As the holidays are approaching I am again struck with the reality that I not only have to coordinate our family gatherings between my family and my husband’s family – we have to coordinate with our children’s other parents. Being a blended family with other parents involved in our children’s lives, we do not always have our children on the holidays. Thankfully we have been able to work with the other parents to coordinate our holidays so we have all of the children together on the same holidays, but for many families they are not this lucky.
It is important to our family to still celebrate the holidays all together as a family and since we cannot do this on every holiday, we had to get creative. We now celebrate the holiday on a day near the holiday when we can all be together. The date doesn’t matter; it is the family traditions and celebrations together that matter to us. So this year we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday the 24th with the traditional family meal. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving Day to be thankful for the time we do get together, as well as focus our attention on the blessings we do have.
This year we will also be starting a new tradition by participating in a family connections advent calendar. We have come up with inexpensive or free ways to connect each day before Christmas. These daily activities include things like decorating the Christmas tree, making homemade gifts (fudge), and having a snowball fight. While we will not always be together each day, we have added activities that we can all enjoy and activities that my husband and I can also do together during the season. Even when we think we are too busy, it is important to stay connected.
What are ways your “non-traditional” family celebrates traditional holidays?
– by Kendra Silver, M.S., LPC