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Peace and Joy!

by Nancy Hudgins, Debra Synovec
December 2008

From the Real Divorce Mediation Blog of Nancy Hudgins and Debra Synovec

Holidays can be a sad and stressful time for people in the midst of divorce………. but you do have a choice about how you celebrate the holidays! Most people want to have peace and joy in the Holiday Present rather than being haunted by the Ghost of Holidays Past! Here are some ideas.

Help your children have peace and joy during the holidays by:

  • Planning ........ your children want to know when they will be at Dad’s house and at Mom’s house…. respect the plan but be flexible so that the children can participate in holiday plans that come up;
  • Letting the children love the other parent… them create a gift or shop for the other parent;
  • Coordinating gift giving with the other parent so children’s gifts are not duplicated and they receive approximately equal gifts from both of you;
  • Resisting negative talk about the other parent at family gatherings; your children do not want to hear inappropriate comments about the other parent;
  • Being civil to your former spouse ....let your children enjoy the holidays ……. and remember….. civility is a gift to you ……… if your children are happy you will enjoy seeing their happiness!

Help yourself have peace and joy during the holidays by:

  • Beginning new holiday traditions….volunteer….take a trip…go to parties……..have a party;
  • Spending time with supportive friends and family who will not drag you down by dwelling on negative things about your former spouse;
  • Doing the things you have wanted to do …..go to a movie, take a yoga class, go for a walk, cook a special meal, organize pictures, read a book…bake cookies and eat them;
  • Indulging in a spa treatment, retreat , cooking class or anything you want;
  • Laughing…….do anything that makes you laugh….laughter will make you feel better!

Happy Holidays!



Nancy Hudgins, a San Francisco mediator and lawyer, began specializing in civil litigation in the 1970's. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, chiefly in personal injury, medical malpractice, elder abuse and product liability lawsuits, but also in a wide variety of complex litigation, including civil rights, fraud and class actions. She has settled and mediated thousands of cases. In addition to civil litigation mediation, she also co-mediates divorces with John Duda, a marriage and family therapist.

Debra Synovec, a Seattle-based mediator and lawyer, has mediated divorces for 20 years. She believes in empowering the parties to reach their own resolution.