And we are not talking Christmas Pudding! Spending Christmas with your blended or step-family can be a minefield.
It’s no secret that Christmas can bring out the very worst in any family, let alone with the added complications of step children, your children, in-laws and of course ex’s. Quite frankly it’s enough to send even the most pragmatic of us over the edge and quite seriously considering joining Santa on Christmas Eve, escaping to Lapland and not returning until the last piece of festive cheer has passed. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as bad as you may fear. The first step in achieving anything remotely like the Christmas you’d like is to accept that there are going to be complications. Bringing families together in normal circumstances can be tricky, let alone with the unrealistic expectation that Christmas inevitably brings. A blended family brings with it the possibility of logistic disagreement, working out who will spend Christmas with whom and at what time. There is the inevitable change in family traditions, as it’s unlikely that your partner’s children have been brought up in the same way as yours. As with every step of the blended family, compromise is the key, with perhaps a little forethought and planning added to the bowl.
Of course the best laid plans can go askew and situations arise through no fault of your own. Teenage step children, a difficult other parent who seems intent on creating mayhem, ignoring return times or of course the uncomfortable moment your child puts you on the spot and invites their other parent into your new home on Christmas Day . As with any family and any situation, communication is paramount to Christmas going smoothly. In particular a first Christmas spent as a blended family is never going to be easy for anyone involved. It’s important to talk about people’s expectations and perhaps important to consider your own. Keep it simple and choose the things that are really important to you, this is a chance for you and your new partner to work together. It is important for everyone that you are both supporting each other. A truly blended family takes into account everyone in it. Don’t lose touch with the true spirit of Christmas with the seduction of TV adverts portraying perfect happiness. Life is not like that and you know it. Christmas is an opportunity to build memories that will last a lifetime. As the key players in this newly bonded family it is important that you and your partner set the right example, taking into account other family members, each other and of course your children.