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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Article

Christmas With The Not-So-Wicked Step-parent

By Jo Ball - The Stepfamily Coach

Christmas can be a magical time of year for families - decorations, special food, school plays, parties and bags of excitement - but for separated parents and step-parents Christmas can often bring a mixed bag of complications...

Bringing families together can be tough under normal circumstances, but add the pressure of Christmas and we can quickly feel like we've become the wicked step-parent.

There's a lot to consider: the logistics of who spends Christmas Eve at which home, changing family traditions, financial considerations plus a whole lot of emotional upheaval, especially when agreements become more complicated - and particularly if both you and your partner have children from previous relationships.

There's also plenty of room for things to go wrong too: will the other parent mess your plans up by ignoring return times? Will the children come back from their absent parent needing to be 'de-programmed'? Will the children invite their other parent over to yours on Christmas Day?!

There is undoubtedly a lot to take into account at Christmas for a stepfamily, But with a little planning and forethought many of the difficulties can be avoided.

If you want to avoid the hassles and have a happy, enjoyable Stepfamily Christmas, then here's my 10 tips:

Prepare yourself and think about how you would like things to be.

Set realistic expectations and don't expect too much of yourself and others.

Establish what works for you and your partner.

Keep things simple.

Consider what the children are going through at this emotionally loaded time of year.

Talk plans over as a family.

If you can, discuss plans with the children's other parent.

Start the holiday early if it's not possible to have all the children together at Christmas.

Make time for you and your partner.

Make time for you to avoid things feeling like hard work – if they do you then risk being seen as the wicked step-parent.

And finally…

Remember that even the best-made plans are subject to last minute changes.
Christmas is an opportunity to create strong family values and bonds with solid foundations and memories that last a lifetime. Focus on this and you'll be laughing.

Until next time!
Jo Ball
About the Author
For a free report, "7 Secrets For Blending A Family Without The Stress And Strain", including tips and ideas that you can use immediately with your stepfamily visit and we'll send your copy now!

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  Some other articles by Jo Ball - The Stepfamily Coach
How to keep your relationship healthy and happy
When you entered into your relationship I'm sure you didn't fall in love with the children and think 'I must live with these children and their mum/dad's not too bad either. I ...

How to talk so your partner listens and your stepfamily thrives
Lots and lots of us in stepfamilies find it difficult to talk through sensitive issues with our partner. Sometimes it seems impossible to communicate without ...

How to Win Friends and Influence your Stepchildren
Okay, so I admit it, I adapted the famous title of Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People, a book ...

How Stepparents can prevent jealousy from damaging their relationship
Julie Andrews in the sound of music is the vision of the perfect stepmother. Devoted to the children, making play clothes from curtains, singing songs and ...

"I Want To Be Heard!"
A common gripe in a stepfamily is that people feel they're not being listened to. We're all busy and there is often a lot to be communicated in a ...

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