Positively Paula

Perfect Gift Ideas for Stepfamilies

Thursday, December 09, 2010
In my last blog, I talked about how stepmoms would benefit from giving themselves the gift of journaling. In the midst of this holiday season, I'd like to suggest some gift ideas that anyone could give to members of a stepfamily.

And, attention dear parents and stepparents! If you like any of these ideas, please do not be shy about putting these items on your wish list if you are asked. You may never get these goodies unless you ask. In fact, if you are a new member of a stepfamily, you'll probably be doing your relatives a huge favor by helping them get to know what you like. And, since some of these gifts don't cost a dime, all the more reason to let someone know your desires.

In the "no nickel needed" gift category are:
  • alone time for remarried parents. Offer to watch their kids so they can have that rare date night.
  • patience and flexibility regarding convoluted schedules. Many remarrieds face stress as they are dealing with work, school, and joint custody schedules, especially if they have children in different schools. Offer to host a holiday dinner on a date that allows EVERYONE to attend. And, make them feel at ease if Christmas dinner happens to be on Dec. 30th this year.
  • acceptance and sensitivity. Instead of asking a new family member to step out of a family picture because someone wants a picture of "just their" relatives, perhaps take an extra picture with all family members included and frame it as a gift or create a calendar. Remember to get a gift for all of the children---step or not. You don't have to spend much to have everyone feel included and welcomed.
For those who plan to spend some cash, stepfamily members might really like:
  • family tree gifts. Red Envelope has some really unique family tree gifts, such as a keepsake quilt or family tree photo frames.
  • mouse pads, aprons, bags, stationery plus other custom-designed items that display a silhouette of the stepfamily based off of photos that you provide to Simply Silhouettes Stationery & Gifts.
  • consumable gifts as recommended on our Facebook page by an extraordinaire wedding planner Martha Wiles of A Splash of Elegance. Martha recognizes that combined households often have lots of "things." She advises considering a gift card to their favorite eatery and childcare for later in the year.
Enjoy the season and the giving!

Note: The companies and products mentioned in this blog post are not paying advertisers of this website. I simply recommend the items.

Attention Stepmoms: Give Yourselves a Great Holiday Gift

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This is the time of year when you see a lot of articles and blogs pop up about the challenges that stepfamilies face during the holiday season. Stepmoms often face extra stress as they fulfill holiday obligations that include entertaining, hosting visitors, shopping, figuring out hectic schedules, and determining holiday traditions. Even people who aren't experiencing life as a stepmother can be depressed, stressed, and overextended.

Two especially helpful resources I've seen lately that offer useful solutions for stepfamilies dealing with holiday problems are: holiday tips on Wednesday Martin, Ph.D.'s blog page, and "1-2-3-step approach makes holiday traditions easy" by Christina Roach, MA, NCC, DCC on Examiner.com. And, dear stepmoms, I know the perfect gift you can give yourselves this year.

Give yourself the gift of journaling. Check out "The Health Benefits of Journaling" by Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP who lays out the case for journaling very well. Journaling can help you ease stress, work through problems, safely vent, figure out your thoughts, explore your past baggage, and more.

I know some of you are probably saying, "But, I don't have the time to do the things already on my Thanksgiving plate!" We all do. Just try this for a month and let me know how it goes. I think you may be surprised. And, journaling can be a great place to focus on those things in your life for which you are most grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

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