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A New Christmas Arrangement - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by polyhymnia View Post
We did too, although as we got older and slept in later it evolved into a 2pm switchover. It was nice to see all of our family on Christmas - we would do breakfast/brunch with one extended family and dinner with the other.

It is GREAT that the OP was able to work out an arrangement that will really work for their family, though. I think flexibility is so important.
Flexibility is key.

Heh...my ex's parents didn't divorce until he was 15, but Christmas for him was *always* a shuffle...Afternoon of Christmas Eve at maternal grandparents; Christmas Eve mass with paternal grandmother; Christmas morning at home; late Christmas morning at paternal grandmother's (with extended family); Christmas afternoon back at maternal grandparents (with extended family and neighbors). Oh, and there was usually a party of some sort for Boxing Day, and sometimes the day before Christmas Eve, depending who came in from out of town. He loved it...multiple gift and food opportunities!

I attended a few Christmases with my ex after that...add in both parents' houses, stepparents' families, etc. It made my head spin as an adult...but, if my ex and I had kids together, we probably would have joined in the whirlwind, because that was his family tradition (and, remember, mine, being Jewish, didn't have a tradition).
post #22 of 32
I think dss likes the noon switch. We do Xmas Eve and wake up early Christmas day and realy, but 10 we are just relaxing and hanging out. At the time, dss is ready to go to his mom's for round 2. Officially we do one parent has Thanksgiving and the other has Christmas morning, but we've been pretty flexible and dss choooses to wake up here then go to his mom's in the afternoon. On the one or two years that his mom didn't live here, she/we just celebrated when dss was at our houses, regardless of whether it was officially Christmas day.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I think dss likes the noon switch. We do Xmas Eve and wake up early Christmas day and realy, but 10 we are just relaxing and hanging out. At the time, dss is ready to go to his mom's for round 2. Officially we do one parent has Thanksgiving and the other has Christmas morning, but we've been pretty flexible and dss choooses to wake up here then go to his mom's in the afternoon. On the one or two years that his mom didn't live here, she/we just celebrated when dss was at our houses, regardless of whether it was officially Christmas day.
Yep, I can see how this would be "easier" for the parents, but not so much more fun for the kids.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
Yep, I can see how this would be "easier" for the parents, but not so much more fun for the kids.
What do you mean? What would not be fun for the kids?
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I think dss likes the noon switch. We do Xmas Eve and wake up early Christmas day and realy, but 10 we are just relaxing and hanging out. At the time, dss is ready to go to his mom's for round 2. Officially we do one parent has Thanksgiving and the other has Christmas morning, but we've been pretty flexible and dss choooses to wake up here then go to his mom's in the afternoon. On the one or two years that his mom didn't live here, she/we just celebrated when dss was at our houses, regardless of whether it was officially Christmas day.
DSD wanted to be picked up. She always called up bright and early from her mom's house, asking "daaaaaad, when are you picking me up?!!"
He'd try to remind her to at least play a bit with her brother and sister, and we'd pick her up by 10 (as we answer 55 of her phone calls), and it was 100% what she wanted, no doubt about it. I can see where some kids would enjoy staying in one place, and I applaud the parents for listening to their child's needs.

This Christmas we are still undecided as to what the plan is going to be. One way or another, we will be asking what dsd wants to do. We are pretty flexible folks.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
Yep, I can see how this would be "easier" for the parents, but not so much more fun for the kids.
I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I was agreeing with you that I also liked switching, like your kid. I think that not switching could be easier on parents, but not necessarily better for the kids.
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I was agreeing with you that I also liked switching, like your kid. I think that not switching could be easier on parents, but not necessarily better for the kids.

In our case it's for DSD... last year she was really upset about leaving us and her cousins and her Mom said she was "off" the rest of the day... We know it'd be a repeat this year if we picked her up and she had to leave her Mom and other cousins.

I think maybe even worse this year as recently DSD has been having a lot of separation anxiety whenever she leaves one of her houses. She is going through a very sensitive time right now I think and we are all just trying to listen to her and her emotions and do what is best that would cause the least amount of stress on her.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I was agreeing with you that I also liked switching, like your kid. I think that not switching could be easier on parents, but not necessarily better for the kids.
I see, I thought you meant the opposite! Dss doesn't have separation issues these days. He's 13 and seems quite pleased that he gets 2 or more Christmases. He said, "If you and dad divorced, I'd get 3 Christmases!" with a voice full of glee. We've been able to be flexible around schedules like the Christmas we do with my parents, the one with dh's cousins, the one dss does with his mom, the one at our house. . ..
Ds has decided he likes to wake up at our house and go to his mom's around 11 and come back around dinner.
post #29 of 32
Well, I guess the moral of the story here is that every kid is different and the way to find the best holiday arrangement is to take into consideration what will be easiest on the child.

