How do you do the holidays with step kids other families? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-12-2006, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Growing up in a divorced family, we always spent Christmas eve with our mom and Christmas day with our dad. this made holiday planning very easy over the years because we always followed the same routine. We still follow this routine as adults.

Now, as the mother of a step child, I find it would be so much easier if we could follow the same routine, have sds with us C-mas eve and let him go home C-mas day. However, his mother doesn't always agree with this, and so each year we wait on egg shells to find out how she wants to organize. It isn't that she is unfair about it, but only I cannot tell anyone else what our plans are until she tells us what she wants to do. Also, often this means that sds cannot go with us to my father's house. My parents spend a lot of money on my kids for C-mas - all three of them equally, and while I understand that sds needs to spend time with his mom and her family, I feel it's rude when she doesn't allot time for him to go with us to my dad's house in order to say hello and receive the gifts that they bought him. In the past they have set his gifts aside and given them to him the next time they see him, but in a way I feel this is sort of awkward as there is no hioliday festivity when it's done this way, just a kid getting to open up a bunch of gifts. Though he correlates the fact that they are C-mas gifts and is in no way ungrateful, it just seems to make him sorta in a weird position.

I would like to say something to her about this, as it sometimes annoys me that my family is so good to her son and she seems so ungrateful of it...but I try to keep the drama at bay as everyone's life is easier if there is no friction between her and I - which there usually is not.

So how do you all organize family time when one child has to be somewhere else on the holidays? And do you think I should say something about him being allowed to at least make an appearance at my dad's house C-mas day?
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#2 of 12 Old 12-12-2006, 08:10 PM
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We alternate, one year we have the kids christmas eve and christmas morning, the next year we have them christmas afternoon and boxing day. It works out fine for us, as there are a lot of people working shiftwork and 4-on 4-off type schedules who don't necessarily have christmas day off anyways.

Our problem is that BM won't let the kids spend extra days with us during the holidays EXCEPT the extra few hours on christmas day and eve/boxing day (depending on the year). (Even if DH is off work and they are not out of town and the kid want to be here.) AND, if the regular access days fall on days that they are with her i.e. it's "our" weekend and christmas falls on a Saturday, she won't even HEAR about making up time somewhere else. One year all we saw of them was the 18 hours over those two days and not again for the rest of the break. Ridiculous.

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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#3 of 12 Old 12-12-2006, 10:41 PM
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We alternate Christmas mornings, meaning the house where dss wakes up. This year is hers, so we pretty much let her decide whats going to happen. We'll likely have him Christmas Eve, then drive him over late in the evening. He'll come back around 5 or so Christmas day. Next year is our Christmas, so we get to decide what our plans are and she works around them. Whoever gets Christmas day doesn't get Thanksgiving that year, officially, but she usually lets him come with us on Thanksgiving every year becaue they don't do much.
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#4 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 01:04 AM
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Dsd's Christmases (extended family) on her moms side are all in the beginning or middle of December. Her Christmas at her house with her mom and grandparents is normally on Christmas Eve, but they are flexible...its just a big present opening ceremony to them.

So, we get dsd on Christmas eve sometime depending on when she does Christmas with her mom and g-parents. This year, they are doing it on Saturday (Christmas eve-eve) so we will get her early on Sunday morning to start our family events in the afternoon.
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#5 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 01:22 AM
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We usually get them Christmas afternoon/evening and BM keeps them Christmas Eve and morning. This year we will not get them at all, unless they do not have a snow day between now and then. If there are no snow days, we get them Christmas afternoon/night because BM is "allowing" us to take the kids to visit DH's mom out of state. If there are snow days, we don't get them at all b/c we technically have every other holiday but BM doesn't like that so we've done (for the past NINE years) Thanksgiving and Christmas afternoon. This year when we asked for them for Thanksgiving, she decided that if we took them that day, we'd have to give up Christmas entirely. Since we're planning to go out of town right after, we decided not to mess with pick up and returns. Well, all of a sudden she decides that if the planets align properly then we can take the kids with us. We will not know until the 22nd at the earliest, more like the 25th when she calls to tell DH what he's doing. I'm so tempted to just say screw it and not play but DH's mom is dying and the kids haven't seen her in 7 years so I really need to just suck it up for their benefit. (again)

Man, sometimes being a parent sucks.
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#6 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 01:28 PM
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We have all the kids xmas eve (with our extended families for our big dinner) and they are here xmas morning then they go to their "other parents" for a week. They usually get picked up around 11am or so, so both sides get to have a big dinner/gathering and spend all day with the kids.

