Don’t worry – if you’re alone for all the holidays that grace the end of the year, you are not alone. In fact, you are joining many other single men and women that have either never been married or are divorced. If you’re newly divorced, the fresh pain can make it hard to enjoy the holidays, especially if you’ve had traditions for years that involved someone that is no longer in your life.

However, many people before you and many people after you have gone through a similar situation, and some are still going through a difficult separation or divorce. As the years pass, you’ll be able to fill in all of those memories of your ex with new memories of family and friends. However, the holidays can be a particularly hard time, no matter how many years have passed.

Remember, Things Can Be Better Than Before

When a divorce happens, it’s true that you will have to deal with change. However, not all of that change needs to be bad change. You can form new traditions and new plans for your family without your ex, and some of those things may be things that you couldn’t do before. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to spend some time in another state or country for the holidays, but your ex was more traditional. Now is the time to form new hobbies and take chances so you can discover new things.

Your Kids Can Have More Fun, Too

Your kids are probably missing your ex, and that’s okay – it’s normal. They’ll have to adjust to the new situation as well. However, going through the same traditions you go through every year isn’t necessary just for them. They can benefit from some new hobbies and transitions as well. Celebrate at your best friend’s house, or invite your children’s friends over to enjoy a special Christmas Eve treat. Keeping some of the old is never a bad thing, but don’t forget to interlace it with some new ideas as well.

Remember, the Holidays are a Season, not a Date

It can be a bummer when your children or friends and family are doing other things or are away for a particular day, such as Thanksgiving. However, even though Thanksgiving is a certain day of the year, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate early or late. Celebrate when the people you love are around. Holidays are about spending time with those you want to spend time with. Even if that group has changed, it’s no less important.

Remember, even if you don’t have any other friends and family, there are many nontraditional things you can do around the holidays. Hanging out with friends or making new ones by volunteering at a local food bank or church is always a good way to occupy your time and do something good for someone in need.