up, so he sent Jesus to this earth to eventually take the punishment for all our mess-ups and give us a fresh new start.  Christmas is the beginning of God sending us our true first love, our knight in shining armor that will never leave you or abandon you.  This Christmas is your chance to accept the real gift of Christmas.  The unconditional love of a man that wants the best for you and all he wants in return is your belief in Him…  This Christmas give yourself back to your first love, Jesus.

Father, I need a restart.  Lord, for Christmas I give myself back to you.  I want the real romance, the kind that never fades, the kind that never judges, the kind that never gives up on me.  Lord, I take your son, Jesus, as my savior.  I accept your rescue plan for me.  Restore me, give me a fresh new start.  – In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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