Hanukkah 2021: 8 Tips for 8 Nights
November 17, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
We recently reshared a blog post from our archives on Hanukkah and co-parenting, from 2017.
Of course, 2017 feels like a different lifetime: four years ago… and pre-pandemic. So, with the Festival of Lights coming up, let’s look at eight different divorce support and co-parenting tips for eight nights.
- Plan early. One of the good things about Hanukkah (as opposed to Christmas Day), is that with eight nights it’s easy to split the holiday between co-parents. Some families may have larger celebrations for the first night or the final night, or nights that fall on the weekend (this year, the first, is on Sunday night, and then the following weekend). It’s best to address which nights will be spent where, and with whom, as soon as possible. That way both sets of co-parents and/or households may participate in the Hanukkah fun.
- Make sure your menorah is set. If you’re recently separated and/or divorced, the family menorah may only be staying with one co-parent or household. If you’re the parent who’s retaining it, be kind and offer to help pay for half of the new menorah. If you’re the parent who suddenly needs a menorah, turn it into an opportunity to make a new memory in this next chapter of your life. Involve your children and pick out a menorah that will become a treasured family heirloom.
- Plan new traditions. Every holiday has its own traditions: treasured decorations, favorite recipes, special readings. However, if you’re recently divorced or in the process of divorce, those old traditions may just be too painful to revive. So, create your own new traditions! Whether it’s a different reading, a new decoration you’ve made together, a spin of the dreidel or a different take on a latke or, say, switching up beef brisket for roast chicken. Again, involve the children, and they’ll be more invested.
- Take turns lighting the candles— and be sure to supervise. This tip is self-explanatory, but it’s the perfect way to cut down on sibling squabbles— and ensure safety. Plus, of course, do not leave menorah candles burning overnight.
- Decide which relatives will be involved when. Whether it’s a traditional lighting of the menorah with a cherished grandparent or a game of dreidel after dinner with your child’s favorite aunt or uncle, be sure to communicate to your family— as this may be the first time, you’re doing the holiday on your own, be sure to talk to your family about what their involvement will be. At the same time, you may be vulnerable: be sure to set ground rules with your family members as what to discuss when with regards to your situation.
- Consider how much involvement you want your new significant other (S.O.) to have. From a new boyfriend or girlfriend who lives with you and will be there handling the holiday meals and preparation every step of the way to a really new S.O. When it comes to the latter, you might want to discuss with them the importance of you having a special night just with your children, it’s entirely up to how comfortable you feel involving your new partner in the holiday.
- Who’s getting what? It’s traditional, in many families, for children to receive gifts on the night of Hanukkah— from smaller gifts, like chocolate coins, to a large gift on the first or final. If you’ve decided to present your children with gifts over Hanukkah, and your co-parents is going to do so too, you may want to discuss gifting with your co-parent, so your children get what they want and/or not duplicates. While you may find it hard to talk civilly with your co-parent, remember it’s to bring joy to your children.
- Take a moment for yourself. The holidays are stressful, and Hanukkah, with its eight nights, is no exception. So whether it’s just one moment, with a good cookie or a glass of wine (or both), or you can carve out a little time each night after the children have gone to bed or are with your co-parent, remember it’s your holiday too, and while this Hanukkah may be different, it can also be an enjoyable and light-filled one for you and your children.
Everyone at our firm, Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, wishes you and your family a safe, joyous and Happy Hanukkah!
If you’re considering divorce in New Jersey, we can help. Call: (201) 488-1161 or and https://lmllawyers.com to learn more.