It was hard for me. This was my first year as a single dad, and I was glad that I got to spend some time with the kids, but nothing at all was the same. I spent a lot of time alone, and it was really just depressing.
Oh - that is sad. I hope that you were able to spend some time with your family (parents, siblings, etc.). I bet each year it will get easier and easier. I'm not in your boat but I can imagine it really stinks.
I'm sorry to hear this, SingleDadNow. I can only imagine how you must be feeling without the kids there with you. My brother is a divorced father of three and I know the holidays are hard for him, too. They'd be a lot easier if his ex-wife would work with him, so I hope your ex is more amicable than his. Hopefully things will get better with time.
Oh, there is definitely a lot to be thankful for. Things just hit me harder than I expected. I think that next year, I will work harder to find things to do when I don't have the kids with me, so I don't have as much time to focus on it.
I know others who have went through similar holidays before. One close friend spent his first holiday as a father without his child because they had literally split the week of Christmas. Hopefully things work out better in the future so the holidays are not as bland for you.