Usually I post to this blog first thing in the morning, but I mistakenly
thought I could host my daughter’s birthday sleepover and still write
my blog.  I’ll remember to pre-announce a change to the blog
schedule when I’m hosting an overnight event in the future!

Now I’m shifting gears and getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner
at our house.  As we all know, Thanksgiving runs right into other
holidays families celebrate in December.  Holidays offer the time and
opportunity to strengthen relationships, yet also involve a built-in
stress level that is heightened by changing family dynamics as school
gets out and relatives (not always your own) come and go. 

Over the next several weeks I’ll blog even more about the importance
of weaving together various family traditions in a stepfamily. Today I
want to focus on encouraging you, the stepparent in the family, to
hold on to one aspect or tradition of the upcoming holidays that is
important to you, no matter how small.  This could be anything from a
certain dish you contribute to the meal, to a traditional blessing you
offer for the table, to a post-meal walk with a special family member. 

Why do I feel this is important?  It’s part of developing what I, in my
book Stepparenting the Grieving Child, call “the you that shines
through.”  It’s too easy, in the bustle of the holidays, or in the
company of people with whom you may not have an established
relationship, to lose track of your sense of self.  You will likely be more
relaxed, joyful, and generous if you give yourself the gift of one
tradition that’s important to you, each and every holiday.  Of course,
this needs to be in balance with recognition of honored traditions for
other family members.  I’ll blog more about that in weeks to come.

My special tradition for Thanksgiving is making my father’s turkey
stuffing recipe.  While my father passed away more than fifteen years
ago, all over the country members of our extended family continue to
make his Thanksgiving stuffing.  Not only is it tasty, (as many
stuffings are), but it also brings him to the meal.

Your turn:  How do you stay connected with what’s important to you
during the holidays?

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Due to the holiday, I’ll be re-posting
“Thankfulness All Year Long” tomorrow.

Mama J (Diane Fromme) is a writer, parent, and stepparent located in
Northern Colorado.  For more information on her stepparenting book,
go to


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1 Comment on Holidays are Tapestries of Tradition

  1. Marie S says:


    Coincidentally, I just made a huge bowl of dressing for tomorrow’s dinner. It’s made with the same list of ingredients I’ve relied on for years. It’s typically popular enough, but I’d love to see a copy of your father’s recipe!

    Very Happy Thanksgiving!

    Marie @ your writers’ group recipe exchange!

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