Thankfully No Ex At Your Thanksgiving Dinner

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about what you're thankful for this year.
11/21/2012 12:09pm ET | Updated January 21, 2013
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Image of big family sitting at festive table and eating salad and roasted turkey

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about what you're thankful for this year. If you're newly divorced, you're probably thankful to be free and moving on. However, the holidays can still be a difficult time for anybody who has been recently divorced. In fact, Thanksgiving kicks off the string of holidays that I like to refer to as "the big four" -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentine's Day.

If you have been married for many years, it's probably difficult to spend these first holidays without a significant other. If you have children, it's undoubtedly a big change for them as well. However, the bright side is that you have survived divorce, so take a moment to commend yourself for getting through it. As Thanksgiving approaches, you should be thankful for the many reasons that you are divorced and finally on the road to happiness. In fact, this is your chance to enjoy the holiday in a whole new way. Below are some things that divorcés may be thankful for during Thanksgiving.

Your Own Invite List: Now that you're divorced, the great thing about holidays like Thanksgiving is that the guest list is all up to you. You can invite whomever you want. And if you weren't fond of your ex-spouse's relatives, you won't have to see them this holiday or any other.

Only the Turkey Will Be Stuffed: At the end of your marriage, you probably thought your ex was full of it. You may have even resented spending the last few holidays with him or her. Thankfully, this year, the only one filled with stuffing at the dinner table will be the turkey.

A Slice of Life: During your marriage, you may have let your spouse cut the turkey on Thanksgiving. It's now your turn to do the ceremonial slicing. The divorce might have cut deep, but you're now free to enjoy life again and cutting the turkey is just another sign of your freedom.

Sleepy Time: You probably had to listen to your ex tell everyone the same stories at the dinner table. They probably made you sleepier than the tryptophan in the turkey. Now that you're divorced, you don't have to listen to any more boring stories from your ex.

A New Head of the Table: Over the years, your spouse sat at the head of the table. Now it's your chance. By taking this seat and not looking back, you're redefining the new family structure in your home.

No Need to Share: Maybe one of the best reasons is that all of the leftovers in the fridge are now yours to do whatever you want with. That delicious pecan pie your ex always seemed to polish off without you getting a slice is your new guilty pleasure. There's no need to share leftovers with your ex any longer.

Not Your Party: When you were married, you may have had to go to a friend or relative's house that your ex wanted to. Even though you didn't like him or her, you put on a happy face. No more going to places you don't want to on the holidays -- now it's all up to you.

For more tips on how to survive the holidays after a divorce, read Lois Tarter's new book "The Divorce Ritual" by clicking here.