Perfectly Blended Blog

Successful Holiday Tips for Blended Families

Josh Groce | Nov 22, 2021

When Kristy and I started our blended family we never even considered all the holiday’s adding to our stress levels. Yes, we were highly naive! We just assumed we would have Thanksgiving at 2pm and Christmas morning we would all wake up and open gifts and then relax and watch the parade. That’s how it happens right? WRONG! 

My mother every year would ask “Why are the kids not here yet? Why do ‘they’ get them every year FIRST? The kids are already full and don’t want to eat by the time they get here?!?” 

Ugh. I get it! But my ex and her family didn’t play nice… ever. 

I was always called to be the bigger person since I am representing Jesus with my life. Which, may I add, is not easy!! Can I get an amen?! 

This is just a taste of our holiday shenanigans, but over the years we learned some great tips that have made them much more enjoyable. Here are 3 tips to help with your blended family during the holidays:

1. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Yes, this means talking with your ex until you’re blue in the face. This means discussing EVERYTHING with your current spouse. One of the best things we have ever done is having a combined calendar. 

We use Apple Calendar since Kristy and I both have iPhone’s. All of our kids do as well, so we have a calendar specific for her and I and we have a family one with all the kids. 

Times will change between all families. When they do, discuss options between husband and wife and then with the kids. Then adjust the calendar. 

2. Start planning EARLY!

We make sure to begin contacting our immediate family early in the year for times and places. This way we can pass that along to our ex’s. The earlier we can discuss this with our ex’s (umm, argue many of the times) about those times and places, the easier it becomes on the actual day. 

Most families have set times they like to do dinner for Thanksgiving or opening presents, this can make things much easier once worked out with the entire blended family. Start early and this will ease the tension come the big day.

3. Flexibility equals sanity.

Ok, this is where connecting with your inner Christian is important. Kristy and I have gotten the short end of the stick MANY years, but we only did that to help ease the tension for our kids. We are called to rise above as Christians and sometimes that means taking it in the chin. 

We need to be very careful what we think we are winning when fighting with our ex’s. Most of the time it causes more harm with our kids, and if we really work hard on getting creative, we make it work.

In the beginning I just didn’t want my ex to ‘win’ anything. I quickly realized the ones losing are my kids.

Our number one goal as a couple is to make sure our kids are having the holiday they deserve and will remember. That almost always meant we needed to be flexible. Not all blended families have awesome ex’s that play nice. We didn’t. 

Be flexible, for your kids sake. Trust me, when they get older you will get to hear how it impacted them, from both sides. Our kids are 17, 19, 20, and 24 now. They are VERY vocal about the other parents and they tell us how much they appreciate the hard work we have put in over the years. 

Stay strong. Use your spouse for strength and support. Look to God to give you what you need during these special yet incredibly stressful times. You got this. It gets easier.

God loves you. We love you...

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