Every family looks forward to the big celebrations like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter, birthdays and more. However, when you’re a co-parent, it means that you probably won’t be able to spend all of these holidays with your kids.

On some holidays, your children will be with the other parent. On other holidays, your children will be with you. When organizing your holiday sharing schedule, don’t forget to consider the following:

When you have a long-distance parenting plan: Co-parents who have long-distance visitation plans utilize holidays to ensure that the children can spend quality time with the nonresidential parent who lives far away. However, these holiday plans also need to give the custodial parent time with the kids on special days. Parents who live far away from each other can use three-day weekends and extended spring, summer and winter breaks to ensure the children spend quality time with the long-distance parent. They can also figure out a way to divvy up holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays.

Spring, summer and winter breaks: These long periods of time in which the children won’t be in school can be shared between the parents. Perhaps a two-week winter break and summer break will be split 50-50. Then, the parents may spend every other spring break with the kids.

Christmas and Thanksgiving: Parents may switch these holidays from year to year. One year Parent A has Thanksgiving and Parent B has Christmas, and the next year it’s the opposite. Or the parents may choose to permanently have the children for every Thanksgiving and give Christmas to the other parent. Alternatively, parents may duplicate the holiday to be celebrated with the kids on another day. Maybe it’s one parent celebrates Christmas with the kids on Christmas Eve, for example.

Virtual visits on holidays: It’s important for the parent who isn’t with the children on a specific holiday to have access to the kids through virtual visits using a cellphone, Skype, Facetime or another digital means of voice or video communication. This will help the children feel connected to their mom or dad.

Have you prepared your holiday sharing schedule? There are an infinite number of ways that parents can share holiday time with their kids. By exploring how other co-parents have successfully organized their holiday time, Pleasanton parents can find an appropriate solution that works for them and their families.