Nancy S. Caplan, Esquire

Nancy S. Caplan, Esquire
Bend Don't Break- Mediate!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving- One Divorced Family's Horn of Plenty to Share




Thanksgiving is a one-day holiday? Not so. Although many retail employees work on the Friday following Thanksgiving, for many, many families the day after Thanksgiving is part of the Thanksgiving Holiday.



In my family, both my sister and I are divorced from our children's fathers. We coordinated our holiday schedules where possible, and our Thanksgiving holiday is always in sync. When Thanksgiving is "ours" we seem like any other non-divorced family. On the Thanksgivings where our children are celebrating with their dads we've created our own holiday that occurs on the Friday following- we call it "Faux Thanksgiving."



On Faux Thanksgiving years, Thanksgiving itself is a quiet day of leisurely cooking and preparations. Having the extra day to spend with my fiance alone without the kids is precious. Gone is the harried flurry of desparation to get everything done while still conducting business on Tuesday as part of the business week. Often times the kids home from college pop in late in the evening on Thanksgiving for a hello- but no pressure on them to please all the relatives in one day.



Of course I tivo or DVR the Thanksgiving Parade. Most teens miss the actual parade on Thanksgiving, having slept in at Dad's (or my son who goes out and has a traditional touch football game with his Dad and company). The cookers of Thanksgiving only get to hear it droning in the background and miss the great Broadway performances or only catch one giant balloon or so. So in my house, the "Faux Thanksgiving" parade begins at 1:00 p.m., the time our gathering begins. Excellent football games also dominate. So I might truthfully say that my "Faux Thanksgiving" is even thanksgiving-er than actual Thanksgiving.


My brother and sister-in-law have managed to stay together lord bless them. However, they still have two sides to their family. Our "Faux Thanksgiving" also allows my sister-in-law to enjoy her own family traditions on alternating years. Therefore Faux Thanksgiving might be a solution even for "in tact" families.

There is no need to "miss" important events in a family history due to divorce. We just need to adjust and then, sit back and enjoy while letting the divorce take a backseat to life. Creative solutions sure beat depressive contemplation over the negatives of divorce. A sense of humor helps. Nothing is funnier (to us!) than our "Faux Thanksgiving" videos, and in the final analysis, because of the novelty, we'll probably remember them more vividly than our "real" Thanksgiving holidays. I'm sure my family hasn't invented this idea, however, we do actively employ it, and I'm glad we do.








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