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Surviving the First Post-Divorce Holiday: Advice for Katie Holmes, Amy Poehler, Heidi Klum and More! (Photos)

Divorce is tough on everyone — including famous moms like Katie Holmes, who have the additional heartache of seeing their private pain become a public spectacle.

But even when the dust begins to settle and families get on with their post-divorce lives, the emotions and tension often resurface during the holidays. The first year is trickiest, as parents negotiate vacation visits and children come to terms with the reality that Mom and Dad aren’t together anymore.

Katie and a number of fellow celebs will be celebrating their first Christmas or Hanukkah as single moms this month. Here, we offer some helpful advice from experts on making it as happy and stress-free as possible.

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  • Katie Holmes: Don’t isolate yourself 1 of 7
    Katie Holmes: Don't isolate yourself
    Suri will be spending Christmas with dad Tom Cruise, which means that Katie will be dealing both with her feelings about the divorce, and with the sadness of not being with her child. But this is no time to sit at home with a carton of ice cream and brood. Experts say that a little alone time to reflect is fine, but divorced parents should also plan to see family or friends while the kids are away.
    Experts offer sound advice on getting through the season.
  • Debra Messing: Be prepared for the tears 2 of 7
    Debra Messing: Be prepared for the tears
    No matter how amicable a split is — and Debra's divorce from Daniel Zelman certainly was — it's still a huge emotional life change for everyone involved. Those feelings intensify during the holidays, when we're expected to be at our jolliest. Debra should recognize that both she and son Roman will have sad moments, and that's okay. But finding small reasons to celebrate is also important, and will help both of them move on.
    How to make the holidays happy despite the stress of divorce.
  • Amy Poehler: Keep it simple 3 of 7
    Amy Poehler: Keep it simple
    Archie and Abel, Amy's sons with Will Arnett, are still quite young (ages 4 and 2). For little ones, divorce plus Christmas is a recipe for meltdowns. Instead of trying to cram tons of fun into the season, Amy should pick a few favorite activities and leave plenty of time for relaxing at home. Another no-no: Overcompensating with tons of gifts.
    Experts offer sound advice on getting through the season.
  • Mayim Bialik: Create new traditions 4 of 7
    Mayim Bialik: Create new traditions
    The Big Bang Theory actress announced her split from Michael Stone just weeks before Hanukkah, a time of joyful family traditions. Instead of trying to do everything the same way for sons Miles and Frederick, Mayim should try bringing new elements into the celebration. Maybe they could buy a new menorah, or do a mitzvah (good deed) for each of the eight days of the holiday.
    Finding the "new normal" during the holidays.
  • Jennie Garth: Stay flexible 5 of 7
    Jennie Garth: Stay flexible
    Jennie and Peter Facinelli had an amicable divorce, and they've worked out a holiday schedule that allows their three daughters (Luca, Lola and Fiona) plenty of time with each parent. But there may be years when one parent wants more time with the kids, or when the children want to do their own thing. Communication and flexibility are key.
    Advice on making the holidays work.
  • Heidi Klum: Honor your kids’ feelings about their dad 6 of 7
    Heidi Klum: Honor your kids' feelings about their dad
    Heidi's four children — Leni, Henry, Johan and Lou — seem comfortable with the fact that she's dating Martin Kirsten so soon after her split from Seal. Even so, facing Christmas with divorced parents is going to be tough. Heidi should assure them that the divorce and new boyfriend won't change her love for them. Some mom-kids time apart from Martin would be helpful, too.
    More on dating after divorce.
  • Vanessa Paradis: Try to make peace with Johnny Depp 7 of 7
    Vanessa Paradis: Try to make peace with Johnny Depp
    We don't know whether rumors of fights between the couple are true. But they have two children to consider, so for their sake, Vanessa and Johnny need to keep things as civil as possible. Knowing that Mom and Dad are acting in their best interests will make the holidays easier for Lily-Rose and Jack.
    How to stay friendly after a split.

[Photos: via PacificCoastNews.com]

Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.

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