The holidays can be confusing and stressful during and after your divorce. If you and your ex are living in different homes and have some sort of custody or visitation arrangement, you may be wondering how you should handle the gift-giving process.
Should your child end up with double the number of gifts? Is it a good idea to coordinate presents with the other parent? Here are some gift-giving guidelines you should consider as a divorced parent.
1. Coordinate as much as possible
If there is a costly item on the wish list, consider splitting the expense with the other parent. You can still give a joint gift even though you are no longer a single family unit. Another idea is buying gifts that are related. For example, the other parent can buy a toy while you purchase the accessories for it. If you do not have a cooperative relationship with your ex, then shop as responsibly as you can and save receipts in case there are double purchases.
2. Do not make it a competition
The purpose of giving presents to your kids is showing how much you love them, not trying to prove you are better than the other parent. If you compete with your ex about who can buy the best gift, this will only make things awkward for your child. Kids are perceptive and may think you are trying to buy their affection. Try to come to an agreement with the other parent about a budget so you do not fall into the temptation of out-doing one another.
3. Give gifts with no strings attached
If you buy your child a special toy, decoration or something handmade and meaningful, you may want it to stay in your house. However, realize this may not happen. Once your child receives the gift, it is his or her gift, not yours. Your kid may decide to bring the present to the other household. Do not get angry if your child does this.