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Christmas contact - how to make it work
#1
Hi folks

I am racking my brains at the moment trying to come up with a workable proposal for Christmas with my ex. This will be our first Christmas apart since separation. We have two young kids, 7 and 18 months.  My ex is a fairly high conflict and controlling type, with communication an increasing issue (feels like she is shutting it down at the moment). We have had some exchanges regarding Xmas arrangements. 

Agreeing a plan for Christmas contact is proving problematic. She asked me for my proposals. I said we should try to share Christmas Day, and could then look to divide up remainder of school holiday into two blocks to allow for family time etc. 

She has come back and verbally suggested that I could come around to our old flat for Christmas Day morning. All things being equal, that might be fine, but I am anxious, having already done a birthday party on that basis, that me going round there, I will be treated as a visitor, and not a full fledged parent. On one hand my daughters would love it to have their parents under one roof, but reality, I think is that ex will be hostile and, while I am very good at putting on a face, it will be hard to relax, which will transmit to the girls.

I feel separate celebrations might be better, but am struggling to come up with a proposal that will be accepted. We do live very close so logistics of handovers etc not a problem.... 

One option I can think of is first half of day at mum's, second half of day at mine; she will I am sure counter that by saying it would be disruptive for the girls.

The other is that I let her have Christmas Day and then do a "second Christmas" on Boxing Day.

I would be really keen to hear stories from other dads about what they have done/do, and what works for them and what doesn't.

Also in terms of how they navigate issue of presents, stockings, Santa etc.

All suggestions/experiences would be very welcome.

Cheers
Brad
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#2
Hi Brad,

Yes, this is a concern I am going through at the moment.

To me, I prefer the sound of the two separate celebrations. That way you both have full control over your own experiences, and you don't have to compromise on anything.

Just don't make it a competition as to who has the better Christmas. But if you do, make sure you win!!

My ex doesn't seem remotely interested in Christmas. She has her tongue so far up her new boyfriends ass, she'll be picking bits of turkey out of his teeth.

Best of luck!

Jason
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#3
(11-07-2016, 04:27 PM)StartingLifeAgain Wrote: Hi Brad,

Yes, this is a concern I am going through at the moment.

To me, I prefer the sound of the two separate celebrations.  That way you both have full control over your own experiences, and you don't have to compromise on anything.

Just don't make it a competition as to who has the better Christmas.  But if you do, make sure you win!!

My ex doesn't seem remotely interested in Christmas.  She has her tongue so far up her new boyfriends ass, she'll be picking bits of turkey out of his teeth.

Best of luck!

Jason

Thanks a lot for this Jason. I guess splitting Xmas Day in two can only really work if both parents are relatively amicable. I think you're right that going for separate days is probably the most realistic option... that will, i think, mean ceding Xmas Day this year. Then it's a case of figuring out whether the best day to do an alternative Xmas is on Boxing Day or New Years Eve.

Brad
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#4
(11-07-2016, 01:37 PM)benson99 Wrote: Hi folks

I am racking my brains at the moment trying to come up with a workable proposal for Christmas with my ex. This will be our first Christmas apart since separation. We have two young kids, 7 and 18 months.  My ex is a fairly high conflict and controlling type, with communication an increasing issue (feels like she is shutting it down at the moment). We have had some exchanges regarding Xmas arrangements. 

Agreeing a plan for Christmas contact is proving problematic. She asked me for my proposals. I said we should try to share Christmas Day, and could then look to divide up remainder of school holiday into two blocks to allow for family time etc. 

She has come back and verbally suggested that I could come around to our old flat for Christmas Day morning. All things being equal, that might be fine, but I am anxious, having already done a birthday party on that basis, that me going round there, I will be treated as a visitor, and not a full fledged parent. On one hand my daughters would love it to have their parents under one roof, but reality, I think is that ex will be hostile and, while I am very good at putting on a face, it will be hard to relax, which will transmit to the girls.

I feel separate celebrations might be better, but am struggling to come up with a proposal that will be accepted. We do live very close so logistics of handovers etc not a problem.... 

