For example, although I have always celebrated Thanksgiving with my husband’s ex because the collective kids prefer to be together, this year our adult children have other commitments with extended family and new in-laws, and I’m opting to cook on Saturday instead. And, from now on, I told the kids, go where you need to go on Thanksgiving, but plan the Saturday after Thanksgiving to be at my house. They were elated. It took all the pressure off trying to get to three or four Thanksgiving dinners — and Saturday will be the bonus Thanksgiving with yours, mine and ours at the table.
The key to having successful holiday get-togethers after a break-up is to be flexible and compromise whenever possible (good ex-etiquette rule No. 10.) Modifying, rather than abandoning old traditions, can certainly help. In my case, I’m not abandoning my family Thanksgiving celebration, I’m modifying our old tradition to work with the new family configuration. I’m still cooking and making everyone’s favorites and looking forward to family time, I’m just cooking for the season, instead of the day, and I will have my family around me, relaxed and invested in our time together rather than being stressed while trying to juggle one more Thanksgiving meal.