Surviving Christmas alone

Katheryn Michel explains how to survive Christmas on your own. Photo: Caleb Fotheringham.

The Christmas holiday period can be a trying time for everyone,but this is particularly true for people who are separated, divorced or widowed.

Katheryn Michel has experienced the holidays recently divorced and is now helping people navigate the season.

The course ‘Surviving the Holidays’ is run by her at C3 Church on November 24. The two-hour course is aimed at helping recently divorced and separated people.

Katheryn says it’s a scary time if you suddenly have to face Christmas on your own.

“They have to face a whole new situation.

“Your Christmas day is not going to be the same because you don’t have that family unit… so you’ve got to create a new way of doing Christmas.”

She says separated couples face multiple challenges, ranging from attending Christmas events solo to dealing with financial struggles.

Keeping children entertained can be particularly challenging, she says. It can be hard because separated parents are often strapped for cash and may have to think of creative ways to entertain their children by themselves.

Katheryn says separated couples shouldn’t expect Christmas to be the same.

“You have to look at new ways of doing things and creating new traditions.

“We used to always go camping, suddenly camping without a husband just wasn’t the same thing, so it was doing something new with the children that they would enjoy.”

The course aims to help separated couples deal with emotions they could face over the holidays and tips to deal with social events.

“Don’t put high expectations on yourself, you don’t have to attend every event. If it’s too stressful going to events on your own, don’t go.”

The aim of the course is also to provide attendees with a sense of hope for the future.

She says people facing this situation are not alone and there are many people going through the same situation.

Katheryn says the course is normally made up equally of males and females and the response after the course is finished is always very positive.

The course is run by DivorceCare which facilitates other courses for separated and divorced people.

Surviving the Holidays is on November 24, at C3 Church in Tauranga from 7-9pm. People wishing to attend are asked to register at: www.citychurch.nz

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