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I Need Your Advice
December 18, 2007

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #096, December 18, 2007

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· I Need Your Advice

· Where Do The Kids Go For The Holidays?


Written by Noel McNaughton
(c) copyright 2007


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

We are well into holiday season, and our already hectic lives are getting busier. If you are divorced, and especially if this is your first Christmas after your separation or divorce, it could be a bit of a tough time. I have offered some suggestions for getting through it in this issue.

Also - I have never done a readership survey, and although I do get emails from appreciative readers, I am sure I could be doing a better job, if I just knew what people would like more of (and maybe less of). I have a readership survey link below, and I would sure appreciate your participating in it.

There are about 1100 words in the articles in this newsletter, which should take you about four minutes to read.




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I Need Your Advice

I know that everybody gets too much email. Me included. I don't read everything I get.

I am also aware, from checking the 'open rate' for this newsletter, that a fair number of people who get it, don't read it. I am sure there are all kinds of reasons for that, but still, I put some effort into trying to be sure this is relevant to you, and I'd like to see as many people as possible receive the information.

So here is where you come in.

I want to find out what I can do to make sure this newsletter has relevant content, and to see whether there is some way I can make it more accessible.

I have set up a form on my website for a 'reader's survey'. It is very brief. I would really appreciate your taking a minute or so to simply check a few 'tick boxes', and perhaps throw in a sentence or two of feedback if you are willing.

One idea I am toying with is recording the newsletter as an MP3 file, so rather than reading it, you could just download it to your ipod, or whatever MP3 player you use, and listen to it on your way to work, or whatever other time works for you.

Will you take a minute and do the quick survey right now? Men's Wisdom News Readership Survey




What kind of people are afraid of Santa Claus?



Where Do The Kids Go For The Holidays?

Because of divorce, Christmas can be a tough time for both kids and parents. Where are the kids going to spend Christmas? Your place? Your ex-wife's place? Some time at each place? Do you fight about it? Do the kids get caught in between?

Here are a few things I have learned over the years, when my kids were younger, and my ex-wife and I had to figure out who spent time where:

  • You have to be more mature than your kids. (Try to stay at least a half-day ahead of them, especially when they are in their teens.)
  • Parents need to rise above themselves, so that whatever happens is best for the children
  • You need to think about how to create the best life you can for yourself, as that is good for the kids. Even if the kids are not with you at Christmas, they want to know that you are going to be ok. (don't go into 'poor me' when you are around your kids.)
  • Where the kids are going should be decided quite far ahead. Months is better than weeks, and if there is animosity, it should be done in writing. If you simply can't agree, the court will decide for you, and why would you want a stranger deciding what is going to happen with your family at Christmas?

Here is some advice from

  • Acknowledge to yourself that it is going to be painful. No sense denying it. But don't wallow in it either.
  • Think through in advance, to the extent you can, whom you're going to confide in about your feelings, and who you're going to do the stiff upper lip thing with. You'll want to choose your confidants carefully. You need friends, and you probably want to avoid your perky sister-in-law who knows everything's going to work out if you'll just pray a little harder.
  • You should probably also avoid people who are always unhappy. You're going to be morose enough this holiday season. You don't need to surround yourself with people who sort of like for you to be unhappy, because they long for a "cruddy buddy."
  • Family, friends, ministers and counsellors can help, but they can only do so if you ask them.
  • You know what you normally commit to do during the holidays, and you know how exhausted you get as a result. Now assume that you're going to have about half as much energy, maybe a third as much energy. You must be brutal. Cut back to those things that only you can do. Typically, that means you're going to focus on those special times you have with your children and the special times with your immediate family.
  • If you are not going to be with your kids, be creative about having a good day yourself. And don't feel guilty if you DO end up having a good time without them.
  • Keep in mind that the meaning behind Christmas is a soul meaning, but in our society we are trying to replace that with things from the mall.
  • As a society we have set up incredible expectations around Christmas that can't be met by anyone, let alone a family that has separated.
  • There is a thing called the 'Christmas blues', where every elevator, store and mall plays relentlessly happy Christmas music all the time… Good Christian Friends Rejoice, Joy to the World, etc. but Christmas for many, if not most people, is an ambivalent time. We feel happy, but also stressed, sad, overloaded, and it is as though our psyches are trying to balance all the 'be happy' messages with a little reality.

Christmas can be a tough time, but also a good time. If this is your first Christmas after a divorce, be good to yourself. Take it easy. Don't tell yourself how tough it is going to be. Instead, tell yourself it will be ok, and it probably will.

Merry Christmas!


Why did Santa name his new, rude reindeer Olive? Because Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names.

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I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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