Stepfamilies and the “Perfect Christmas”

Stepparents frequently work very hard to make the holidays special for their stepkids. Magazines, TVand store displays reveal how the “perfect” holiday should materialize for our blended family. And we jump in with both feet.

And then we encounter the trinity of dragons many women must slay, QVC, HSN and HGTV. I love/hate those channels. Watching them, and shows that are similar, makes me…Ummm, how should I say this—depressed.

I want my casserole dishes to match like Rachel Ray. I want my tree to glow with unique perfectly matching ornaments. I want my turkey to emerge from the oven with Martha Stewart perfection. I want my cakes to taste like Buddy Valastro created a luscious masterpiece. And I want to coordinate my dining room table as if Joanna Gaines herself had harmonized the decor.

What is happening? Why did I get sucked into this? How did I get here?
We are sold a lie that it’s “things” that will make our blended family happy. And because we often encounter so much turmoil throughout the year, we long to experience, and provide our family with the “perfect Christmas.” Our hope and hearts desire is it will calm the chaos and create unity.

There is nothing wrong with decorating beautifully and cooking lavishly during the holidays if it makes you happy. But material things will not create family unity.

Let’s explore a few options that can help a household refocus:
• Other than possessions what communicates love to my kids and stepkids?
• What if we had a family meeting and discussed the things the kids might be fearing or anticipating?
• What fun task might we do together this year that would build community between us?
• What act of service might our family provide to someone less fortunate?
• Who/what family can we invite to our home this year that might be alone or struggling during the holidays? (Ex: single parent, college student, elderly)
• This year how can I create some one-on-one time with my own child/my stepchild?
• How am I showing my stepchild that it’s Ok for him/her to love the parent in the other home? If you can’t think of anything ask God to reveal it. He will.

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,and to guide us to the path of peace”

(Luke 1:78-79, NLT).

Copyright © 2017 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved

This is an excerpt from Laura’s 30 day downloadable holiday book entitled Seeking a Silent Night-Unwrapping a Stepfamily Christmas. Cost $4.29

Her website is