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Peace on Earth: Tips for Drama-free Holidays

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The holidays can be tough on anybody, but for recently-divorced or separated couples, "the most wonderful time of the year" can also be the most stressful, most depressing and most chaotic. Don't worry: Pasadena divorce attorneys, along with experts from around the web, have come up with three easy tips for surviving holidays.

1.) Give the Gift of Kindness: Regardless of how bombastic the relationship is with your ex, bury the hatchet during the holidays. For the other 300-some-odd days of the year, the two of you can continue the War of the Roses, but during the holidays, choose to practice kindness. By being nicer to your ex (even if that means simply not responding to baiting text messages or inflammatory comments), you're doing your part to end holiday drama - and you're probably doing something great for your health, too. Researchers have found that people who practice acts of kindness have a lower risk of heart disease, fewer aches and pains and live longer!

2.) Take it Easy: Everybody complains that the holidays are too over-the-top and too complicated. Use your divorce to reinvent the holidays. Streamline your events and obligations and focus on your family having a wonderful season. "A midlife divorce will make you look at your priorities," says About.com's Suzy Brown. "You usually have moved to a smaller place; you have less money; and you have less time if you have gone back to work. You have an opportunity to do what most people want to do. You have been forced to do something that may be a positive turning point in your family's life. Take a look at your priorities and simplify."

3.) Flexibility Rules: Divorced parents are often forced to celebrate the holidays at odd times due to custody arrangements. Experts say parents should use it as a catalyst to create new traditions. "Do something different, while maintaining some of the familiar" traditions, writes divorce author Micky McWade. "Emphasize gratitude for what you have. Being in the spirit is the most important holiday element. It radiates out to those around you and makes you feel good, too."

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