Author Topic: Blending and the holidays  (Read 1802 times)

Trying

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Blending and the holidays
« on: December 12, 2016, 10:26:15 AM »
This will be our first blended Christmas with fiancé, his 2 boys and my 3 sons.  We are working through things but I have to say he is doing all of the compromise.  His boys are young (6 & 7) and since he only has them every other year for Christmas they don't have a lot of hard set traditions.  Where my kids are 12, 18 & 20 so we have tons of traditions. He wants his boys to have a traditional family Christmas and I am sure that they will love every minute of it but I know it's hard for him to be jumping into our world so completely.  To top it off we are having DH's whole family at our house Christmas Eve.  There are lots of little cousins his kids age and none my kids ages so again his boys will have a blast but I'm asking a lot of him.

Both of his parents are gone and his sisters live out of state so I don't really an opportunity to reciprocate by spending the holiday with his family.  I know we should be creating our own new traditions but he doesn't really give me ideas and I am focused on keeping things familiar for my kids and making his kids feel special and included.  I feel like fiancé is the only one who is left out of the equation.

Any suggestions?  Holidays are such an emotional time and I really want to keep things as smooth as possible, it's the first Christmas I am feeling in the spirit since DH died and I want to keep that feeling going.   When DH and I were first married we had some stressful holidays trying to keep both families happy and this time around there are so many more complicating factors
You will forever be my always.

tybec

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 03:02:18 PM »
First, big, BIG applauds to you for this momentous occasion! What a great holiday! And having DH's family over and NG and boys will be there!  WOW!  So happy for you to be able to do that.

No suggestions.  You are handling it beautifully.  Just check in, I guess, with NG on all is good.  Trial and error.  If not happy with the flow, know for next year.   ;) :D

Captains wife

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2016, 01:25:14 PM »
That is a lot Trying but your fiancé sounds like such a great guy I am sure he will handle all of it : ) I am not at the blending stage yet but I thought of a few suggestions based on your point that you want to make your own traditions with NG. (I am trying to make new memories and traditions with my son and I for holidays since our loss).

Can you ask him about what he traditionally does on Xmas with his kids (and then surprise them with it at your house)? It can be a favorite food, favorite dessert, adding their stockings to your fireplace, a game (we used to play charades on Xmas eve for example), writing a letter to Santa with him and his kids or a gift giving tradition.

Think of something special you can do for your fiance in the Xmas spirit - like buy your first Xmas tree ornament that symbolizes your first Xmas together as a couple or have his favorite drink readily available or is there something special he would like for Xmas breakfast (for example, in our house its Xmas bread)?

I think special touches like that might go a long way, especially if you can weave in some of his family traditions for him and his kids plus create your own.

tybec

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2016, 08:37:21 AM »
Love your suggestions, Captain's Wife.  I wasn't thinking so practically, but also marking the occasion with new traditions, honoring the old.  Great ideas.   :D

Trying

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2016, 09:32:47 AM »
Thanks CW and tybec.
The problem I'm having is that he doesn't have many traditions yet with his boys because they are young and he only has them every other year.  We are doing the Elf on the Shelf because he does that leading up to Christmas.  I've been baking Christmas cookies and asked if there were any recipes from his mom that I could get from his sister, nope, mom didn't do Christmas cookies.  I bought stockings for him and his boys because he didn't save the ones he had when he moved in. 

Christmas Eve with DHs family is hard for me to give up because of my kids, not that he has asked me to, but I think he would like to make new traditions together on Christmas Eve.

DH and his family didn't have a lot of traditions before we married and I ended up introducing a lot of my family's traditions and we did develop some of our own over the years.  I'm sure it will work out and some adjustment period is to be expected. 
You will forever be my always.

daysofelijah

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 11:22:17 AM »
It sounds like you are doing a great job!

This will be our second Christmas together (dating), but because of our kids we don't get to do a lot together. I will be having BF over for Christmas Eve dinner, and I invited his son (16) but he would never come. I wish he would, but while we get along just fine, he doesn't have a desire to get involved in my family. Understandable at 16 years old I guess. BF also has an older son (19), but he also wouldn't be interested. It's hard having kids at different stages.

And I don't get to go to his family Christmas, because really I can't expect his extended family to be expected to welcome me AND my 4 kids, at least not before we get married I think. And I would never leave my kids on Christmas to go to his families, of course. This blending stuff is tough.

Best wishes for a great Christmas for you! 
Amy, mom to four (14,13,9,5)

Trying

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2016, 01:53:59 PM »
days- we had 2 Christmas holidays dating, the first was early on and my kids didn't know him yet, the second was last year and he did join us Christmas Day for dinner just my kids and my Mom, then he left to pick up his boys and took them to his home.  I keep reminding myself that last year he sat home alone on Christmas Eve because he didn't have his kids and volunteered to be on call so other Dads wouldn't have too.  This year will be better no matter what. 

My older boys would also have no interest in being with his extended family just like your BFs kids.  My 12 year old is easier for now.  Between us our 5 boys range in age from 6-20.  Different ages make it challenging.

Blending is tough...kids, extended family, histories. I hope you are able to enjoy the holiday.
You will forever be my always.

