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More talk on Holiday Schedules... - Page 2

post #21 of 27
I am just at the beginning of this journey, we are headed to mediation tomorrow. I have a couple of ideas that might be helpful, though

I'm thinking that you could switch back and forth every year, having Christmas Eve at your place one year, Christmas day (say, after 10 am) at his, vice versa. You and ex could go in on one special "Santa" gift together, and whoever has Christmas am would be Santa. You could take plenty of pics for each other. In other words, use the beautiful secret of Santa to your advantage so that your child can have the magic, and neither of you really gets "credit" for the gift. Then the child could bring that one special Santa gift to the other parent's house to show the other parent.
post #22 of 27
I can't give any really insightful information as a parent, my daughter's daddy hasn't asked to have her at all during the holidays so it hasn't been an issue.

BUT, my husband and I both have split families, grew up with them and so I have a lot of experience from the kids side of things.

I have: 1 full sister (3 years younter) 1 mom, 1 ex-step-mom that I'm close to, her daughter with my dad (my half sister, 16 years younger), my dad, and my dad's fiance.

He has: 1 mom, one step dad, 1 dad, one step mom, 1 sister.

We just started the holiday conversations this weekend when I woke up one morning suddenly obsessed.

My memories of childhood, are those of my holidays either being with one or the other, when they lived in different states, or being dissected by the hour it seemed, for years my Christmas eve was with my mom's family, then around midnight we would drive to my dad's house to have christmas morning with him. When I was in college it got even stranger because I was literally dividing holidays 3 ways, between my mom, step mom, and dad. My sister dreads the holidays so much that she got married right before them as an excuse to take trips with her husband every year for the holidays, she has no desire to be a part of it. I am still trying to coordinate plans though because i have my 3yo daughter and new baby on the way...I think it's important.

My husband though, his family has been doing it in a way better than any that I have ever heard, that makes more sense to me than any of the trivial 'i don't want to admit we were together' awkwardness that occurs with exes sometimes. THEY ALL GET TOGETHER EVERY YEAR. It blew my mind, but believe me am I relieved that they keep it that simple. I won't do it this year but at some point if my ex puts some effort into being in our lives again that is how I would handle it, inviting him to join us (if he would do that).

So, if possible, I would recommend that. I wish my parents did that, especially because my mom was single and alone when we left it was the most painful thing ever to have to leave either one of them during the holidays. I recommend sucking it up and joining forces as much as possible.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryTech View Post
My husband though, his family has been doing it in a way better than any that I have ever heard, that makes more sense to me than any of the trivial 'i don't want to admit we were together' awkwardness that occurs with exes sometimes. THEY ALL GET TOGETHER EVERY YEAR. It blew my mind, but believe me am I relieved that they keep it that simple. I won't do it this year but at some point if my ex puts some effort into being in our lives again that is how I would handle it, inviting him to join us (if he would do that).
That might be great for the child, and even a willing sacrifice for the parents, but please recognize that new partners of the parents may well be absolutely opposed. In fact, the idea that single dads, if they aren't actively battling their exes over the holidays, are still trying to replicate the old family unit for the child then (and at birthdays, often) is a major reason I don't date single dads (even though I'm a single mom*). My daughter and I have sweet family traditions and a home of our own. Conceivably we might someday invite an adult man to join us in these traditions - and to possibly compromise a little. But "compromise" should mean "ham as well as turkey for dinner," NOT "leave our home and go be with his ex-wife's family all day for Christmas," yikes!

*Note that I'm an entirely solo mom. I don't have any ex drama of my own, so I'm especially reluctant to date someone with an ex attached - not fair to me OR my daughter. Single moms in joint custody situations arguably might be willing to sacrifice more, although I suspect their lives are complicated enough at holidays, trading kids back and forth, without adding yet another holiday location - their new partner's ex-wife's house - into the mix.

