The holidays can be hard on parents when they're in a loving relationship, but when a divorce is involved, it's a whole different situation. What was once a time to bond with their children could become a time to use their children against one another. This should never happen, but it can and does.
The holidays are a tumultuous time because both parents want to spend time with their children during limited holiday events. For example, Christmas Day is only one day. It may be impossible for both parents to have the child that day, which is why it becomes a problem. The holidays become challenging because both people want to make the memories that count.
The best way to look at the holidays isn't as if they're limited or a particularly special time. Instead, focus on the needs of your children. No matter what day it is, your child wants to make new memories and to spend time with you. Missing a single Christmas isn't going to make or break your relationship, nor is spending time with your child the day before or after. What children care about most is being in a loving, stable relationship with the people they care about.
To avoid getting into a conflict over the holidays, make sure you and your child's other parent have a parenting plan in place. Agree to the schedule, and if possible, plan a schedule several years in advance. For instance, if you have your child on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, your ex could have your child next year and all alternating years. That way, you don't have to worry each holiday season.
Source: HuffPost, "Holidays, Divorce and Who Gets The Children?," Jason Levoy, accessed Nov. 29, 2017