Coordinate gift-giving with the other parent, and don’t leave half-siblings out of the picture
One of the valuable lessons of the holiday season is the virtue of gift-giving. Children should learn about the pleasures of giving holiday cards and gifts to their loved ones. This important seasonal ritual can get lost (or confused) when kids are divided between two households, or when they have half-brothers and half-sisters at one house or the other.
To keep things organized, make sure your children draft a master list of all of the family members who they should be giving a card or a gift to. Guide them appropriately. In some cases, it may be possible for your children to prepare — or to collaborate on — their own Christmas cards or Happy New Year cards. Depending on the size of your family and the cost of buying gifts, the children may wish to make their own gifts for the other parent, and for their half-siblings who live with the other parent. They should not visit the other household for the holidays empty-handed. And, if they show up with gifts or cards, they’ll enjoy the pleasure of making others happy, and you’ll derive a tactical benefit from the process.
Little gestures can go a long way toward smoothing out the rough edges that fray during holiday visitation disputes.