Making Christmas Meaningful as a Co-Parent

If you’re anything like me, you prioritize making Christmas meaningful. I have a checklist of Christmas movies we watch every year, ranging from Elf to Love Actually and all the way (down) to Hallmark originals. I checked off The Santa Clause early this year and couldn’t help but think about how much the people I work with could relate. Scott is a single father on Christmas Eve whose son, Charlie, is dropped off by his ex-wife and her new partner. Scott struggles to find Christmas cheer after burning a turkey in the oven, failing to even find chocolate milk and then sparring with his son over trivial matters. 

Miraculously, he is relieved of inventing a new tradition when Santa Clause falls off his roof and transforms Scott into the new Santa. Father and son go on to save Christmas and visit the North Pole then are able to make it home in time for Charlie to be picked up by his mother on Christmas morning.  

Making Christmas Meaningful

I hope this doesn’t feel like a blueprint you need to follow. I promise you don’t need to be Santa to have a meaningful Christmas. If you watch closely The Santa Clause, you see that Scott’s son is just looking to be heard and included. Charlie feels valued when his father listens to him about something as fantastical as his father Santa Clause, even if his father doesn’t believe it himself. 

Sharing new experiences is what really catapults their relationship to new heights. For all of you who don’t become Santa through random, crazy happenstance, you do the little things like hearing when your children want to put the ornaments on the tree, even if you know they might break one in the process. You get off the couch to walk the neighborhood at night to see the three houses that have front yards with so many decorations they may have gone clinically insane. And you model for them what it means to be a parent to great children, which doesn’t need anywhere near a full 24 hours to show. 

Enjoy the Time You Have

Focus less on making every moment into a lasting memory, those come naturally. Take the time to slow down and make the time feel longer by not making it about what you do for your children, but what they want to do with you. Your children will learn how to be kind to themselves and that is something they will hold onto longer than their belief in Santa (hopefully). 

At West Coast Family Mediation Center, we’re here to provide insightful tips on any family matter. Contact us with any questions.

Lauren

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