New Traditions: Traditions form the structure and foundation of our families. They reinforce values and contribute a sense of belonging. Often we engulf ourselves in the misery of no longer having the tradtions of our "old" families. Use this opportunity for change as a time to reevaluate what you and your "new" family want to do together. Get together in your family, even if it is just you and a child, and grap a piece of paper. Write a list of ideas that you can do together to make Christmas, Christmas! These can be things you use to do, or in can be things you want to start doing. Frame it and then you can get it out every holiday season!
Make Sacrifices: I'll admit it, I hate change! So when I was a single parent with children, the last thing I wanted to do during the holidays was try and change anything to fit the needs of my exs. But after a few years, and alot of personal growth, I learned the hard way that I had to be flexibile. Being open to change was totally going againist my grains! But its not about you, or me. Its about the children and their childhood and not seeing world war 3 every time something does change.
Attitude: Speaking kindly about everyone at any time of year is hard. I have repeatedly found myself saying, "really?" or "they didn't do (blank)!?" and then immediately kicking myself, knowing that every step and blended family book says not to speak unkindly regarding the "other" family. Recently my sister in law shared a challenge she was taking on that helped me have a different perspective on my attitude. CHALLENGE: When you find yourself about to say a negative comment about someone (either a spouse or an ex-spouse) instead complement them. Lets just say even my attempt at this challenge made a positive impact that actually made me feel better.
What helps you cope during this time? I want to hear from you!