Most parents struggle with gift-giving during the holidays: How much is enough? How much is too much? The holidays have become very commercialized, and it is all too easy for those who are separated to enter into a competition to win their children’s affection with expensive gifts. This is a losing proposition, however, and it is not good for the children. The Men’s Legal Center has some advice for those who are facing separation or divorce during the holidays. Here are some tips for making the holiday gift-giving manageable:
- Talk to your kids, if they are old enough. Do not spend money on things you think your children want, only to find out that they are not really interested in the gifts you choose. If your children are old enough, involve them in the gift-giving discussion. You may want to give them a “gift budget” and allow them to choose their own gifts within that budget.
- Talk to your ex, if possible. If you and your former spouse have a good relationship and can communicate well, it is best to coordinate your gift-giving. However, most people do not have this luxury. Finding out what your ex is planning for the holidays may be difficult, and if necessary you may simply have to purchase gifts on your own.
- Think about travel issues. If your children are traveling a long distance to see you over the holidays, it is important to consider gift size. Airlines have restrictions on both size and weight of carry-on parcels, and checking luggage or packages can be expensive. If you must give large gifts, arrange for them to be shipped to your children’s home in time for them to meet them there when they return.
- Remember that time, not money, is most valuable. It is tempting to try to keep up with your ex in spending on gifts, but you may not be able to do that. Do not go into debt to give your children holiday gifts. Instead, arrange to spend quality time with them. Your children will benefit from this time with you far more than from the latest toy or gadget.
The Men’s Legal Center is here to help you with every aspect of your divorce. Our attorneys have many years of experience helping those who are going through a divorce, so contact us today for a consultation.