Celebrating the Holidays as a Blended Family

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Pasadena divorce attorneys understand that celebrating the holidays is seldom easy. If this will be your first year celebrating as a blended family, start your preparations as early as possible. Scheduling a celebration can be complicated, since your children and his children are likely to need to attend several different holiday functions and your child custody agreement might not allow much room for flexible scheduling. The earlier you start comparing schedules, the more likely you'll be to find a time that works for everyone.

If for some reason you can't find a date near the actual holiday that works, consider moving your celebration forward or backward a week or so. Many families, even those that aren't dealing with the effects of a divorce and remarriage, make a tradition out of shopping for gifts during the after-Christmas sales and exchanging presents sometime in mid-January. If you approach planning for the holidays with the attitude that you're making new memories instead of being forced to make concessions by your ex, you might be surprised by how much fun you end up having.

Traditions are an important part of any holiday celebration, but don't forget that not everyone values the same activities. You might be most excited about baking Christmas cookies with your daughter, while she may treasure memories of the two of you watching movies together while sipping cups of hot chocolate. Your stepson may be eager to go to church on Christmas Eve, even if your own children aren't particularly religious. As you're planning your celebration, remember to ask everyone what traditions are most important to them. Although it's unlikely you'll be able to incorporate absolutely every holiday ritual, making an effort to be inclusive with your planning sets the tone for a successful celebration.

Finally, as anyone who has ever been through a separation or divorce can attest, having a positive attitude makes it much easier to get through stressful times. If your celebration doesn't go exactly as planned, try not to dwell on the negative aspects. Focus on what went well and try to find bits of humor in your situation. Resist the urge to make negative comments about your ex, his new love interest, or the mother of your stepchildren. You can't change the past, but you can focus on making the most of your present festivities.

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