The Art of Giving, Even After Divorce

The Art of Giving, Even After Divorce

christmas gift imageThe holidays are a time of gift giving. Most of us have a list of friends and family and loved ones we want to present with a gift this time of year. And shopping for these individuals can be fun, and expressing gratitude to them is a pleasure.

Someone we don’t usually consider when shopping for the holiday is our Ex. If you are divorced, you are probably thankful that he or she is no longer your concern. You may enjoy the thought of getting them a particularly awful gift, especially if they had forgotten birthdays and anniversaries during the marriage. But before you relish the idea of wrapping up a lump of coal for your ex, consider doing the opposite.

Consider adding your Ex to your holiday gift list.


In her article “Why My Ex Is On My Holiday Gift List,” Audrey Cole discusses the joy her kids experienced when they were able to choose a modest gift and bake cookies for their father while spending time at her house. She explains how being a good Ex-wife is setting a good example for her children, and a good way to show them that they can share whatever is on their mind with her, even topics they may otherwise keep to themselves, such as their desire to get dad a present!

She offers advise to co-parents who may be experiencing pain due to the marriage and divorce, and may recoil at the idea of giving their Ex a gift:

“I would encourage everyone to add someone unexpected to their holiday gift list. The holidays are the perfect time to practice generosity and model civility and thoughtfulness to our children, even when the recipient isn’t our favorite person. Giving of gifts, after all, isn’t about us and what we want so much as it is about making someone else feel good or showing them our gratitude. In our case, my ex will enjoy a nice surprise from our children, and they will know the joy of giving!”

Take the challenge and start small: add someone unexpected to your holiday list, perhaps an old friend you have lost touch with, a past classmate you have wronged, or maybe even…. Your Ex.


Happy Holidays from the Attorneys and Staff at Parra Harris Law.

Paola Parra Harris