Step Grandparenting on the Holidays


Sibling issues aren’t just for siblings and parents on the holidays . Try being a stepgrandparent.

Christmas Day may find you giving gifts as a  step grandparent. Blending families means multiple parents, two houses, and myriad grandparents .


Each kid has a divorced Mom and Dad plus their newly remarried mother and father. Each set of children will spend Christmas twice- once with their divorced father and once with their divorced mother but in different houses . It is worthy of an excel spread sheet.

Merging families means blending rituals . If one family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve and the other Christmas day -it’s a clash of cultures

Blood grandkids can  spend Christmas morning with their blood dad or mom or step mom or dad or some combination of all. New  step grandparents need to have to have the same schedule.

If step grandchildren  are  teens, time with friends and boyfriends must be allowed. So getting  all  children- blood and step – gathering with their blended parents and two sets of grandparents on Christmas Day or evening is a challenge. The complications are myriad . The shores treacherous.


The evening takes a genogram to map.

Step grandparents have to be assume the supportive role  to shore up our adult children and grandchildren, both blood and step .

You need to be  anchors to this rebuilt ship.

On the bright side , in  the exponentially exploding numbers you might have multiple piles of gifts , for the grandchildren . If you love to give this answers a deep need on the holiday and all year round

If you are a step grandparents-look at yourself  a gift this Christmas. Stay steady, stay married if you are , stay the same grandmother or grandfather , the same steady presence.

Be the counterpoint to incredible change .

You have to be the background, the supporting cast, the backstage crew that helps the play go on. For the new cast members, you are  the green room, the welcoming place for the nervous and many times damaged – new stars .


To find out more about step grandparents on the holidays watch my You Tube segment on holiday hell-






About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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