Being divorced during Thanksgiving this year will be even more difficult than usual. COVID-19 has complicated every family gathering, especially if you’re not the one who has your kids for this holiday and you’re worried about their exposure to the coronavirus when they’re with your ex. Here are some ways to consider making this holiday happen, whether you and your kids are in different places or not.
1. Use Technology
Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks. So how do you do that when the people you’re most thankful for – your kids – aren’t even in your presence? The modern age has at least made it possible to see your children via FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom. Families of all shapes and sizes can be together, even if it’s only via a screen. You can even agree to eat at the same time or meal prep at the same time – either way, plan a shared experience and set up a virtual spot at the table so you can be together.
2. Dig In
If you don’t usually cook for Thanksgiving, but you’re without your kids on the holiday this year, you may be tempted to call the whole thing a wash and order takeout. Give yourself the challenge of cooking a meal you’ve never made before after your Michigan divorce – or at least a few new dishes. The day will go by more quickly, your tummy will be satisfied, and when your kids are back in a few days, you’ll have plenty of leftovers to share.
3. Split the Day
Depending on where you and your ex live and how your parenting time plan is designed for sharing the kids, you could talk about splitting your Thanksgiving after divorce in half. One of you gets the kids in the morning to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade together or prep foods. One of you gets the kids in the afternoon and evening for a meal with extended family. This holiday is all about being thankful and careful and sharing, and even if that inconveniences you a little bit – consider doing it for the sake of the kids.
4. Host an Outdoor Meal
If you are childless on Thanksgiving and the last thing you want to do is spend it alone, you will turn to friends and other family. But COVID-19 is making it unadvisable to gather together indoors with people who aren’t in your daily bubble. An outdoor meal at the end of November in Michigan is bound to be a chilly one, but if you plan ahead, you can have people around you and stay social so you’re not missing your kids quite as much – and so you’re safely social distancing. Think space heaters, cozy jackets, a bonfire, and an earlier mealtime.
5. Make Thanksgiving Care Packages
When you and your kids are going to be in separate households for Thanksgiving, one way you can be together is by making care packages for each other. Send your kids off to your ex’s with a goodie bag that includes a fun craft, a new book, a photo of you together, or a recipe for something they can make on Thanksgiving Day without much trouble. You could even invite them to make a care package for you to leave behind in their absence. You’ll all feel like you’re close together, even if you can’t be in the same place.
Thanksgiving after divorce is never easy, even if you’ve been doing it for a while. Don’t let COVID-19 interfere with your ability to give thanks.
If you need support during your Michigan divorce, contact the family law attorneys at Michigan Divorce Help in Macomb to schedule a meeting.