Skip to main content

The Hood Magazine

Co-Parenting During the Holidays

Nov 07, 2023 ● By The Hood Magazine

By: Amanda Engel, Duncan Law Firm

Making Your Holiday Schedule

The weather is turning colder, and the leaves are starting to fall.  The children are starting the lists to Santa and waiting for the first real snow fall.  While the kiddos may be excited for the excitement of the holidays, you may be feeling less enthusiastic about the upcoming holiday season if you are a parent who has to share holiday time. Developing a shared parenting schedule during the holiday season can be hard. However, there are a variety of ways each parent can have meaningful holiday time with the children.  Below are a few tips to consider:

1.       Alternate holidays every other year. Agree to assign specific holidays to each parent for even years and then swap the holidays in odd years.  For example, Mom has Christmas Day every even numbered year and Dad has Christmas Day every odd numbered year.  With this arrangement, each parent gets to spend one of the big holidays with the children.


2.      Divide the holiday in half. You can divide the day of the holiday so that your children spend part of the day with each parent. With this type of arrangement, Dad could spend Christmas Morning with the children and Mom could spend Christmas evening with the children.  This arrangement does require planning and coordination and it works best if you live in proximity.


3.      Schedule a holiday twice. Who doesn’t love to have two rounds of turkey and two rounds of present openings! You can schedule time for each parent to celebrate a holiday with your children. For example, one parent can celebrate Christmas with the children on December 25th and the other parent on the 30th.  Each year the parents can alternate the days they celebrate the holiday.


4.      Assign fixed holidays.  Each parent celebrates the same holidays with the children every year. For this option, Mom could spend Thanksgiving Day every year with the children and Dad could spend Christmas Day every year with the children.  If parents have different holidays that they think are important, this is a good way for each parent to prioritize a day that is special to them.


5.      Find a solution that works best for your children.  Your holiday schedule can be whatever works best for your family.  There is no one size fits all.  It is about co-parenting and coming to an agreement that benefits your children and allows everyone to make happy holiday memories. 


Any of these combinations can be used to divide and share holiday time.  The most important thing is to create a holiday arrangement that allows your children to make memories, enjoy family traditions, and spend quality time with both parents.