MrsDan

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2016, 11:01:57 AM »
My family used to have this thing where we did a homemade Secret Santa. We each got a name, and then made something for that person. It freaked us all out a bit at first, because none of us is particularly crafty, but it worked out well; people tried to really tailor things to the person they got. So I'm thinking while something like that might be a little clunky for you guys at first, it may help the kids get to know each other.

I'm also thinking games might be good: https://www.tinyprints.com/inspiration/christmas-party-games.htm

Also, maybe a traditional yearly gift, like every body get s new pair of pajamas, or slippers, or something like that? That you all open Christmas eve?

Maybe also do a little research on Christmas traditions based on your ethnicity?

This year we are planning on spending Christmas Eve with my boyfriend's dad, and Christmas Day with his moms. The day after Christmas we are traveling to see my MIL, because that's her birthday. I have been very fortunate in that my BF and Dan's family have been very open to having a positive relationship with one another. And I no longer participate in my own family's holidays. The one thing I'm nervous about is I invited my BF to spend Christmas Eve night and therefore Christmas morning with DD and I. I'm only nervous, because that's a bit of a trigger for me, because Dan and I never got one with Kiera, and also, I find myself asking, as a mom, is this okay? Too soon? We've been together a year, and it feels right. But I still find myself questioning my judgment.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

Trying

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2016, 07:13:36 AM »
MrsDan it sounds like you have very well balanced Christmas plans.  I am guilty of overthinking decisions especially when it comes to my kids but I think you should go with your gut that it feels right and enjoy having BF there to share in Christmas morning magic.
You will forever be my always.

TooSoon

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 07:21:58 AM »
Just stopping by for a little blending solidarity - I truly hope it goes better for you all than it has for us this year!  After an incident last night revealed how fragile and dysfunctional the situation is at Andy's Dad's house (I feel for them all, I really do), M and I are now in a Travelodge a mile away from the house. We're going to dinner at the pub and to the movies tonight while I try to wrap my brain around making an appearance tomorrow.  Andy and I (and our kids) are great together, blended-family-wise, but his Dad really has trouble accepting me, accepting Andy moving to America and he's grieving his wife and unwell himself.  I just thought it was best to remove ourselves from the dynamic; close quarters adding to the tension.  I've upset everyone but at least there are two fewer 'everyones' as variables to factor into an already stressful situation.  Sigh.  But we've been through worse, right?  That's become a major silver lining in widowland - we can always say we've been through worse, and know it to be true. 

Happy holidays, everyone!  Wishing for peace for all of you and those you love. 
« Last Edit: December 24, 2016, 07:52:00 AM by TooSoon »

tybec

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2016, 08:27:27 AM »
Wow, Toosoon!  What a Christmas!  I joke that every family has "Jerry Springer" moments, but doesn't make it easier at the time.

My parents home got too small quickly for holidays.  My one brother and wife and kids opted for a hotel a mile down the road.  I felt bad for them not staying in the home but realized later they got the better deal!  No air mattress on the floor, sharing bathrooms, hot water issues, and stuff everywhere.  Privacy and a place to go take a nap when we all got too loud. 

Sorry for the reason, but maybe a new tradition when you visit?! And only children still are used to their space.  My only child likes the socialization but also retreats to quiet when needed.

Trying

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2016, 02:13:17 PM »
TooSoon, I'm sorry for you holiday stress and hope tomorrow goes better for all of you.   I have a great feeling of peace today for some reason, house is ready for DHs family to all arrive in about 3 hours.  My middle son is home from college and getting along really well with fiancé (he has been the last hold out). 

Wishing everyone peace.
You will forever be my always.

arneal

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2016, 12:39:43 PM »
Hey there, Trying (and all)! Merry Christmas! This was my first one after LH and first set of holidays with NG. We spent Thanksgiving together -- it was the first one in five years that he didn't have to cook. I was excited for Christmas and was hoping I'd get to meet his daughter and granddaughter; I'd planned to cook and have them both here or to go to their place. However, he said they were going to their mom's/grandmom's as they'd spent the last few years with him. We ended up doing Christmas Eve dinner and exchanging gifts at my house and then he cooked yesterday and I went there. His daughter came back with her boyfriend so I did get to meet her. Weird moment -- NG and I were on the couch, watching a movie. We were holding hands and I had my head on his shoulder. When they walked in, NG introduced me to them and vice versa but I didn't move ... I was caught off-guard (not a real social person anyway). I hope it didn't come across as too weird. Too late to worry about that now lol!!!
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

Trying

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2016, 03:08:48 PM »
Arneal those first meetings can be so awkward, at least it was less pressure than a whole holiday meal for your first time meeting her.

Our Christmas Eve with DHs whole family at my house went well.  Finances boys had a great time with all of the cousins, everyone was nice to fiancé, only bummer was he got called into work and missed our secret Santa gift exchange.

Christmas morning with our combined 5 boys was awesome! Better than I could've hoped for then my mom came and took on the Nana role with his boys (they have never had a living grandparent on either side).  My mon is a widow also and so happy for me, she even asked fiancé to find her a nice man although she said she would be happy with a gay guy who likes to go dancing and tomthe theater, lol!

So much tension and worry leading up to the holiday, it was a huge relief!
You will forever be my always.

arneal

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Re: Blending and the holidays
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2016, 06:30:09 PM »
That is fabulous, Trying! I am so happy to hear how it went. Maybe I will have a good holiday story to share one day :)
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b