All tagged Blended Holidays
The Easter Bunny skipped hiding plastic eggs at our house this year - opting for an Easter gift. In years past, if we didn't have the kids - the Easter Bunny usually made a surprise visit the weekend before or after. You can click here to read a post I wrote last year about how we celebrated the Holiday.
This morning Raylan and I slept in late - woke up - looked at each other - commenting how nice it was that we hadn't been up all hours of the night assisting the Easter Bunny only to be woken up two hours later by three screaming kids - "The Easter Bunny came!!!!"
Over the years the night before Easter had become shorter and shorter thanks to Jax.
From the very beginning, my Hubby made it clear that he hated Valentines Day so don't expect anything from him. His philosophy was two fold. First, if he needed a day to tell me he loved me then he wasn't doing a very good job the rest of the year. Second, he's likened the Holiday to sanctioned extortion - either you buy your wife a gift or pay the consequences for not doing so!
In all honesty it never really bugged me - maybe it's the two bouquet of flowers he has sent me every single year for 13 years - three days before Valentines Day, but NEVER on V Day! Or the "Just Because I Love You Day" we celebrate with our kids every year over a special dinner with a small gift exchange just coincidently around Valentines Day. BUT, don't let any of that fool you because we DO NOT celebrate Valentines Day!
Creating traditions in our blended family gave us a launching pad for building our family unity and close relationships. Two traditions we started early on have stuck with our family, movie night and bowling! The last two days of the Holiday break we were lucky enough to find time to do both with all three kids.
Movies have been a big part of our family life. Since the creation of our family, most nights we have watched a movie together. When the kids were younger, we would split the movie viewing over a couple of nights. The whole enchilada came as they've grown older.
Some movies we've seen a like million times - Home Alone! Ugh! Others we've had to negotiate with the kids - watch a 20 minute preview before they can say no to the particular film - never had a NO after the preview period. Everyone in our family can repeat any number of favorite lines from hundreds of movie. No background information necessary - just the delivery of the line and we all chime in with the punch line. It's a language that created a bond that continues to grow with every laugh, thrill and cry we share.
In fact, one of our family trips was inspired from a movie we watched together and the kids fell in love with - namely it's location. The movie - Italian Job. The location - Venus, Italy.
Our Christmas holiday has been a little upside down and every which way this year. We haven't quite got our groove with the new reality - one home from College determining his own schedule, one almost ready to leave the nest and our youngest - 14- still needing and wanting structure in a Holiday schedule.
In years past, the schedule simply rotated from year to year - one family spent the week before Christmas through Christmas Day at two o'clock with the kids - the other family spent Christmas Day through New Years Day. No negotiation, that was just the deal we had all agreed too. Parents and kids looked forward to essentially a Holiday break from the divorce schedule.
This year when we acknowledged Jax"s freedom to make his own schedule as an "adult" we indirectly gave that freedom to Little Hart 14.
I have to admit, there have been a number of times over the years I secretly wished for the day one of my kids would turn 18. With my three youngest, it had nothing to do with them, rather the Ex. Specifically haggling with the ex over the "proposed" holiday schedule. One year Dick/Malus got miffed that I dare email a schedule over without "proposed" in the title.
Most of the years we have shared 50/50 custody with our respective Exes. Agreeing on what was a fair 50% time split was a moving target year after year. By the time the actual Holiday rolled around, it felt like we had negotiated peace in the Middle East. Instead of wanting celebrate, I usually felt like going to bed for a few days due to mental exhaustion.
This year we've added a new twist - Jax turned 18 in July. No longer a valid divorce decree awarding joint custody to his Mom and Dad. No more detailed spread sheets about what days he will spend at Mom's house and Dad's house. In my opinion, that was a huge motivating factor in Jax going out of state for College - he could sleep every night in the same bed, his clothes all in one place - just one home base.
Today Jax is coming home for Thanksgiving! This isn't Mom or Dad's Thanksgiving - it's HIS THANKSGIVING! But what home will he come home too?
Happy Halloween! If your blended family is anything like ours you've probably wondered why Halloween can end up being more emotionally charged than any other holiday. I've come to the conclusion that it has more to do with kids growing up than the actual holiday.
Kids grow up so fast and there's a very tiny window that they love to dress up and you get to be apart of the process as a parent - split that time in half - it's a handful of years.