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November 22nd, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Since there are people from all sides of the fence here I though it would be a fair place to see what the general consensus is on Christmas in blended families.

How is visitation done for Christmas in your family? Is it alternated? Shared? Does one parent get all Christmases?
For us, Chloe spends every winter vacation and Christmas with her mother. We would like to split winter vacation into two parts and alternate the holiday with her mom every year that way she could celebrate with both homes of hers. Her mother refuses. This is also one of the things we are requesting in court, and God willing will be awarded.

On a personal note and question, do you think it is unfair of us to ask for this? Her mother only gets to see her so many times a year and has expressed to us that she isn't willing to give up one day of it because to her, she doesn't get her daughter as much as she wants already so why should she let us have more days. To me, we aren't asking for ourselves, but so that Chloe can experience Christmas with her little sisters too. It just doesn't seem right not to get those memories with your siblings.
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November 22nd, 2011, 11:42 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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It alternates for us. On even years (2010, 2012, etc) the kids are with their mother for Christmas. On odd years they're with us. Currently the settlement breaks it down into this: the parent who has the kids for Christmas has them for the first week of winter break and the parent who does not has them for the second week of winter break. I forget the specific language but that's more or less what it says. The parent who does not have them for Christmas has them for Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, that arrangement was set up when dh worked from home and lived 4 hours away. Now that we only like about 30 minutes from the kids, we see them two weekends per month and so the week long visitation (originally designed so that dh could see them for a substantial amount of time) isn't as necessary around the holidays. Also, he works in an office again and doesn't get home until almost 7:00 pm and we have one vehicle. Our townhouse is small and it's hard on the kids being in here - there are no parks or anything in walking distance. For this reason, we're only having them from December 23-26th. Dh only gets the 26th off. It's something that we will need to re-evaluate on paper the next time we go back to court, but for logistical reasons. Everyone seems okay with alternating holidays.

I think it's reasonable to ask for alternating holidays. I don't know the details of your back story/why your bm lives so far away, but if she chose to move, seeing the kids less often is part of the deal. It isn't fair to expect your dh to never see his child for the holidays because his ex chose to move far away. There are a lot of days in the year and your dsd's quality time with her mother can be spent on occasions besides Christmas.

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November 22nd, 2011, 11:48 AM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Well...court papers state alternating holidays, however..."we will never get her for Christmas..." Direct quote from BM and I don't mean bio this time.

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November 22nd, 2011, 12:06 PM
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Her mother chose to move to TX so she can live with/off of her mother. She is extremely codependent on her mom. Eric has said in the past that there wasn't a decision they made in their marriage without it first being discussed with her mother. Now the two of them are joining forces to get custody of Chloe and to proove they have more to offer her in Texas than we can here in Washinton state.

Originally Posted by K.A.T View Post
Well...court papers state alternating holidays, however..."we will never get her for Christmas..." Direct quote from BM and I don't mean bio this time.
I am so sorry.
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November 22nd, 2011, 12:48 PM
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We used to alternate Christmas with the other parenting getting Thanksgiving the year they didn't get Christmas. But since the falling out with Dh's oldest, we have chosen not to separate the sisters on Christmas so we've been getting Thanksgiving & New Years. Although it's Tuesday & we're not 100% sure about Christmas yet.

I don't think it's unfair of you to ask for alternating Christmas. It's a reasonable request to have your whole family together at least every other year.

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November 22nd, 2011, 12:52 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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She chose to leave. She voluntarily moved herself away from her daughter. I'm not sure how it works in Washington, but even though it probably isn't 'legal abandonment' it won't look good for her in a custody dispute. Additionally, it would be pretty rare for a court to uproot a child from a perfectly stable home and move her hundreds of miles away, including away from her siblings (even without taking the potential abandonment issue into consideration). Custody is determined by what is in the child's best interest, and based on what you've posted here so far, nothing about her mother gaining custody would be in the child's best interest. Unless you're living in extreme poverty, whatever finances bm and her mother have available are mostly irrelevant. Is she paying support?

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Last edited by Keakie; November 22nd, 2011 at 12:54 PM.
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November 22nd, 2011, 01:16 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Well, our court paper says 1/2 of each holiday. She has them for 5 days Thanksgiving, so she's not getting them till the 26th this year for Christmas, but we haven't really discussed it with her. I guess if she comes to get them, she can have them in the evening on Christmas. I just hate the thought of them getting a new DSi and then being gone to their mom's for a few days. They will not be able to take them with them, since stuff never comes back.

With my ex, our court papers were worded similarly to Neely's, but we always worked something out. Usually he had them Christmas Eve and then brought them home in time for everyone to have a big breakfast at my house on Christmas morn. He usually stayed for breakfast too. But we are the exception I think, and have always been very amicable and friendly.
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November 24th, 2011, 09:14 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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We are doing the half and half thing this year and for the next two years for sure.

This year she will have him Xmas eve and Xmas day until mid-day, and then we'll swap off.

Next year it will be reverse.

But we try and work it around her work schedule. If she had to work Xmas morning on her year we'd never just say "tough". He'd come to us first and her second. We just need to know before Gifts are open, since if she buys a big gift and we buy accessories, they can't be opened in reverse.

In the future things might change, but that's what they've agreed on (with papers) for three years. After that there should be siblings and I'm going to want to go home to see my family once in a while.
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November 24th, 2011, 11:25 PM
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We do an everyo ther year thing here with Julie and Kaylee being with their dad. It's so much easier having him an hour away. This year will be our year to 'have them' for Christmas eve and Christmas morning, and then we will meet him that afternoon for them to spend the rest of the day//weekend together.

Last Christmas was my first without them and it was weird. I'm so happy we will get to have them this year!
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November 25th, 2011, 03:11 PM
pmdc5286's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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With Dani, she is at her dad's from the day school lets out for Christmas Break until late evening on Christmas Eve. I have Christmas Day. We alternate years on every other holiday. Sean's (DS15) dad has never been in his life so he is always home. With Robert DSS my DH and his ex haven't worked out the details yet. Last year he was here from Christmas Eve until the day they went back to school by her choice. She did not want to deal with him. We are hoping it will be similar this year.

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