Creating a holiday schedule is an essential part of any parenting plan. Ex-spouses need to decide in advance with whom their children will spend which holidays to avoid the potential for confusion or misunderstanding later.
Essentially, parents have a lot of different options for scheduling holidays. It’s a good idea to discuss which options are most appropriate in order to reach accord. For instance, some families may have big Easter celebrations with extended family members attending church services, having Easter egg hunts and special dinners, while others may let the holiday come and go with considerably less fuss.
Here are some common holiday scheduling strategies:
1. Every other year alternating holidays
This is simple enough. It might involve giving each parent every other holiday, and each year flipping which parent has the child for which holiday. That means the child will spend Thanksgiving with one parent and Christmas with the other, and then it will flip the following year.
2. Half holidays spent with both parents
When parents live close by, they might simply each spend half the day with the child and then take the child to the other parent’s house later. This is a great way to ensure the child spends time with both parents on each holiday.
3. Assign another day for major holidays to be celebrated at one parent’s house
Perhaps the child will celebrate Christmas on the 23rd at one parent’s house and on the 25th at the other parent’s house. This is a logical solution for parents who want to enjoy their children for the full day of the holiday.
4. Divvy up a fixed holiday schedule
Sometimes, parents prefer to simply spend a certain holiday with the child and have the child spend another holiday of the other parent’s choice with that other parent. This can be a very simple way to divvy up holidays in a way that works for everybody.
5. Use a combo of the above or create your own
The above strategies can be used in any number of combinations to determine a holiday schedule that suits the parent’s needs. Alternatively, parents may want to create an entirely new strategy for holidays that wasn’t addressed above.
Make sure your holiday schedule serves your child’s best interests
As with anything relating to child custody and parenting time, it’s important for parents to consider the needs and best interests of the children. As long as your parenting plan and visitation schedules are in alignment with your child’s best interests, they are sure to be a success.