Surviving the Holidays Essential support surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas

Help the separated and divorced in your community navigate the holiday season, which will be flooded with memories of happier, past family celebrations. Offer a special Surviving the Holidays 2-hour seminar to provide practical holiday coping strategies and hope for brighter days ahead.

Surviving the Holidays is a great way to offer comfort and care to people in your church and community who are hurting from a separation or divorce. It’s also an effective way to reach out to people who may not normally consider attending a holiday church event.

Order the kit for this holiday season!

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“People are so hungry for it.”

Guide dvd

How it works

Surviving the Holidays is a 2-hour event designed to help divorced and separated people navigate the unique challenges they’ll face this season. During the event you’ll show a 35-minute video and facilitate a group discussion.

Each attendee will receive a holiday Survival Guide with practical tips and encouragement for managing the holidays after a marriage breakup. This free-standing event does not require participation in a weekly DivorceCare program.

“We were hoping for 25–30 people. Last night 60 people came.”

A powerful holiday outreach program

Hosting Surviving the Holidays is a great way to reach your community. Pastors share that people come to this event who might never set foot in a church otherwise. It’s a way to offer church holiday divorce recovery counseling to multiple people—and to build an existing DivorceCare ministry.

In a season where so many struggle with their emotions, Surviving the Holidays draws people to your church. Here’s why:

  • The holidays amplify divorce-related pain. That means more people are likely to be seeking help in the weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • The 2-hour seminar format provides a non intimidating and low-commitment way for people to engage with your church.

Best of all, once people are exposed to the helpful material and warm environment, many will look to your church as a place for support and community.

“Many expressed a desire to attend our next group in January.”

What you get


Each kit includes

  • Surviving the Holidays video session on DVD
  • Leader’s Guide to equip your lay team
  • 5 Holiday Survival Guides for participants
  • Promotional video and materials
  • Free telephone support
$75+ shipping
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Additional Survival Guides: $7 each

“Thank you, DivorceCare, for creating a powerful DVD and workbook for the holiday season. God’s presence was evident the entire morning.”

The experts

A total of 14 leading Christian counselors, authors, and pastors are featured in the Surviving the Holidays print and video materials.

Sabrina black
Sabrina D. Black

Sabrina D. Black, author and speaker, is the CEO and clinical director of Abundant Life Counseling Center. She is a limited licensed professional counselor, certified addictions counselor, and certified biblical counselor.

Elsa kok colopy
Elsa Kok Colopy

Elsa Kok Colopy, speaker and author, has written many books, including The Single Mom’s Guide to Keeping It All Together and Pure Love, Pure Life, a purity book for teen girls. She has experienced divorce and was a single parent for 12 years.

Zoricelis davila
Zoricelis Davila

Zoricelis Davila is a bilingual counselor and speaker. She has authored several Spanish books, including ¡No sé lo que me pasa! [I Don’t Know What Is Wrong with Me!], Una Familia Prevenida Vale por Dos [A Family Forewarned is Forearmed], and Felizmente Solteros [Happily Single].

Robert devries
Dr. Robert DeVries

Dr. Robert DeVries is professor emeritus of church education at Calvin Theological Seminary. His first wife of 28 years died of cancer. Now remarried to Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, they work together to help people in grief and are coauthors of many books, including The Empty Chair: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions and From We to Me.

Alfonza fullwood
Dr. Alfonza Fullwood

Dr. Alfonza Fullwood is the senior pastor of Riley Hill Baptist Church in Wendell, North Carolina, and adjunct professor of preaching and speech at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has led preaching clinics and seminars in North Carolina and abroad and has been in ministry for over three decades.

Omar king
Omar King

Omar King is a counselor at Bridgehaven Counseling in Raleigh, North Carolina. He holds a Master’s of Divinity with Biblical Counseling degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Susan lutz
Susan Lutz

Susan Lutz served as a counselor at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Glenside, Pennsylvania, for over 15 years. She now counsels at her church, New Life Presbyterian Church of Dresher. She authored the booklet Thankfulness: Even When It Hurts.

David bueno martin
David Bueno Martin

David Bueno Martin is a bilingual counselor and supervisor at Martin Counseling in Katy, Texas. He also speaks at workshops and seminars.

Laura petherbridge
Laura Petherbridge

Laura Petherbridge is an author, teacher, and international speaker. She speaks at seminars, workshops, and retreats on topics including spiritual growth, relationships, marriage, and divorce recovery.

Ramon presson
Dr. Ramon Presson

Dr. Ramon Presson is a certified marriage and family therapist and the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, Tennessee. He has written several books, including When Will My Life Not Suck?

Lois rabey
Lois Rabey

Lois Rabey is a speaker and writer. She has authored several books, including When Your Soul Aches and Moments for Those Who Have Lost a Loved One. She was a single parent of two girls after her husband died in a hot-air balloon accident.

Paul david tripp
Dr. Paul David Tripp

Dr. Paul David Tripp is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and has authored many books, including A Shelter in the Time of Storm and Suffering.

Norman wright
H. Norman Wright

H. Norman Wright is a grief therapist and certified trauma specialist. He is the author of over 70 books, including Recovering from Losses in Life and Before You Remarry.

Susan zonnebelt smeenge
Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge

Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge is a licensed clinical psychologist. Her first husband died 18 years after he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Now remarried to Dr. Robert DeVries, they work together to help people in grief and are coauthors of many books, including Getting to the Other Side of Grief and Traveling through Grief.


Consider offering TWO seminars. Schedule one in the weeks before Thanksgiving and the other between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you decide to offer a single seminar, schedule it before Thanksgiving.

As a special event, you are not limited to your standard weekly meeting schedule. Groups have offered very successful seminars on Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons, and weeknights.

The video seminar is loaded with practical, hope-inspiring ideas including:

  • Why the season is so difficult
  • How to plan for the holidays
  • How to deal with holiday invitations
  • Surviving “alone time”
  • Dealing with holiday finances after divorce
  • Managing strong emotions
  • Creating new family traditions

They are not. Group members would get lost because the material is structured differently. Likewise, the new Survival Guides are not compatible with the old videos.

Learn what is new and updated in the latest edition of Surviving the Holidays.

Yes. The DVDs have a menu option that allows you to activate English subtitles.