CHRISTMAS PHOTOS 2015 PHOTO CRED:@One12photography

CHRISTMAS PHOTOS 2015
PHOTO CRED:@One12photography

All I have to say, I CANNOT BELIEVE that Christmas is just four days away! I feel like it was just December 1st YESTERDAY! To be honest, I do NOT feel ready at all! 

I could use just one more week. Anyone with me?

Over the past month I've received a FLOOD of emails from fellow stepmoms asking me how we do Christmas as a blended family. So I thought I would pop on here today and give you the low down on how we handle access schedules, Santa, presents and all that fun stuff

It's like I've said over and over! When it comes to Blended Families, even the simplest things aren't simple! The holidays are no exception! 

First, here's the low down on the access schedule. 
The kids are with us every other year for Christmas Eve until 3pm on Christmas Day. At 3:00pm the switch happens and they go to their moms. 
It's the reverse every other year. 

Clear as mud? Great!

This year they aren't with us on Christmas morning. They come in the afternoon. 

Now that we have Reese, my husband and I have spent A LOT of time talking about how to do Christmas morning. Specifically about waiting until 3pm to do presents so that we can all do them together as a family... but we've decided against that for one big reason. 

Reese! It is not fair for her to have to wait around until 3:00pm, especially now that she is at an age where she is starting to understand Santa! 

It's time for us to start annual traditions with her as well! 

Traditions that we will maintain regardless of the access schedule. 

We've decided the show will go on with or without "the kids" 

(You'll notice I alway refer to my stepchildren as "the kids")

On Christmas Day we are going to wake up (most likely at the crack of dawn because this one has an internal alarm clock of 6:00am), make a nice breakfast and go see what Santa brought our girll! We will open up presents, play & hangout until the kids come at 3:00pm. 

THEN they will open up their presents. 

The burning question is

WILL REESE GET MORE PRESENTS AT 3:00PM?

The answer is, you bet she will! 

The next burning question is:

WILL REESE END UP WITH MORE PRESENTS THAN THE OTHER THREE?

You're darn tootin' she will.

{Insert "GASP" here!} 

Now before everyone gets their panties in a bunch over this, let me explain why. Her brothers and sister are spending the morning opening up presents with their Mom and her family. They will have no shortage of presents. 

There is always a HUGE focus on making sure that stepchildren don't feel like they are getting the short end of the stick in comparison to biological children ... but many times, its the biological children who get ripped off. 

Imagine how Reese would feel at 3:00pm on Christmas day when her brothers and a sisters come in all excited about their presents and celebrations that morning,  if all she got to do was sit around and wait for them to come. 

That's just not going to happen in this house. 

We've explained this to the older kids and they totally get it!!

There may be more gifts for her under our tree, but when you look at the bigger picture, it all evens out!

It's all about having open conversations with your kids about your blended family dynamic and why things pan out the way they do. 

It's about making it as fair as possible for EVERYONE!

So, the next burning question I've received is:

DOES SANTA COME TO BOTH HOUSES?

No way! Santa makes one stop and one stop only for the Scrimgeour kids. 

HERE'S WHY:

I'm a pretty big advocate for keeping it realistic when it comes to Santa. We always try and have him give the gifts that aren't too expensive.

Why? Well think of it this way. If one kid goes to school in January and says, "Santa gave me an iPad and a new bike for Christmas", how is the kid who got a new hat and mitts from Santa going to feel?

Along the same lines, if a child of divorce goes to school and says "santa came to both my houses"... how fair is that for the kids who's parents are together, and only had one stop. 

Obviously every family has their own traditions and does what works for them... but that's the rationale behind our decision! 

Now, the BEST PART OF OUR CHRISTMAS DAY is that we have ZERO plans... other than hanging out, playing in the snow, eating great food and watching Christmas movies! 

We started this tradition a couple years ago when the kids came to us at 3:00pm and it was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! The transition can be rushed and chaotic enough, so every other year we say "no thanks" to plans on Christmas Day!

So stepmamas! That's how we do it! 

If you're struggling about your own Christmas traditions, here's my advice.

  • Don't over think it
  • Be flexible
  • And don't sweat the small stuff
  • Do what feels right for you and your people! 

At the end of the day, It's all about making memories and spending time with the people you love!

 

Is improving your stepfamily life on your list of resolutions for 2017.

If so, The KICK-ASS Stepmom Project 2.0 can help you make that happen!

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