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Surviving the holidays as a single parent can be a challenge. Your children may be spending Christmas with the other parent or maybe even out of town for the week. How you face the holidays as a single parent can make the difference between scrolling through social media posts in your pajamas or enjoying the joys of the season.

Here are 10 tips to help you survive the holidays as a single parent.

Remember the Reason

No matter which holiday you celebrate, the holidays are about spending time with people we love and sharing the warmth of the season.


Be Flexible.

If you aren’t with your children on the holiday, exchange presents the night before or split the day so you can celebrate with a festive breakfast before sending the kids off to their other parent.

Acknowledge Your Feelings.

Accepting change is a process. It’s okay to feel sad. Write down your feelings or talk to an understanding friend.


Be Your Own Best Friend.

Surviving the holidays as a single parent means not being too hard on yourself. Treat yourself to a massage, blow dry, or an afternoon wandering around a museum. Take an exercise class or browse in a bookstore. Spend time doing something you enjoy.

Make New Traditions with Your Children.

Spend an afternoon ice-skating or watching a favorite Christmas movie. Put on your favorite holiday music and dance.


Throw a Party.

Invite a mix of guests, from friends and family to coworkers and neighbors or gym buddies. Spend time planning the menu and decorating for the party. Wear something festive that makes you feel good.

Give Back.

Volunteer to serve Christmas dinner or to help out in a toy drive. Collect groceries for families in need. Bring cookies to first responders.


Take a Social Media Break…

If you find yourself envying other people’s family celebrations, power off.  But if you’re home alone and need a listening ear or sounding board, reach out to friends.

Spend Time with Friends or Family.

If your family is far, join a friend’s celebration or make plans with other single parents.


Toast the New Year.

Focus on what you do have: your children, friends, freedom to pursue new interests and adventures.

Surviving the holidays as a single parent means being resilient to embrace change and make new traditions, which is a valuable lesson for your children, as well as for you. While it may take some time, you can not only survive but thrive as a single parent during the holidays and all year long.

Beth Cone Kramer is the author of the upcoming book “Digital Dating Detox.”
Secure Single provides a forum for a diverse variety of perspectives, ideas, experiences, and resources and does not take official stances. All writers speak exclusively for themselves. Concurrently, any quotes, shares, reposts, interviews, etc. do not imply endorsement by Secure Single LLC or its curators. Now go live your best single life!
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Beth is a longtime divorcee and professional writer who has focused on helping women and men through the transition to embrace single life following divorce or loss of a partner.
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