LILY Letter 35: Divorce and the Holidays

December 7, 2021

The holidays can accentuate the grief of divorce, particularly for the newly divorced. It is often an all too poignant reminder of dreams we have lost. If you are spending Christmas without your children, I hope these words bring you some comfort.

On my first Christmas without my kids, well-meaning people wanted to make sure I had "some place to go,” even though I didn’t want that. I wanted to go skiing or watch Christmas movies—not be the old divorced uncle crashing someone else’s party. You may feel tempted to do what other people suggest to please them and stuff down the pain.

If you are spending your first Christmas apart from your children, think of what is best for you. It is your grief to deal with in whatever way makes the most sense to you. If you want to accept invitations to a loved one's Christmas morning, feel free to enjoy it. If you want to attend parties or dinners during the holiday season, have a good time. But if you are grieving a loss and would just rather spend the day by yourself, feel free to do that too. There is no wrong way to celebrate the holidays.

There is a story about a meaningful Christmas Eve I spent alone as a mid-single in chapter 20 of "Intentional Courtship."

Notwithstanding the difficulty for mid-singles, the holidays are magical times to find or grow in love. The lights, the music, and the snowy landscapes full of Christmas lights and decorations, the legends, and the upbeat mood of people, all bestow a kind of wonderment within which it is easier than normal for romance to flourish. Cold temperatures make for peaceful nights indoors with hot cocoa or wassail, curled up in front of a fire or a feel-good Christmas movie with your special friend.

At Christmas time, there is an abundance of special Christmas concerts, light displays (such as we have every year on Temple square). It is a time for deep reflection and conversation about the really important things.

Yes, the holidays are a magic time. They are also a time when people reflect on the fact that they may be spending another holiday season without someone special in their lives, and are sometimes a little more open to trying something new. You might become that new idea.

I am not suggesting that you hurry up and force something. Just be open to it and let your heart accept the joy of the season. Check online for Christmas events you might attend and bring a date. Consider bringing someone to your office Christmas party.

You may also consider service. I delivered inexpensive gifts to other mid-singles' children a couple of Christmas
Eves. Some of these friends could not afford very much for Christmas.

This holiday season, why don't you just give it a try? Affirmatively look online and elsewhere for a person to spend the holidays with. Don't force it, but do look and be open to identifying someone great. Reach out, even if it feels like a risk. Plan a fun holiday themed activity, and let yourself get swept away a little bit in the magic of the season and you might just see some little miracles. If your first date goes well, when you say good night to your partner, ask if he or she would like to go out again. If you get a yes, start planning another holiday themed activity. If nothing else, at least you will be building some good holiday memories in your mid-single years.

We thank God for the holiday season and what it meant to us during our mid-single years. We pray that yours will be joyful and filled with love.

LILY Pod Episode 46: Divorce and the Holidays

LILY Tube Video: Progress in Dating Relationships

In “Divorce and the Holidays” we discuss navigating the painful elements of being single during the holidays, as well as some of the magical opportunities it presents. “Making Progress in Dating and Relationships” will give you ideas for creating more magic in your world.

To get a copy of our newly released book on Amazon and create more love in your life, visit Intentional Courtship

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