I interviewed Sue about six months ago and at the time she spoke about her most significant accomplishment as being gaining the confidence to go after her ex for back child-support. During that same interview she told me how she and her daughters celebrated their first Christmas after the divorce.
When the kids were little we split Christmas up so one parent had the kids Christmas Eve day and evening and then they went late that evening to the other parent’s house so they would wake up in the morning at the house they were going to have Christmas Day at. That first year the kids were with me Christmas Day.
Well, I had decided that we would go away for our first Christmas and we would go to Disneyland but I kept it a surprise. So I put the tickets in the kids’ stockings because they always opened their stockings first and we were flying out on Christmas Day. Oh my god, they were besides themselves – ‘We’re going to Disneyland!’ They couldn’t believe it.
I also didn’t tell them we were going with another family. So we went to the airport and then when all the kids saw each other and figured out what was going on, it was just too much. It was so much fun.
I wanted to post this story now because I figure some of you might be thinking about Thanksgiving and the Holidays and wondering how to celebrate and Sue’s wonderful surprise might give you a few ideas. I actually don’t remember how we celebrated our first Christmas but I do remember the Christmas before. The children knew we were separating but my ex hadn’t moved out. I took the children to England to visit my family and we were supposed to be back on December 23 so it was a short trip. I say supposed because that was the year Denver got hit with a blizzard on the 23rd. The airport was closed and our flight was canceled. Well, we couldn’t get on another flight for a week so that meant staying in England longer. It turned out to be a strange Christmas – my sister, of course, happily let us stay there but we’d already exchanged our gifts and of course, my kids missed seeing their Dad.
Have you started making plans yet? Got any exciting surprises in mind?