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Threats and Thoughts for StepFamilies at Thanksgiving

People sitting around a table for a holiday meal outside act silly while someone takes a family picture with a mobile phone.

Bill asks his wife, Jill of 3 years, “when are your kids Michael (12) and Alexis (9)) coming for Thanksgiving from their dads?” Jill bursts into tears!  “I don’t know,” she cries. “My ex is being such a dope,” she tearfully utters. “I need to pick them up at 2 pm and that is when your kids are here, right in the middle of our Thanksgiving feast!”  Jill is feeling very anxious about all the details that can threaten the point of the day: being thankful!

Bill begins to rant and rave about the hassle of the schedules and the high expectations that Jill has for the day. Then he makes this statement, “why can’t you just let it go, just relax?” Jill stares a hot blazing hole through Bill’s forehead!  She is thinking “how do I tell this man whom I love, that is the most stupid comment he could have ever said?”


Give thanks in tribulations and ask for wisdom before you get run over by the Stepfamily Holiday Steam-Roller! The rule is this: there is plenty of love to go around. Peace is experienced when you lower your expectations.

“Stuff” is going to happen no matter how well you plan and prepare. Get ready to ride the wave and check in with one another by asking how’s the SURF?

  • S=  servant attitude
  • U = unity
  • R=  relationship/respect
  • F=  flexibility

How can you serve one another? Is it setting the table, helping prep the house, or clean up duty? Have a family meeting ahead of time and talk about who can help with different activities. Having the kids be part of this planning will help them have ownership in the task and hopefully bring unity to the family. Showing respect to other family members, especially during a stressful time like the holidays is huge! A question to ask in the midst of the excitement:

Would you rather be right or have a relationship?

Blessed are the flexible…because they won’t snap! If you’re not used to being flexible, this is a great time to start! It’s an important part of not only surviving in a stepfamily but thriving in one.

Bill and Jill need to get on the same page. What are the expectations for this holiday…and the ones to follow?  What are the points that are really important to each of them? Marshmallows on the yams, or not; turkey or ham; a movie that night or stay in? They need to think of the traditions each of their kids, and their previous family had and honor those that you can. Talk about what new traditions you can start now.  How can they adjust?

Get On The Same Team

Make sure you and your spouse are on the same team and that you have each other’s back during this holiday season. Keep the line of communication wide open and be intentional to clarify your thoughts/plans. Don’t be afraid to try couples counseling. With so many moving parts this time of year, it’s so easy for assumptions to take place of conversations. Focus on building new memories and remember to LAUGH A LOT!!!!

May you and your family experience a Thanksgiving full of joy and above all peace.