Sorry if this sounds selfish, but I think there's a consequence to "giving children [of divorce] the holiday image of everyone as one happy extended family," namely, you might well preclude that child's parents meaningfully re-partnering.
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yeah... for us to all get together during Christmas... that just wouldn't work.

I am not horribly opposed to the idea, and I think DSD would get a kick out of it... but what about our parents? This would become a logistical nightmare really...

DSD's Mom has her Mom, her sister's family, her Dad and StepMom, and then her fiancee's parents to see during the holidays.

For us, we have my parents, and my DH's Mom and StepDad, and his Dad... there are also my grandparents, but my paternal ones are usually at Christmas dinner at my Mom's and my maternal grandparents we see the week before at our Christmas party with my Mom's whole family.


I can't imagine cutting grandparents out of Christmas day to ensure some illusion of a big happy family for one child... I don't mean that to sound bad... but realistically, I just don't think that could happen. Both of DSD's parents are remarried or soon to be, with one half sibling on the way, and I'm sure one day her Mom will give her another sibling as well... we would end up having to rent a hall or something just to fit all the family members. lol It's just not realistic...


And honestly... not to sound like a "crazy second wife", but I am sure there are others that agree... the ex is an ex... everyone has moved on with their lives... they do what is best for the child, but fact of the matter is the child has two famlies now, not one. Not to sound callous or non-understanding... but the two new families honestly deserve to move forward and start their own new family traditions as well... not live in the past with the ex.


This may very well be different if the children involved were older, say in pre-teen to teen years... but when parents split up when children are so young and their new family is young as well... honesly, just a couple years from now I will be with my DH longer than he was with his ex... why should the rest of my life revolve around his ex when we have our own family as well? I don't think the second family should be shelved or feelings pushed aside to only do what is best for the first family... Each family needs to find what works the best for them all around, and not neglect or overlook the fact that there is a whole new family in the mix.
post #25 of 27
We've done Christmas jointly before...BUT...

1. My partner's ex is single.
2. There are no new children in the mix.
3. Aside from my parents, nobody's extended family lives within 500 miles of here.
4. I'm Jewish, so I don't care where I am on Christmas.
5. None of the parties involved are religious--Christmas is celebrated culturally/secularly, and no party has a strong family tradition that they need to continue (or mourn if they don't).
6. It's always been in the context of "let's invite your mom over for Christmas brunch," not "THIS IS HOW IT HAS TO BE UNTIL THE END OF TIME."
7. Everyone gets along decently enough.

This year, I think SD's mom is taking her to visit out-of-state family over Christmas, and we'll do the same over New Years.

I think if more than one of the above factors changed significantly, a joint Christmas would be downright impossible.
post #26 of 27
I couldnt imagine inviting the EX over for the holidays...

But for the Christmas holiday he can have him before and up until the Christmas eve night (he is usually dropped off very late). And then he sleeps as long as he wants and wakes up at my house Christmas morning.
I figure my EX has only expressed an interest in my son last year so he can work around our schedule for a while.
As for Thanksgiving... I am not sure yet. Last year he wanted him to come with him but called the day before and told us that he was too busy to be driving around with DS. So he came with us to my sides dinner.
I guess its easier for us since the EX doesnt really have much of a interest in DS and isnt really firm about anything.
post #27 of 27
These posts about joint holidays made me think of something. I was married once before. My ex-husband's parents split up when he was in high school. There were four kids. His mom remarried, but his dad still came over for Christmas every year. In fact, come to think of it, his dad (and all of the adult siblings) came over every Sunday. My ex's youngest sister was developmentally disabled and still lived with his mom, so he was technically coming to visit her, but it was a small house so it was like a family visit.

I think the reason that it worked was because the marriage broke up by the dad's doing, and the mom felt that she was way better off with the new husband. The divorce was pretty old at the point that I was around, so the hard feelings were pretty much gone. I think the new husband just tolerated the old one coming over. He was kind of a quiet guy anyway. The fact that we spent a lot of time dissecting the dad's dating problems is pretty comical, in retrospect.
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