Stress-less holidays for fractured families: It's all in the planning

Dec. 19, 2011 at 12:15 PM ET

The holidays can be emotionally overwhelming for anyone. For fractured families, separation, divorce or other difficult life changes can make the "most wonderful of the year" almost unbearable.

Psychotherapist Sarah Brokaw says the economic downturn is causing even more pressure for people to create happiness as a way of overcompensating for hard times the rest of the year. And having children amid a divorce multiplies the pressure.

Brokaw and psychologist Dale Atkins advise how to create fresh traditions that bring the spirit of the holiday to a new family. How do you make it through the holiday rough spots? Share your thoughts with TODAY Health's Facebook friends.