The holidays can often be challenging for blended families and families with married children, as people try to spend time with as many branches of the family tree as possible, often satisfying no one. Camille DeFer Thompson has the best attitude about her family’s Thanksgiving plans, and how she and her husband fit in to them.
Our blended family consists of a daughter from each side, coincidentally born the same year, and four beautiful, brilliant grandchildren, ranging in age from approaching twenty years to just twenty months. By the day before Thanksgiving, we know whether we’ll be sitting alone across the table from each other, or what mix of our offspring and their offspring will be joining us.
Benny and Trina, the two oldest of Jerry’s daughter, Kelly, often spend this holiday with their other grandparents’ extended family. A crush of aunts, uncles and cousins fill their household with laughter and joy. Kelly, now with little Mariela in tow, alternates between spending the day with us and joining in their celebration.
My daughter, Kristen, finds herself pulled in a multitude of directions during the holiday season – from her father’s home in Alameda, California, to ours in San Ramon, California, to her boyfriend’s family in the Sacramento area. All the turkey trotting, accompanied by Jackson, her energetic eight-year-old, ignites the annual holiday stress for her that lasts until the end of the year. We ease her anxiety to the degree that we are able, by altering our day of celebration to accommodate her itinerary. We have discovered that the Thanksgiving feast is just as satisfying and delicious served on Wednesday or Friday. Further, we remind her every year that if her travels cannot include a stop in our neck of the woods, we understand.
While we look forward to sharing this day each year with our family, we are content to spend the holiday alone, thankful that our kids are surrounded by love, wherever they decide to go.
Monday 24th of November 2014
This will be our first Thanksgiving with just the two of us and I have to admit I am kind of looking forward to sharing the time with just my husband. It doesn't mean I won't miss the family but it feels good to know that we have released them from any guilt for divided time! We will see them over the long weekend and have reassured them that it is just as important and the day doesn't matter-the time we have is what matters. We will give thanks for our awesome family as a couple and then celebrate them with out time together for the rest of the weekend!