This year has been filled with strange new and different ways of interacting (or rather not interacting) with family and friends. I was happy to see that one thing stayed the same – holiday photo cards. I have to admit that the new life December brings to my mailbox is something I look forward to every year. I genuinely enjoy the cards adorned with family photographs. Holiday cards that I have received over the years have included engagement photos, wedding pictures, birth announcements, images of trips to exotic places, and updates on the lives of friends who I don’t hear from often enough. The images evolve over the years as babies are born, move through childhood, then grow up and start families of their own.
There is one holiday card I received years ago that sticks out in my mind. On this card was a picture of a mother with her two sons. On the back was the tale of how dad had “left the family” and a difficult divorce was in progress. That Christmas card later became an exhibit at the divorce trial.
Divorce happens. When it happens, it can be truly painful. But a holiday card is not the best place to express that pain. Should you send a holiday card if you are getting a divorce? Of course you should. Should it include angry comments about your soon-to-be-ex? Of course not. Reaching out to friends and family for support during the journey through divorce is appropriate, but denigrating your children’s other parent in a mass mailing is not the way to gather support. Remember to keep the focus on your children. Put their adorable faces on the card. Include a photo of yourself with your children if you want, but leave out your emotional pain.
The Divorce Law Monitor wishes you peace and happiness at the holidays.