I’m all about traditions. Traditions help establish a unique identity for a family and create common memories. These two things bring positive benefits to a blended family.
One of the traditions I created for our stepfamily is celebrating Christmas in July. I try and pick a day that is hot outside and when all the kids will be home. We stay in our jammies, watch Christmas movies and drink frozen hot chocolate. One year I made sugar cookies and put up one of the small Christmas trees. There are no gifts to open. The gift of this tradition is a day to be silly, spend time together and celebrate the blessing of family with little chance of plans being changed.
Lots of laughs. One year I served the Elf diet… candy, candy canes and candy corn.
If you are in a stepfamily, you understand the blessing of being flexible. Of all the times of year, the holidays are a time where many remarried couples have to put their commitment to be flexible for the sake of the kids to the test.
Around Thanksgiving time each year, I begin getting emails from stepmoms sharing their hurt over schedules changed last minute and learning they won’t have their stepkids as planned at the holidays. This has happened in the past and they anticipate it will happen in the current year. The pain in their husband’s heart––breaks their heart. So many plans and special outings often get tainted with sadness when a child isn’t allowed to come over or plans are changed last minute by the other home.
Given the hardships that can come at the holidays in regards to schedules and the desire to create holiday traditions, I wanted to share and encourage you to consider a Christmas in July with your stepfamily. The date on the calendar is not the most important thing to the kids. Being together, having low stress and enjoying each other’s company is what matters to them.
Here are some ideas for a Christmas in July party (keep it simple):
- Cookie decorating station. Pre-bake sugar cookies and let the kids decorate.
- Christmas movie marathon. Each family member picks a Christmas movie to watch.
- Snow ball fight! We use partnerless white socks and roll them into a ball for a snowball fight. If you prefer to have a snowball outside, fill up white balloons with water for a melted snowball fight.
- Play Christmas music and dance around.
- Have a silly Santa gift exchange. Every family member wraps up a silly gift and you exchange in a circle.
- Frozen hot chocolate bar. Put out lots of toppings for this easy to make and yummy drink.
- Pack Santa hats and hit the beach. Build a sand snowman and take family photos with everyone in their Santa hat. These photos will make great Christmas cards in a few months.
- Get on Pinterest and google Christmas in July. You will find plenty of ideas, recipes and printables.
Christmas is about celebrating the gift of our Savior. While the holidays are a special time they can become tainted with pain when kids don’t get to spend time with all parents. Hosting a Christmas in July day (whether spontaneous or getting the kids to help plan) creates a special tradition and memory for your family. Even if you have peaceful and blessed holidays with the kids, a Christmas in July is a fun time and a unique tradition that can bless your family.
Would love your thoughts. Is this something you do with your family? What ideas can you share with other stepmoms for a Christmas in July? Let’s get creative stepmom sisters.