What to Do When Santa’s On the Naughty List: DIY Christmas After Divorce

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Greetings! The holiday season is a period of twinkling lights decorating every home and Christmas carols becoming the background music of your existence. But what if the jolly man in red, the embodiment of holiday joy, lands on your naughty list? I’m not referring to him forgetting your coveted designer purse. What if Santa, or someone playing a Santa-like role in your life, crosses a line so severe that legal intervention becomes necessary? Yes, we’re delving into the uncomfortable yet very real subject of restraining orders during the holiday season.

Why ‘Santa’ Might Land on the Naughty List: Emotional Baggage Heavier Than His Sleigh

Let’s not sugarcoat things. The North Pole isn’t a paradise free from problems. It might just be a metaphor for that ex-partner who doesn’t understand boundaries. You know, the one who interprets “restraining order” as “playing hard to get.” So, how do you navigate a Christmas that’s more complex than your relationship status on Facebook?

Legal Ho-Ho-Holdups: Navigating the Yuletide Terrain

Navigating the legal maze during the holidays is akin to trying to put together a 1,000-piece puzzle while a toddler pulls at your leg. It’s clumsy and exasperating, and no one prepares you for it. Last year, my ex was arrested for the 3rd bench warrant in 4 months for non-payment of 2 lump sums ordered after 3 years of battling for it. Because it was a few days before Christmas, the judge let him off with no evidence at all and refused to review mine, and he reduced the $30,000 lump sum due down to $10,000. This broke just about every rule in the book, including my constitutional right to due process and totally screwed me out of two negotiated credit card lawsuits, which are now liens on my house for six times what I could have paid them off for. Merry F’ing Christmas to you too, Your Honor?

So, how do you serve Santa, or someone who thinks they’re Santa, with a restraining order without ruining Christmas for everyone?

Steps to Take:

    1. Consult a Legal Advisor: Before you go all “Judge Judy,” consult a legal advisor to understand your rights and responsibilities. Even if you can’t afford one, like me, talk to them. Treat your free consultation like a free trial and squeeze every bit you possibly can out of it. I earned myself a reputation around here after 5 years of this BS, so I have to go pretty far for a divorce lawyer to take a meeting with me. Just make sure you come prepared and know what you are going to ask them. They say you have 30 minutes, but if you make it obvious, you may only get 15. Ask wisely.
    2. Notify Local Authorities: If your ‘Santa’ is known for making unannounced visits, it’s best to keep the local police in the loop.
    3. Talk to Your Kids: This is a tricky one. You don’t want to scare them, but they need to know that Santa won’t be coming down the chimney this year—and it’s not their fault.  This is honestly the worst part, especially when Santa makes it seem as if Mom is doing this out of spite. I’m sorry, I have no solid tips here for you, but if you figure one out, DM me. I’m always open to hearing what works.

DIY-ing Your Way Through the Holidays

DIY “Santa-Free Zone” SignageSingle mom traditions when santa is on the naughty list

Before you go all bah-humbug on me, that is not what I am suggesting. I happen to love Christmas (if you couldn’t figure that one out on your own) but I find that making fun of a crappy situation usually makes it feel less crappy, like this crappy funny blog.  So this year, let’s turn this into a learning experience for the kids. Grab some craft supplies and create a “Santa-Free Zone” sign. It’s educational, therapeutic, cathartic, and gives you a chance to bond with your children.

Holiday Mood Boards Minus the Big Guy

Who says Christmas is all about Santa? Create mood boards that focus on other aspects of the holiday—like family, friends, and the joy of giving. This is a great way to shift the focus and still keep the holiday spirit alive.

Top 5 Must-Haves for a Santa-Free Christmas

Item Why You Need It Where to Buy
Reindeer Antler Headbands Because Rudolph is the real MVP Amazon
Gingerbread House Kits Keeps the kids entertained Local Grocery Store
Adult Eggnog When you finally get some “me time,” Liquor Store
Noise-Cancelling Headphones To drown out any Santa-related tunes Best Buy
Flameless Candles It sets the mood without the fire hazard Walmart

The Best Christmas Movies for a Santa-Free Holiday

Let’s face it, sometimes the best way to escape reality is to dive into a fictional world where problems are solved in 90 minutes or less. And what better way to do that than with a Christmas movie marathon? But since we’re avoiding Santa this year, let’s focus on films that don’t revolve around the jolly old man.

Why “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is a Must-Watch

If you’re looking for a Santa-free Christmas movie that captures the essence of family chaos, look no further than “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” This film is a masterpiece in showcasing the raw, awkward, and downright hilarious moments that come with family gatherings. Remember the scene where Clark Griswold kicks the Santa lawn ornament after his boss cheats him out of his Christmas bonus? It’s a moment that resonates with anyone who’s ever felt the pressure of making the holidays perfect, only to have it all blow up in their face. But don’t worry; like most Christmas movies, it all works out in the end.

Other Santa-Free Christmas Movies to Consider

Movie Title Why It’s Great Where to Stream
“Die Hard” Because sometimes you need action with your holiday cheer Hulu
“Love Actually” For the romantics who believe love conquers all—even during Christmas Netflix
“The Holiday” A tale of two women swapping lives and finding love and self-discovery Amazon Prime

The Best Christmas Gift: Protecting You and Your FamilyDomestic violence at christmas

Now, let’s talk about something far more serious—domestic violence. The holidays can be a triggering time for many, and sometimes the best Christmas gift you can give yourself and your family is the gift of safety. I remember the overwhelming sense of peace that washed over me when I first got a restraining order against my ex. He used to harass us day in and day out, and the emotional toll it took was unbearable. I’d often take out my frustrations on the kids, and that’s no way to live.

Taking that step to protect my family was like lifting a ten-ton weight off my shoulders. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have to look over my shoulder. I could just be present with my children, especially during Christmas, which is arguably the most important time to be fully present and engaged with your loved ones.

Resources for Those in Need

If you’re in a similar situation, know that help is available. Here are some resources that can assist you:

If you need immediate help, if you feel as if you may be in danger, or if your children may be put at risk, call 911! Please do not take this lightly. I know I joke around a lot on this blog, mainly because I deflect to reduce my pain and depression as I try to dig out of my mess, but there is help out there if you are a victim of any type of domestic violence. Call the police anytime, for any reason. If you are scared, call. 


Navigating a Santa-free Christmas can be a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to focus on what truly matters—your well-being and the happiness of your loved ones. Whether you’re diving into a Christmas movie that doesn’t feature Santa or taking serious steps to protect your family, remember that the best Christmas is one where you’re safe, loved, and at peace.


Disclaimer: In case we’ve never met, hi, I’m DubG. Now, before you start thinking I’m some kind of courtroom wizard, let’s clear the air: I’m not a lawyer. I’m just a pro-se warrior who’s battled in the legal arena without a law degree. After three attorneys, $300,000 in debt, and a process that took five years, I ended up representing myself in my divorce for my entire nine-day trial (which spanned nine months) due to complete exhaustion of funds, patience, and sanity. What you’ll read here is all from my own playbook—lessons learned, mistakes made, and a whole lot of BS navigated. But remember, I’m not giving legal advice; I’m just sharing my own twisted journey through the legal system.