We used to split xmas eve and day, but it was hard on the kids to be travelling late xmas nite. And we didnt like the idea of alternating xmas either. The hardest part of organizing it was our extended family. Mine and dh's family always did dinner on xmas day, getting them to agree to come to our house xmas eve was hard. Fil still says, "get the kids here for xmas day, I want them here". Uuuuh no.

Is your dh supposed to be having overnites?

You guys should absolutely be able to see you sds on either one of the days. You should, at the very least, get to spend a couple hours during xmas day.
I wish you all the best!
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#7 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 01:30 PM
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Just wanted to add - custodial parents dont hold all the cards. NC have rights too - sometimes C parents make you think, and act like they do, but they dont.
I'm sending you all strength to know this, and put your foot, (feet?) down and demand your children. They have a right, too.
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#8 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 04:40 PM
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Personally I think all that traveling on Xmas day stinks....

SO we do EOH. Every other holiday.

This year it was X had them thanksgiving. (or rather it was his year, and he forgot) and I get them Xmas. (or rather the 21-30) He will pick them up friday the 15th, and have them back in time for my daughters ortho on the 21st. He will then pick them up on the 30th, and have them till the 2nd.

As the C parent, I did make my plans and would not budge. I see nothing wrong with that. I do all the grunt work with the kids, and their father seems to flit in and out for special occassions. He has seen them a grand total of 40 times this year... including summer break.
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#9 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 06:53 PM
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We also do EOH. Most years the ex takes dsd to Brazil to see her family and the other years we travel way out of town with dss to see my husbands family. My family kinda gets left out of all this even though they live the closest. We just try to get together with them the weekend before or a few days after so she can see my parents tree and open presents and stuff.
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#10 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 07:35 PM
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Since DH and I both have a child from previous relationships, and we don't live in the same city as the ex's, we have our xmas celebration New Years Eve, and the kids spend christmas with their "other" parents.
I used to do every other xmas with my ex, but dh's ex has never let him have dss for xmas, so this way no-one feels like they've missed out on anything!
As our little one gets older I think we'll continue to have our xmas on New years eve, and just spend the day sliding or something.
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#11 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 09:52 PM
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We have so much family it's ridiculous. I come from a blended family so there is my mom's family, my dad's family, and my stepdad's family (separate dinners for all this year.) Then of course there is DH's family.

On top of that there is DSD's biomom's family and her new husband's family.

Sometimes I wish our house was big enough to just invite everyone to our house, but it really isn't. And plus they don't all get along...

So this year we have:
-Dinner with my stepdad's family tomorrow night
-Xmas with DH's family this weekend (a two day trip with a ferry ride)
-Xmas dinner with my Dad's family on the 23rd, at my house
-Xmas dinner on Xmas day with my mom's family on Xmas day.

DSD will be in attendance for all of it, except that she will miss the actual dinner at our house on the 23rd because they are going to a dinner elsewhere (I forget which family that is.) And she will have Xmas morning at her mom's house.

It seems like a lot, I know, but she seems to do okay with it...

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#12 of 12 Old 12-13-2006, 10:12 PM
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We get sd for Xmas in even years. This year, provided that BM doesn't try to deny visitation yet again, we will have her from 6pm on the 19th until noon on the 26th. On the 23rd, we will be with my mom's parents, the 24th with my in-laws, and the 25th with my dad's parents.

Next year, we will be the ones who will have her from the 26th until the day before she goes back to school. Next year, we will probably alter our plans as much as possible in order to make sure she is allowed to be with all of the family.
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