One option I can think of is first half of day at mum's, second half of day at mine; she will I am sure counter that by saying it would be disruptive for the girls.

The other is that I let her have Christmas Day and then do a "second Christmas" on Boxing Day.

I would be really keen to hear stories from other dads about what they have done/do, and what works for them and what doesn't.

Also in terms of how they navigate issue of presents, stockings, Santa etc.

All suggestions/experiences would be very welcome.

Cheers
Brad

What me and my ex do, is I have the children from early afternoon Christmas day, and take them back Lunchtime ish on New Years day.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#5
"She has her tongue so far up her new boyfriends ass, she'll be picking bits of turkey out of his teeth" Another contender for a T-shirt... made me laugh

Again in the same boat here... although in truth the last 5 Christmas's have been un-enjoying each others non-company
Not sure what we will do this year but i think kids re pretty adaptable - they will see having 2 Xmases as a bonus
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#6
Hi All

I have not yet sorted this out with my ex, but the proposal will be as follows:

Christmas weekend is meant to be my weekend to have the lil one but in the interest of him having a great Christmas. I will have him Friday night and celebrate Christmas with him on the Saturday morning (Christmas eve). Drop him back home on the Saturday evening and he can then do it all again on Christmas morning. The child gets 2 times the fun and both parents get to enjoy it. (I couldnt care less if she never seen another Christmas, but want to put the lil one first).... then negotiate to split the following week. 

Hopefully she agrees to this.
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#7
We had this discussion (via email) last night... turns out Xmas weekend is my weekend but gotta be flexible for the kids so:

My proposal:
I would be happy to host, I'll cook., the ex can stay over in spare room and make it special for kids sharing the time or book a hotel and go away for a few days

Her solution... wait for it ... its good
Stay in a neutral AirBnB flat where the kids don't recognize anything and they don't have any home comforts
Then go to an international hotel for Xmas dinner (2 adults and 3 kids ... 350 quid? i reckon)
Remove one of the kids from my allocated time 'because she booked something as a Christmas present from both of us and forgot to ask me if its OK or tell me what i've bought my daughter'
Then reverse our allocated time 180 degrees so she has New Year weekend free while I look after the kids on what was originally her weekend

Let me think about that for a second....
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#8
Hi LTCDAD, sounds like you made a reasonable offer to her.... but having the ex stay overnight? Bad move mate haha. Have you agreed to her "airbnb" proposal?

I made my offer to my ex, as detailed previously in this thread. She has come back to say that she wants me to have the lil one 23rd - 25th Dec and 29-31st..... potentially until the 1st depending on her plans. ??? a mother who doesn't want to have her 4 year old at home for Christmas Eve or Christmas morning!!!! Wtf, surely that is not normal? So I went back to her saying she should have him at home Christmas Eve and Christmas morning because he should wake in his own home and bed.... nope! She is thinking of me. Translated that means she is going drinking on Christmas Eve with her new fella and that is more important than her son. Disgusting. But, a result for me and my family.
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#9
I don't have a problem with her... she can stay - I have spare room - all this despite she'd just applied for sole custody to try and write me out of my kids life and took '000s in family money from ISAs, is asking for additional spousal support despite we not married and refuses mediation ... apart from all that Happy Christmas love!...
I can stay mature for Xmas for the kids (her not so much) but she won't come to the old family home so proposed a AirBnB - I have not agreed that yet. Even common sense says to rent a place 5km from my house and 5km from her house is madness

I think also i might have a bit of the "shes going out on new years eve so I'm being told i must have the kids that weekend" syndrome as well - i don't mind but I'm not having every day we planned for contact being re-arranged to suit her - I've made plans based on what we agreed - if she's going out on NYE / hangover on NYDay- shes gives her time up NOT rearranges mine!!! I will cover her but my time is my time with them!

First Xmas separated so obviously we both want to be for the kids ... have to see if we can find a compromise... probably not knowing her so might have to go for the split Xmas day option
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