Surviving the Holidays (and Even Getting a Holiday Miracle!) After Divorce


surviving the holidays

If you’re worried about surviving the holidays after divorce, I promise you, not only is it possible, you might even experience a miracle. Let me tell you about the Thanksgiving Miracle of 2017.

My mother decided to go rogue and host a potluck dinner. This wasn’t the miracle, although it could’ve been. She is very specific about the food she likes to eat on Thanksgiving, so she always makes everything herself. We get to bring simple stuff like rolls. But she said yes to a potluck and I created a SignUp Genius page. It was great…until Thanksgiving Day.

It’s about noon. T-minus 5 hours ’til the meal hits the table. I roll up to my parents’ house and start helping my mom with the to-do list. As family trickles in with their offerings, a feeling of dread sets in. Did I see anyone sign up to bring pumpkin pie? I grab my phone and pull up the SignUp Genius page. I could’ve cried. Surviving the holidays (divorced or not) requires pie and that precious Thanksgiving staple was missing. How did I let this happen? As the potluck manager, I had only myself to blame.

Will there be pie?

We called on one of the grandfathers. Get out and find us a pumpkin pie, STAT! He understood his mission and its importance. Imagine a SWAT team getting suited-up, bracing to unload from an armored car, only less young, less nimble, and less armed. He went to the only open grocery store in town and came up short. Nothing. Nadda. Zilch. Devastation. 

After making peace with the fact that Thanksgiving Day 2017 was going to be pumpkin pie-less, I dried my tears and hopped in the car to go get my sons. I pulled into a parking spot at our meet-up place and got out of the car, got big hugs from my boys and wished my ex-husband a happy Thanksgiving. I followed the greeting with, “You don’t happen to have a spare pumpkin pie, do you?”

He looked at me and replied, “Actually, yeah.”

The Mini-Miracle

He extended his arms and handed me a foil-covered dish. Under the foil was a whole. pumpkin. pie. Apparently my sons had assisted their step-mom in making pies the day before and they had one extra.

I drove home, jaw on the floorboard of the car. I have pie?! We walked in the house, the boys greeted their cousins, and I exclaimed, “I have pie!” The crowd erupted with joyful cheers. It was a Thanksgiving miracle. And even though I got to taste the sweetness of my favorite dessert, I knew the real miracle was not the pie. The miracle was God bringing healing to the brokenness of divorce. 

The Big Miracle

God is waiting to make miracles out of the struggles of your divorce, too. I think He just wants our cooperation. That cooperation looks like getting out of the car at the hand-off and offering a smile, a thank you, or even a “happy Thanksgiving.” It looks like making that extra craft or pie and thinking of the other side of the family, like my kids’ step-mom did. And (this one might be the most difficult) it looks like admitting when we don’t have our act together and could use a hand.

I’ll tell you what. The pie-that-almost-wasn’t was really delicious, but the holiday miracle gave me a sweet taste of gratitude

How do you make holidays peaceful for your family?

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