If you and your spouse are part of an adult blended family, you may identify with the challenges my husband Bill and I faced when trying to bring everyone together for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Bill and I didn’t want to make holiday attendance a popularity contest between us parents. How were our kids going to choose which celebration to attend?
Our Solution - Thanksmas
Our solution was to create a new tradition we call "Thanksmas". As you might guess, our gathering is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The timing works for most everybody. Our kids appreciate not being put in a position of choosing between spending time with us or the other sets of parents. Our Thanksmas has proven a little more laid-back than the actual holidays. We’re all more relaxed, not having the pressure of measuring up to expectations of the “real” holidays.
During our first Thanksmas, I discovered that, within our mix, we have several variations in food preferences and traditions. Frankly, I was flummoxed when my husband’s children’s tastes didn’t match some of my cooking. For example, we differed over how gravy should be made, and which is best (or worst!), mayonnaise or Miracle Whip.
An Additional Solution
Since I highly value our family's time together, I came up with a solution that works for all of us and might work for you, too. Rather than serve food at the dining table, I put it out on the kitchen counter buffet style so diners can pick and choose as they please. Although I try to accommodate everyone’s taste to a degree, the kids are aware of my usual dishes and know I will not be insulted if they choose to bring a dish or two more to their liking. The more food, the better.
All in all, our Thanksmas has been a success, because we all choose to make it so.
If you've experienced and resolved blended family holiday issues, I hope you'll share them with readers here in the comment section.
Do you have a divorce experience to share? Have you been shamed by a church because of your divorce? There are hurting people who need to hear your story, who need to know they are not alone, and who need to be encouraged. If you are interested in sharing your story, email Linda for guidelines: Linda@LindaMKurth.com
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her upcoming memoir, God the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issue. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
I LOVE your Thanksmas solution!! BRAVO for you and yours. Families need this flexibility, accommodation, and LOVE that you represent. Divorced and blended families need to experience healing, peace, hope, and God loves them just the same, and He can use them just the same. Amen.
5/20/2019 03:55:46 pm
The truth is, we can celebrate Christmas season with whoever we are at the moment. It all depends on our perspective. I know that it's difficult and heavy when you get to celebrate a special celebration away from your loved ones. It seems like the celebration is not complete. But once we have a change of perspective and start seeing things on a different angle I guess, we will start to appreciate everything and we will enjoy moments that are given to us!
12/26/2018 05:54:21 am
Thanks for the suggestion. I think it might be a good one for us. We are in a second marriage with adult children and grandchildren.
12/26/2018 10:30:52 am
Hi, Leah. I hope it works as well for you as it does for us. I'll be following up with another post of the subject. Maybe titled, "So What Do You Do Christmas Day if Your Kids are Someplace Else? Bill and I discovered that even though we'd celebrated Thanksmas with our kids, Christmas Day was still kind of lonely. Yesterday we had an open house and invited all the people we knew who otherwise be at loose ends on that day. Seventeen people showed up, and it was crowded and wonderful.
LINDA MOORE KURTH
5/30/2022 09:11:27 am
Thank you, Edward and Zoe. I'm glad to know you found this post helpful.
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