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How to NOT sweat the small stuff this Christmas due to having a blended family.
Sending out Christmas cards.
Decorating the house.
Baking the cookies.
Shopping for food and gifts.
Wrapping the gifts.
And then there is not knowing what to get everyone.
The list goes on and on.
The holidays are stressful no matter if your in a blended family or not.
Here are a few ideas to keep your sanity during this stressful time of year and stay stress free.
1. Be Prepared to Compromise
Think about what is most important to you and ask them what is most important to them.
If having the kids on Christmas Eve is more important to you then let them have the kids on Christmas day.
If that doesn’t work out then switch it up every year.
For instance, you get them for Thanksgiving this year but next year you get them for Christmas and vice versa.
2. Remember That The KIDS are Most Important
I don’t think that I have to say much after this point because it speaks for itself.
It’s going to be difficult being away from your children on a holiday but you have to stop and realize that your ex or your spouses ex is going through the same feelings.
3. Think About the “Holidays” Versus THE Holiday
Just because Thanksgiving or Christmas is one day doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate any other day.
Families tend to get wrapped up on technicalities that they forget to look at the big picture.
It might work best for everyone if you celebrated the weekend before anyway.
As a kid, this is great!
4. Plan ahead
Make sure that you are prepared because nobody likes a hostess that forgot to make the turkey.
Have a calendar handy on who has the kids.
Make yourself a list.
What needs to be completed and what day it needs to be completed on.
Having this in your face so you can look at it everyday will help keep you on track.
Ask for help. From your spouse and from the kids.
Everyone can chip in.
5. Stay on Top of The Shopping
Ask for lists from everyone but make sure that the kids didn’t give both their families the same list.
Do it ahead of time and on-line.
Most everyone loves Amazon and all you have to do is Prime that baby to your doorstep within a day or two.
No fighting the crowds of people.
6. Forget about all the extras
The opening of gifts, spending time with family, and having off from school is enough for the kids.
Skip all the extra stuff if you don’t have the time or energy such as the elf on the shelf, advent calendar, or homemade cookies.
7. Make it a potluck
Not very traditional but who cares?
You can still make all the traditional foods.
Have Aunt Jane bring the mashed potatoes and Uncle Sal bring a raw veggie tray.
If you want to make it even easier on yourself, make something in your slow cooker.
Even have the kids chip in and help with the cooking. Eventually they are going to have to learn how to make something to survive when they move out anyway.
Less stress in the kitchen is less stress on everyone.
8. DIY Gift giving
Share the list with your co-parent and decide what you can afford/what you want to give your children.
If you are low on cash over the holidays opt for do-it-yourself gifts.
Just make sure that the projects are easy to make so you are not stressing about the DIY vanity with stool you promised your daughter.
Give yourself plenty of time just in case they don’t turn out.
Or you could opt for the generic gift card. Everybody loves these.
Some people say this option isn’t very personable but you can always get the card to their favorite store or restaurant.
9. Don’t stress over the things that are beyond your control
Don’t stress the small stuff or the things that you don’t have control over.
It doesn’t do anyone a bit of good.
Uncle Joe forgot to bring the pickles.
Yes, this is a tragedy in my book. I love pickles.
But really, is anyone else going to miss them? Probably not.
Just like any other day, things can go wrong but you move on.
10. Pamper Yourself
This is a busy time of year for almost everyone.
Treat the holidays like any other day that you are stressed.
If you need to go for a walk or run or get your nails done, do it!
Make some time for just you.
11. Remember, what is it all about
Spending time with family