Stepfamily Holiday Survival Tip #6:
Switch days to celebrate to ease the pressure. If your kids’ non–custodial parent must (or just chooses to) have your kids on the holiday, you may want to consider this alternative. Many stepparents have found that having flexibility in this area makes everyone more relaxed.
We have rather arbitrarily decided that Christmas, for example, will be celebrated on December 25th. There is really no reason why you can’t meet with the rest of the family on the 25th, then have a second, more intimate celebration later when the kids are back home.
Tell them you want them to have two Christmases this year, one with Dad and one with you and stepdad. Then, don’t scrimp on the festivities. Whatever new traditions you’re going to practice, give them as much attention as your other activities.
This brings up a very important point. The primary focus of most holiday celebrations is the children. However, in trying to give our kids the best holiday experience, we can get carried away. If your honest desire is to make you kids happy this season, then think of them first.
Constant bickering, tension and pressure to be happy and have fun, and tug of wars over whose home, when will not produce the desired result. Children are extremely sensitive to their parents’ attitudes. Your children have suffered through the divorce and seeing their parents separate, the last thing they want for Christmas is another fight.
Compromise, then make up lost time when they come home.
If you’re struggling to keep the joy of the holidays in your heart and home, I can help you re-focus your relationships. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about building a better home.
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[NOTE: this is an excerpt from our guide book, Beat the Holiday Blues.]
Watch for more guidelines between now and Christmas to help you survive and enjoy holidays with your family!
You are NOT alone! We love you and we can help.
God bless your whole, wonderful family,
STEPcoach Bob Collins