Many blended families are beginning to make visitation schedules for the holidays and I hear co-parents grumbling about the stress of making it work. I love what Heather Hetchler shared in our e-book, “Thriving at the Holidays: A Stepparent’s Guide to Success,” about her Thanksgiving routine.
“In my family, we have all the kids every other year for Thanksgiving. On the years when my four children are with their father, we make a special Thanksgiving breakfast before they go. We make turkey shaped pancakes and decorate with a chocolate chip eyeball, turkey bacon feathers and maple syrup for dressing.
In addition, when they return home on Saturday, we have a Thanksgiving celebration ‘Peanuts’ style. We watch ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ while snacking on toast, popcorn, and jelly beans.”
Holidays don’t have to be on a certain date to be meaningful. If we get hung up on wanting things our way, including always celebrating on Thanksgiving day or Christmas day, we will end up with a tension-filled holiday.
The important thing to remember is the celebration of being together with loved ones and offering thanks for our relationships and the blessings God freely offers us.
Here’s another suggestion from our e-book about creating a meaningful and peaceful holiday, even if the kids aren’t with you on the actual date:
“You can always tuck a small gift and/or note in your stepkids’ belongings when they head back to their other home. Mark it to be opened on the actual holiday. While they won’t be with you and their parent, they’ll have something from both of you to open that day.”
The holiday season has enough stress of its own without adding an inflexible attiutude surrounding the schedule. Commit to creating a peaceful holiday season this year – your kids will thank you for it.
Are you comfortable with defining your date to celebrate other than the actual holiday? If you have done this in the past, will you share your experience?