Christmas


Parental Alienation and the Gift of Time

Ten years ago this Christmas, Jack and I gave my three stepchildren the ultimate gift – a new home.  Just months before, we’d secretly bought a two-story house nestled on a huge lot with a creek running on the back side.  We spent weeks renovating and decorating it down to the very […]

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Parental Alienation Christmas Concept

Woman Meditating at Christmas

Christmas Expectations: How to Manage the Stress and Set Yourself up for Success

Christmas is not always the most wonderful time of the year. Often we are dealing with extra stress, spending more money, more pressure, and less sleep. That doesn’t even include the step-family layers of competition between houses, missing kids because of custody disputes and threats, last minute schedule changes, and […]


Contending with Chaos to Create Christmas Peace

Now that the season of bright lights and big expectations is here, it is a good time to share a few ways to help you manage the stress and anxiety this time of year often brings for stepfamilies. There are so many competing priorities and responsibilities. We often find ourselves stretched with […]

Stepmom Achieving Peace at Christmas

Christmas Decorations

Handling the Holidays Like a Stepparent Pro

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of light, love, and happiness, or not. There are so many complicated layers to stepfamily life. We not only deal with the stressors everyone else does (hosting family dinners, staying on budget while finding that perfect gift for the mail carrier), […]


Recapturing Christmas Magic

This is the time of year with plenty of gatherings for friends and family that create opportunities for fun and frivolity. A time to celebrate, share, give and receive. It’s joyous and magical. But for some, it shines a spotlight on everything wrong and on those things missing. It can […]

Couple drinking in front of the fire

Stepmom relaxing at Christmas

The Steplife 12 Days of Christmas Tips for Holiday Peace!

Tip 1: Plan in Advance It is often the ‘unknown’ that causes stress, so sit down with your partner and make a plan – be sure to coordinate with the biological mom. Tip 2: Loosen Schedules (a little bit) We can get very ‘schedule focused’, especially when we see kids […]


Christmas Traditions: The Sibling Tree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Last night, after two days of insistent urging, we drew names for the Sibling Tree.  The Sibling Tree is a favorite tradition in our house (borrowed and adapted from a dear friend), and eagerly anticipated.  It works a bit like a Secret Santa […]

Girl Decorating Christmas Tree