Good morning y’all 🙂
Did everyone survive their blended family Christmas? We did! I must say, after 7 years, that I’ve noticed that there are some perks to add to my blended family survival guide (fresh outlook, changed perspective, growth, peace). Initially after a divorce, Christmas can be kind of sad, especially if it’s your first Christmas without your kids at home. It can be a little too quite, you may notice fewer stockings on the fireplace or that there are less presents under the tree. But fast forward a few years and you’ll find your groove. That just may be the key to blended family holiday bliss. Finding your own groove.
Since I’ve remarried, Hubs and I now plan family activities on the Christmas breaks when his kiddos are here and we try to travel or take a staycation on the years they are away and then enjoy our break with them over New Years. For me, I’ve found that having something to look forward to helps tremendously. Having a week of family time and then a week of vacation time has been a great perk.
This year, it was our year to have Hubs’ kids for Christmas, so we planned the family fun events this year around that. We went to the movies, baked cookies, had dinner in the formal dining room (all fancy smanchy ya know), played cards, and watched more Hallmark Christmas movies than we could count. Weather permitting, we will also get to go to Holiday at the Park at Six Flags.
On the flip side, I did still notice the “odd parts” of blended family life but they just didn’t frustrate me the way they used to when it was fresh. For example, this year while my 17 year old stepdaughter was with us, her Mom and Stepdad were texting and calling her about the gifts they got her, how one was so big it wouldn’t fit in her stocking (I said then it’s not a stocking stuffer and they should wrap it and the 17 yr old agreed), and saying things to make her miss being with them so the kiddo was talking about how excited she was to get back home to have Christmas. Was that really necessary? We don’t do that with the boys and wouldn’t do that. We truly believe that the kids should enjoy their time with both sets of parents and we don’t embrace the competition game. The kids may try to make their other parent jealous for their benefit, but that’s another blog altogether LOL. On our side, we feel that the more people that love and support the kids, the better. We embrace it. A few years ago games from the Ex like that would ruin my day but as I’ve grown and as the kids have gotten older, things like that – though still annoying and rude – don’t carry much weight anymore. Annoying for a moment does not equal annoying for the whole day or vacation. It’s not a competition. It’s not a sprint. It’s a journey. It’s a marathon.
On my side, my bio kids have a HUGE family network on their Dad’s side of the family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, long-standing family traditions, etc.) where at my house it’s just me and hubs and in odd years his 3 kiddos are also here. My kids stop by and give a hug, exchange gifts, say hi, but they really cannot wait to get to their Dad’s side of the family for their large Christmas celebration there and that’s where they have “real Christmas”. Years ago, that would really sting. But, the longer time goes by and the older I get, the older my kids get, the more I am HAPPY that my kids have family and support and love rather than me being sad because I don’t. It’s not a competition. It’s not a sprint. It’s a journey. It’s a marathon.
Though nothing much has changed as far as our situations, my perspective has changed and I’ll take it! I’m just thankful that everyone is safe, whole, happy and healthy.
Merry Christmas to all of you single, divorced, widowed, remarried and blended families out there. It may never be easy but it can still be very merry and enjoyable.
Hugs to each of you.