by Nadia Shahram, Esq.

Christmas is a stressful time. The pressure of Peace! Joy! Love! It’s in the air we breathe from Halloween until, finally, the new year has begun.

I am a Divorce mediator. My clients are couples who are adjusting to a new family dynamic, and the first holidays apart are an emotional and logistical challenge.

The most treasured aspect of the season is gathering with family to celebrate traditions that may date back generations — moments that have always brought warmth, comfort and continuity. But for the newly un-coupled the holiday routine can be fraught with anxiety. But if there are no children, it is reasonably easy to retreat to your own family or friends, go hiking, or hang out on the couch eating ice cream.

However, if you are a parent, you are required to be cooperative and mask your anxiety with a smile. Maybe you’ll have to do the “drop-off,” and feel obligated to greet your ex’s family. Perhaps your ex will choose to compensate for the pain your children are experiencing by buying them ponies and taking them on a Disney cruise.

You are entitled to your feelings of loss, abandonment, and sadness, even if the break-up was your choice. And anger is okay too — after you’ve dropped off the kids, feel free to scream bloody-hell.

I hear from my former clients all the time, and without exception, they tell me, and I assure you: It will get easier.

Blessings and peace, Nadia

Nadia Shahram is a divorce attorney based in Williamsville, focusing on cooperative separations. Learn more at

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