The holidays are all about family, right? But sometimes it is hard to make it all about the family when you are a stepmom that has to deal with intricacies of custody rules and battles. Unfortunately, as a stepmom, you are most likely sidelined from making the schedules, especially around the holidays. For me, this was always frustrating because I always felt jipped. I felt like I would do all this work to make the holidays special for the kids and then I wouldn't be able to spend the most important days with them. I would spend all this time buying presents, decorating our home, baking holiday treats, and everything and anything else to get them in the spirit. However, when the actual holiday came around, the kids would go with their biological mother and my husband and I would be left celebrating alone - BORING! I mean my husband is lots of fun but the holidays just aren't the same without the kiddos.
So my solution was simple: Start my own traditions! And I must say, this has worked so well. Why do you have to conform to the traditional way of celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah? Why does December 25th have to be the best day ever? Make December 19th or 22nd or whatever day of each year a super fun, special celebration for YOUR family. We always have the kids December 24th so each year we get the kids together with my side of the family and we have a huge party! It is a new family tradition that my stepkids look forward to each year. But it is totally made up. Do the same! Pick a day that you know you will be together and have a party or do something special and do it each year. Both you and the kids will start to look forward to it and everyone will be able to celebrate together in their own unique way. (Side note, we do the same for Thanksgiving. In our blended family, Thanksgiving is always the Saturday after the "real" Thanksgiving.)
A second tradition I have started with my stepkids around the holidays is charity. Each year we will do at least one event with New York Cares (https://www.newyorkcares.org/). We love this organization because there are lots of events with kids in low income areas, but no matter where you live there will be some charitable organization you can get the family involved in. Again, this will begin to be a tradition your stepkids look forward to each year AND it shows them you are a good person. Even if you don't get along, they will respect the fact that you are a do-gooder :) As you should be!
So the take home message here (as it is with the entire Nacho Mom club) is the importance of carving out a unique, special role for yourself within your blended family. By creating these traditions, you won't only have fun, but you'll be honoring your role as a super awesome stepmom.