Unfortunately, many people who develop custody schedules often forget to put their holiday and vacation schedule in writing. Many custody schedules include a line that states something simple like: "Holidays and vacations to alternate by agreement." However, this type of a plan is not always effective.
Holidays and vacations take planning.
Parents need to make arrangements in advance with other family members or to coordinate travel plans. In order to do so, parents need to have mutual expectations regarding their schedule. Therefore, in order to help smooth out the relationship with the other parent, it is best to map out holidays and vacations in advance. That way, you have something in writing, to fall back on, in case it comes time for the holiday or vacation and you and the other parent cannot agree. There is no better way to ruin a holiday than to find out the night before, or the morning of, that the children will not be coming. And if you have assembled extended family, the disappointment envelopes the whole holiday.
The first step in planning a holiday and vacation schedule is knowing which holidays are important to you and when you like to take your vacations. This may sound simple, but not everyone celebrates every holiday. Thinking about which ones you would like to celebrate with your children can open up some bargaining chips in negotiations with the other parent. For example, if you and your family have a big Fourth of July picnic every year but you usually work on Labor Day, perhaps you can negotiate with the other parent so that you always have July Fourth in exchange for the other parent always having the Labor Day holiday.
The first thing to do is to list the holidays that you may celebrate and determine which are important to you. Here is a list, probably not comprehensive for every family, but it should give you a good start:
Fourth of July
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Day
Best wishes for happy and stress free holidays.