As the holiday shopping season kicks off, many newly-single parents find themselves in the awkward position of preparing for a holiday alone with their kids. After years of planning, preparing, and celebrating holidays as part of parental duo doing everything by yourself can require a great deal of mental adjustments.  One of the biggest stumbling blocks is shopping for the holidays since single parents with reduced incomes or budgets struggle to find ways to please their children. Fortunately, there are other single parents who have shared their own past experiences. Utilizing these tips for navigating holiday shopping as a single parent will help you please your children without going overboard.

Do Not Try to Outdo Your Ex

The first mistake newly-single parents often make is fixating on outdoing the former partner.  Entering into an imagined competition with your ex can quickly become expensive and rarely impresses your child. Remember, the holidays are not about upstaging your ex or his or her family members. The holiday season is supposed to be about making memories with those closest to you, not showing off your ability to purchase hard to find material items. Resisting the impulse to turn holiday shopping into a battle will save money and help you stay sane during the most stressful time of the year.

Communicate with Your Ex Before Buying Presents

No one looks forward to speaking to an ex when it is not mandatory, but you should make an exception to the rule during the holidays. Since both you and your former partner are going to be buying presents for your children, it is wise to compare shopping lists before making purchases.  Ignoring your ex may lead to your child getting duplicate gifts and no one wants to stand in post-holiday customer service return lines.

Focus on Your Child’s Needs Not Your Wants

Never forget, holidays are for the children and their happiness. After a divorce or separation, children feel confused, vulnerable, and benefit from having their relationship with their parents confirmed. Instead of planning the holidays around what you want to do focus on your child’s needs. Be prepared to attend the events they are interested in, watch kid friendly holiday movies, or bake cookies. A child who has spent less quality time with each parent is more eager to build memories while bonding with their parents. Try not to spend the holiday opening gifts, looking for batteries, and then spending hours in the car going to see distant relatives or at the office working overtime.

Get Questions Answered

There are times when communication with an ex just is not enough and holidays become problematic. If you are concerned about an issue with your holiday visitation or custody arrangements talking to a child custody and visitation attorney is recommended. The compassionate attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum know how difficult holidays are for divorced parents and we are prepared to do everything possible to make your situation manageable. We can assist you with confirming your visitation arrangements or establishing a fair agreement if your divorce or custody issues are not finalized. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at one of our Atlanta, Georgia location to get the legal advice you deserve.