Holiday shopping with children can be a challenge for any parent, but it can be even more difficult when you have joint custody. This is because you want to make sure that the child has a good time and doesn't feel like they are missing out on anything. One of the best ways to do this is by discussing holiday gifts with each other before you start shopping.
Planning Your Shopping Ahead of Time
By talking about what gifts you plan on getting for your child with your co-parent, you can avoid duplicate presents and prevent them from noticing one parent buying the “big ticket” items while the other buys smaller ones.
Additionally, this level of communication and planning can also help with budgeting for gifts. You and your co-parent can decide on a spending limit for each gift or for the holidays as a whole to prevent overspending.
Keep Your Receipts
While planning ahead can help avoid most conflicts regarding gift-giving over the holiday season, there might be a time when your children do receive duplicate gifts. This can occur when one parent shops in advance and the other buys presents later on.
If you do end up with two of the same items, make sure to keep your receipts so that you can return or exchange the item if needed. This will help avoid any conflicts or hurt feelings between you and your co-parent in the future.
Avoid Weaponizing Gift-Giving
Finally, it is important to remember to keep your gift-giving in perspective. While these presents might seem like a big deal at the time, they don't matter as much in the long run. This means that you should avoid weaponizing gifts or making them the source of conflict between you and your co-parent. Instead, focus on spending quality time with your children and remember that the holidays should be about more than presents.
Holiday shopping with joint custody doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult. By discussing gift plans with your co-parent and avoiding a gift-giving "competition," you can ensure that your child has a memorable and enjoyable holiday season.