Christmas Day is my second holiday as a stepgrandparent. My daughter’s second marriage added two-step grandchildren to my two blood grandchildren, in her family. Blending families means multiple parents, two houses and myriad grandparents .My daughter’s revamped family has a total of four parents. Each kid has a divorced Mom and Dad plus their newly remarried Mom and Dad. 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 spreadsheet.
Merging families means blending rituals. If one family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve and the other Christmas day -it’s a clash of cultures. In my daughter’s case everyone does Christmas day, so no collisions. But all the kids still do just half with one parent and half the other.
My blood grandson will spend Christmas week with his Dad. My daughter’s new husband ‘s children spend the holiday with their Mom. My blood granddaughter will spend Christmas week with her Mom and grandfather- my ex husband. So she will have an early Christmas with her step grandfather and Christmas week with her grandfather. As all these bloods and steps are teens, time with friends and boyfriends must be allowed. So all four children will gather with their blended parents and three sets of grandparents on Christmas. The complications are myriad.
The festive season takes a genogram to map.
But in our case it’s a joint venture. The second set of grandparents my ex husband, my husband and I have become friends. We understand our supportive role and have all worked to shore up our adult children and grandchildren. . My ex husband and my present husband get along well. The five grandparents will be anchors to this rebuilt ship
On the bright side of the exponentially exploding numbers, I have four piles of gifts, instead of two, for the grandchildren I love to give and this answers a deep need on the holiday and all year round
I look myself as a gift this Christmas. Stay steady, stay married, stay the same grandmother, the same steady presence, the counterpoint to incredible change.
I have to be the background, the supporting cast; the backstage crew that helps the play go on. For the new cast members, I am the green room, the welcoming place for the nervous new stars.