Divorce mediation includes holiday planning. Parents need to decide which holidays are important, as well as what hours or day(s) need to be planned. For example, do you need to plan for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day? Perhaps "Christmas" typically includes the days until New Year"s Eve.
Where will the children be for holidays? You may need to think about where your extended family lives, how busy your work schedule is, as well as what your children enjoy. For example, if both parents' extended families live in the same community, the children may be able to spend part of the actual holiday with each parent. However, if Mom's family lives in Baltimore, and Dad's family lives in Utah, it will be impossible to divide the actual holiday. You may prefer to alternate years (e.g. odd numbered years the children will be with Dad, even numbered years the children will be with Mom).
Sometimes particular holdiays will be more important to one parent than the other. For example, Dad may especially enjoy being with the children on Easter. Mom may look forward to Halloween. Or one parent may know that his/her employer never gives time off on a particular holiday. If Mom knows that she always has to work on Thanksgiving Day, but she never has to work on New Year's Day, then plans may be made that coordinate with parents' work schedules.
What if special days fall on days when the children are in school? This often happens with birthdays. Will one parent spend the actual day with the child and the other parent a day on the closest weekend? Or will the child still be able to have some "special time" with both parents on his birthday?
Parents also consider what they will do when the children are with their other parent. For instance, if you have close friends who often spend July 4th weekend at the beach, you may want to the children' to be with their other parent on July 4th weekend. Then you can enjoy being at the beach with your friends. Although the focus of holiday discussions is on the children, it is useful to consider what options will help you adjust to spending holidays on your own.
To read a useful article about holiday planning and mediation click here.