Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘Blended Families’

Thanksgiving & Blended Families Cont. . .

Families GamesPersonalities and Communication – In every extended family, there are bound to be personality quirks and mismatches that threaten to upset the Thanksgiving holiday extravaganza. Make things easy on yourself and try to smooth over any potential snags from the start. Include all of the blended family matters in the planning. Let everyone know the proposed schedule, menu and helping opportunities early on. Consider the extended family communication style for the best party planning approach. Plan by phone? In person? Via a family designed internet invitation? If not everyone cares to be involved in the planning or baking or decorating, ask them to help with cleanup or to coordinate kid activities or Thanksgiving music or simple flowers.

Sharing – Unless you are the Martha Stewart Thanksgiving catering type, welcome suggestions and helping hands gratefully!

Diversions for the Ages – If your blended extended family is even remotely like mine, you’ll want to be open to diversions to keep the crowd comfortable, relaxed and out of the busy Thanksgiving kitchen. Depending on family ages and interests, consider a TV room for sports or a kid video. Perhaps a table for cards, a jigsaw puzzle, or another board game? A quiet corner or room for reading or a quick nap? Not every relative is up for hours of blended family Thanksgiving mingling. Don’t push the issue. Keep the peace and go with the flow.

Inside and Out – If the weather cooperates, consider spreading out the blended family gathering to a three-season porch or encouraging a before or after dinner walk or outside activities for the kids.

Multiple Celebrations? – If bringing the entire blended family together for Thanksgiving seems to be an overwhelming feat destined for disaster, don’t push it. Have your own intimate family celebration and set aside another day, evening, or non-holiday weekend to catch up with the extended family. More isn’t always merrier.

RestaurantMake Reservations! – If blended traditions, preferences and varying menus seems too much of a challenge, consider inviting the blended family for a Thanksgiving outing at a nearby restaurant. Plan ahead and enjoy giving thanks to the restaurant staff for a relaxing Thanksgiving family gathering.

Source: Christine Tetreault, Yahoo Voice

Surviving Thanksgiving- Blended Family Style

Happy FamilyBlending both sides of the family together for Thanksgiving, or for any major holiday celebration, calls for thoughtful planning, flexibility, patience, sensitivity and the likelihood of creative on-the-spot problem-solving by the hosting relatives. Read on for suggestions on how to avoid, or at least minimize, the challenges and potential pitfalls of blended family Thanksgiving, or other holiday, festivities.

Keep the Thanksgiving Spirit In Mind -Thanksgiving is a holiday of giving thanks, of being grateful for the goodness of family, friends, and life. As host or hostess of the blended family Thanksgiving event, approach Thanksgiving holiday planning in the spirit of the season. Plan for a joyful celebration and commit to yourself upfront that this Thanksgiving fete will be a warm gathering of extended family, lively, relaxed and fun. Set the positive, festive tone for this blended family Thanksgiving party and plan for your guests to follow in your gracious footsteps. No trouble-making allowed!

First Time or Repeat Performance?  – Is this the first blended family Thanksgiving holiday? Is this the first time you are coordinating the blended family Thanksgiving celebration? If this is a Thanksgiving first, you have the honor of breaking new ground and bringing your personality to the beginnings of a new family Thanksgiving tradition, with no past blended family event to replicate or live up to. If this is a repeat blended family Thanksgiving celebration, enjoy the pleasure of being able to fall back on what worked and what didn’t work at the previous blended family Thanksgiving gathering. Borrowing is most definitely allowed and will let guests at this year’s blended family Thanksgiving event know that you are taking care to follow in the family footsteps. Still, don’t be afraid to add your own festive twist and personal touches to the event.

Thanksgiving TraditionsThanksgiving Traditions! – Whether you are blending in-laws, extended family, step-family, or exes into the Thanksgiving celebration being respectful and considerate of existing traditions is a must. Take the time for thoughtful pre-planning to consider traditions from both families and from all generations if this is a multi-generational Thanksgiving gathering. Traditions may include special menu items, decorations, who cooks and serves, who sits where at the table and more. Do your best to accommodate history and traditions for all concerned, even if it may mean an unusual or creative melange of ethnic food items or centerpieces.

Check back two weeks from now for more about surviving Thanksgiving with blended families  . . .

Source:Christine Tetreault, Yahoo Voice

Holiday Tips for Blended Families

The holidays are stressful for many people, but can be especially so for blended families. Unique families require unique solutions to their problems, so here are some tips to help navigate the holiday season and still have some good cheer.

  • Communication and planning- think of the entire holiday season, not just a couple of days. That will give you the opportunity to spread out the events so that all family members can participate. Consider that the days leading up to and after the holiday can be a part of the festivities.
  • Communicate with all family members well before the holiday, to try and avoid any last minute changes. Families and children get along better when they know what to expect, as much as possible. Be flexible on time but strict on communications.
  • Start your own traditions and rituals, blending some of the old with new. Have each child bring one idea that was meaningful to them, into the new family. Make time for all the children’s ideas to be a part of the new family tradition.
  • Put aside your ill feelings towards your ex and model some good behavior for your own children- adhere to the custody agreements, help your children with picking out gifts for their other parents and decorations for the other house. This will help them feel more in control of the situation, and give them a sense of belonging.
  • Do something different from the usual- try having appetizers and finger food instead of a full sit down dinner, open presents three days before Christmas, plan a craft or game instead of the usual movie. Being different will create a sense of fun and energy.

And if things seem to be falling apart, remember two things:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff- life is not perfect and the holiday won’t be either, so try and relax
  • It will get easier with time- as the years pass you will have more traditions that you can count on.

Have a good Christmas!

Kelly Chicas 2011

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