Christmas is a magical time for a child, least it should be. Full of excitement and wonder. As a parent, it is magical to see their faces light up when they open their presents and not disappear for the rest of the day after all the games etc you play. For some children though, they do not get to spend their day with both parents.
In some cases, split families result in 2 Christmas Day’s for their children often with parents trying to better the other (that is a subject for another day though). In other cases, children do not get to see their other parent at all so I thought it may be good to put a blog post together about it.
As a Child, depending on age, they could be feeling a whole range of emotions. I personally remember going back to school after the Christmas break hearing all the things that the other kids did with Mum & Dad, all the presents and the great time they had. This used to make me feel as though I missed out. I have heard stories from many others saying the same thing. In later life, you realise though, it is not about the presents, it is about the memories, the interactions, the fun you had.
As a parent not able to see your child on Christmas Day, either, for example, being in the Military, an emergency service or just denied access over an ongoing dispute, it is hard. So what tips have I got to help make it easier?
- If you can, call and talk to your child on Christmas Day. Tell them how much you love them and make them know how special they are to you. Even if you can not be there in person, they will know you still love them and are there in spirit.
- Have Christmas early or late with the family. I recently heard of a family having Christmas in July due to a parent being on tour within the Army.
- Organise a surprise for them, this does not have to be on Christmas Day itself but it could be something as simple as a card being posted through the door.
- If you can not see them or contact them, put some money into an account in their name and write down a letter, for you to keep safe, of things you have done throughout the year. Even buy and wrap a present for them and store it. You can do this each year and when they want to find you, even in adult life, you can hand over the gifts and letters over to them to show you were thinking of them.
- If you are finding it tough, talk to your friends and family. Allow them to support you.
There are loads of options you can do, these are just some options and we want to hear on any suggestions you may have.