Here we are, less than a week away from the big show, Christmas Day. After a month of running and doing, planning, shopping and decorating, it is finally here. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially when you are a parent. I have had a lot of conversations with people lately about how we do Christmas in our blended family. Christmas can look a little different in blended families. There are so many things to consider when you are dealing with multiple homes and parents. Who has what day? Do u celebrate together? How does Santa work?
Where do you start, how do you do it? It looks a little different for all of us. Here’s how it looks for us.
The Big Guy
So for families that do Santa, this can get a little tricky, depending on dynamics. Traditionally of course, Santa visits all the boys and girls on Christmas Eve and they wake up to his gifts in the morning. However, in blended families like mine, where we only have my bonus babes every other Christmas morning, that can get complicated. Our Coparenting situation is a good one so that tends to uncomplicate it a lot because we are pretty good at working together to figure out a way to accommodate each other.
The kids are only at one house on Christmas morning so we always told the kids that Santa brought the gifts to the house they would be sleeping at on Christmas eve each year and just had the parent who had Christmas morning handle the big guy. Now all of the kids besides the babies know that mom and Dad are Santa so we don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now the big kids help play Santa to the little ones. other families do Santa a bit differently. Some families have him visit both homes.
The Holiday schedule
In the years past, we have rotated Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Meaning every other year we celebrated our Christmas on Christmas Eve and returned them around 8 or 9 pm to their mom because Christmas morning was her’s those years. Our idea was that it was a way that each parent could experience the joy and magic of waking up on Christmas morning with their children while they were young.
Our schedule has changed and become more flexible as well. Partly because our relationship has grown and partly because my kids’ dad just stopped coming around all together so it’s one less thing we have to coordinate with, one less home to work around. There are 2 hours between our house and the kid’s mom’s, so this year, to minimize the back and forth driving, Crystal is just keeping them to midafternoon Christmas day and we will keep them for the remainder of the break. The day and schedule don’t matter to us, just the time spent. I think I might actually like this way better, just switching midday on Christmas and rotating that. It feels less rushed to me for some reason.
So if you follow my blog then you know that we have a lot of kids, 6 to be exact. 6 children at Christmas can add up real quick so I make it a general point to not get too crazy. Honestly, I don’t spend more than a couple of hundred bucks on each kid, a little less on the two youngest right now because they are just 2 and 4. To some that may be excessive and to some we are being real scrooges, but It works for our family.
I don’t worry about what the kid’s mom is spending or not spending at Christmas, we don’t talk about the money aspect, just gifts, and wishlists. Our children are super blessed and have more than they could ever need. Plus, when you think about it, kids in blended families hit the fucking jackpot as far as Christmas goes. DOUBLE TIME! Lilly and Logan get Christmas with their stepdad’s family, Christmas with their mom’s family, Christmas with their mom, Christmas with us and Christmas with both of our mom’s and sister’s. Needless to say, they are more than covered.
Four of the kids are always here on Christmas morning, so it’s business as usual for them. They wake up and we let them open their gifts from us and Santa first thing. We don’t make them wait for Lilly and Logan the years that they are not here. That just doesn’t feel fair to make them wait all day just because they don’t have a second house to go to. We then just have my step kids open their gifts as soon as they arrive. This year we will be hosting family Christmas at our house on Christmas day, so Lilly and Logan will just open our gifts at the same time they open their gifts from their aunts and grandmas.
Blended Holiday Traditions
So in a blended family, I think it is important to do your best to establish your own family traditions while trying to blend those of your two households. When the kids were all young we would always make sure to get them to Santa, but now that they are older and the jig is up, we still do a visit to Santa’s farm, but we aren’t super concerned if the older kids opt-out. Lilly has missed it the last two years due to cattle shows she was participating in, and this year the boys bought a friend.
One tradition we started the first Christmas we had together was heading to Bronners in Frankenmuth to buy ornaments. We sometimes go before Christmas, sometimes after, but we always go. The kids each pick out an ornament of their own and we also buy a family ornament. I love it, the kids love it. Frankenmuth is such a cool place. I love it because it builds our family tree up each year and then when our babies are grown, they have a collection of their own hand-picked ornaments from childhood to start their own trees.
However you do Christmas in your blended family, my advice is, don’t stress, keep it simple and do what feels right for you.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!