For DSD, it is easier to be in one place the entire day. Switching mid-day at this age is asking for a meltdown. But I could see that changing as she gets older and more adaptable to/excited about changes in scenery.
post #30 of 32
I wonder if age plays into it alot as well.

My boys will go to their fathers families house at 2 or so on Christmas day (unless my ex wants to pick them up earlier, if I have to drive it will be later). But my boys are 12 and 9 and really don't care too much about spending time with the family they see a lot. (dh, me and their step brother). They want to see their dad too. We are fortuante that ex and I work well together and I called him early this year and told him we are going out of town for christmas this year (he lives 3 hours from us) but that we are going to the city where all of our family lives (my family, DH's family and my ex's family all live in the same city, 5 hours from me and 8 hours from my ex). Anyway, we are going there and I told him he could either go there and see the boys at his parents house and take them back to his house after, or he can just wait till we get back to our city and pick them up. But either way, I would send the boys on christmas day to their grandmothers house, she needs to see them too. So he is going to his moms for christmas and everyone will be happy. The kids are fine with it, but they don't get to see that side of the family much and well, we will be at my in laws house and my boys aren't too attached to them. Guess they are just old enough to look forward to multiple gifts vs. who they are with instead. LOL
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
Just out of curiousity- for those of you who only get your dsc on Christmas Eve/Day every other year and have other kids who live with you full time, do you just celebrate Christmas a different day? Or do you celebrate Christmas twice? Just curious!
It's so great when you get those (sometimes rare) times when everyone can see things the same way and give up things they want for the sake of their kids. Congratulations!

We have always felt really strongly that my step-daughter should get a strong sense of each family's traditions and that each family should have the freedom to plan their holidays with as much flexibility as possible. When we lived near each other, we alternated years and she stayed at the "Christmas" house for the two days before and after the holiday, as well as the holiday itself. Because of the custody schedule, that generally meant she spent at least a week there, sometimes 10 days. The other family usually celebrated on a different day, and did the whole Christmas thing then (Chmas eve, Santa, Chmas morning, etc).

Now we live far apart, and she comes here for all of her winter break one year, then half of it (the half without Christmas day) the next year. Since all our kids are young, it's no problem to celebrate on an alternate day every other year (this year we will celebrate Chmas eve on the 27th and Chmas day on the 28th). She has grown up with the idea that holidays happen one day here and a different day there, so there's not any talk about the "real" Christmas day. Even when the kids can read the calendar, I suspect we will continue with that tradition. Knowing my kids and their relationship with each other, I don't think they would want to celebrate on a specific date over celebrating with the whole family together.

We do the same thing for other holidays, like her birthday and Father's day, neither of which she is ever here for. This past summer we even had Easter again in July because her little brother wanted to do an egg hunt with his big sister.

We also have a couple holidays that she is with us for on the actual day every year. My husband and I never really cared about New Year's or the 4th of July before, but now they are big holidays in our house, full of new family traditions.

Our extended families are great about our alternate holiday schedule. They find out ahead of time which day the Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas calls should come. When they heard the plan for Easter in July, my aunt saved some egg dye, my grandmother picked up some Easter goodies to save for the summer, and my brother and his family planned to join us us for "Easter" dinner. This year my parents took time off work at Thanksgiving to spend the week here while my step daughter was here. I think if we didn't get the same response from them, it would be a lot harder to mess with the calendar so much. My parents are model divorced parents, so they have loads of experience doing what works best for the kids.
post #32 of 32
3 christmas and ex and i are still struggling with it. my religious, my ex is not. the wrench is that my parents and brother, only family live 350 miles away. and we always celebrate christmas eve. for dd i'm willing to sacrifice.

so the first year we flew down before christmas eve and flew back on christmas day. that was a nightmare. he had her thanksgiving and i took off with her to the snow fri-mon. worked great.

last year we had thanksgiving together. ugh big mistake. he wasn't dating and i was off with my bf. i cooked and cleaned all day and watched dd (3.5) while he played on the computer and watched TV. for christmas i asked him his plans. i told him if was booking flights dec. 1. no word so i decided to take dd to my parents christmas eve for a week. he was upset but he had the choice and didn't make it.

this year we decided to alternate Thanksgiving and christmas to be fair. so i flew down with dd to see my parents for thanksgiving. for christmas, ex has christmas eve and christmas day. it's tough as i'm pretty much alone. this is the first time in my life that i dont see my family on christmas eve. at least my bf stayed with me on christmas eve and christmas morning...and i get dd tomorrow morning and we drive down south to see my family!

this year my bf wasn't part of christmas plans as we took a break. so it's probably good cuz his family is 350 miles north of us. LOL. we were talking about next christmas and how we're going juggle driving down south to visit my parents ( at least we can fly there) and then after we come home, driving up north to see his parents. i guess we will tackle that issue when it comes up!
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