During a meeting right around the holidays last year, I couldn't help but notice the unique necklace my client was wearing. It was a beautifully wrought broken heart pendant with a blaze of diamonds right down the middle. When I commented on it, she told me that as part of coming to grips with the loss of her marriage, she had gone to a jeweler to trade in her engagement ring for another piece of jewelry. When she explained her situation, the jeweler brought out a dazzling assortment of baubles and bling that had one common theme: Divorce. From broken hearts to symbolically solitary diamonds and pearls, "divorce jewelry" had an immediate appeal for my client. After all, if she had sealed her previous life with a ring and a promise, why not do the same for this new chapter? She picked out the pendant, and made a promise to herself right there that life after divorce was going to sparkle just as bright as those diamonds.
Is divorce jewelry for everyone? As a New York Times article points out, the trend is still small, but it does seem to be growing, with some people opting to have their wedding rings cut to create open bands or swapping out diamonds for other gems as ways to mark their new status.
My feeling is that if it makes you feel better, go for it! While rings and divorce jewelry are not for everyone, the notion of divorce gift giving -- to oneself or to a divorced friend in need of a pick me up this holiday season -- is certainly picking up steam. Just type "divorce gifts" into Google and see all the websites and products that come up. Divorce holiday shopping ideas abound.
Some gift ideas that caught our eye?
- Wear it with a smile. Put a new twist on the meaning of "freedom" of expression with t-shirts, pins, and bumper stickers emblazoned with cheeky sayings like "back on the market" and "happily divorced."
- Breakup recovery kits. Filled with bandaids for a broken heart, tips and activities to feel better, and lots of chocolate (of course), these kits may or may not be of much practical help, but the act of giving one to a friend going through a tough time might be enough to bring a smile to his or her face.
- Divorce-themed compilation music CDs. After all, who doesn't feel better after listening to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"?
- Gifts for the kids. Detachable dollhouses that enable children to set up multiple family configurations. According to the toymaker, the dollhouses are built with the ethos, if children have two loving homes to go to, why shouldn't their dolls?
- Divorce greeting cards. Instead of sending out the usual holiday greeting card to a friend going through a divorce, show him or her that you truly get what they're going through with a pointed card that reads, "the end of an error," or better yet, "welcome to your new life!"
- Personal coupon ideas. When a friend might be ready to consider divorce, it can wreak havoc on their emotions. A personal coupon that offers a night out, a day at the spa, lunch, shopping or others can make for great gifts. How about one that points them in a direction of a good law firm that offers a free consult with a divorce attorney so they can get some answers to some of their initial questions?
Do we endorse any of these gifts? Maybe one! But in the midst of the current frenzy of holiday gift buying, we thought again about our client with the gorgeous, twinkling necklace, and how much of a difference a gift can sometimes make. We mark so many of life's transitions with gifts, so why not divorce? If you have someone on your list this year going through the difficult transition of ending their marriage, think about what kind of present would really lift this person's spirits -- especially if that person is you!