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How do people with step kids manage Christmas? Needs some advice.

My husband usually goes over to see his daughter Christmas morning, and watch her open presents. We have two kids 3 and 1, this is the first year our three year old is going to understand what is going on. Do I suggest changing the time? Do I just leave it? He will be upset if he misses the look on our 3 year Olds face when she sees Santa has been.


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Answers (10)

One Christmas with Mum, the next with Dad. He has other kids so he can't spend every Christmas with his eldest and miss out on the youngest. 14 is old enough to understand and a bit past the 'magic' stage of Christmas morning. I have teenagers and Christmas morning is not as exciting as it was when they were little.

Unreasonable to expect a 3 year old to wait. A 14 year old who has moved on from Santa should be able to wait. Also I expect the 3 year old will be up much earlier than the 14 year old so presuming SD doesn’t live too far away, he could probably manage both.

I wouldn’t be making a 3 year old compromise on this. To young to get it. The 14 year old, however, should

I mentioned it tonight, he doesn't want to upset his daughter, and thinks it's ok to let our three year old wait until 10 to see what santa brought. I think next year he will change his mind, because I'm not going to do that to the poor kid.

 I wouldn't make my kid wait until 10 either.
helpful (4) 
 Ok fair enough. He probably feels like he needs to compensate since he isn’t living with his other daughter. Since she in her teenage years he probably doesn’t want to put up with any backlash or attitude if she isn’t keen on a later time or already has plans for the rest of the day.
Your daughter doesn’t have to wait till 10 to open a gift, give her a few things to unwrap and tell her we’ll open the Santa gift when daddy gets home. Good luck, I don’t think a big deal needs to be made out of it. You’ll end up fighting with hubby and the kids probably don’t give a crap.

helpful (0) 
 My Dad used to have to work a few hours Christmas morning, I still remember waking up at 5am sooo excited to see all the presents under the tree. Then Mum would make us wait for Dad to get home at 8 until we opened our presents. Thats 3 hours of 5 over excited kids looking out the window and picking up presents trying to guess what they are and asking every 5 minutes, how long now? Can we just open one? I hated it. I admire my mothers patience and strong will now I have kids myself but Jesus, I have made it a rule that presents get opened first thing no matter what. The first kid awake after sunrise has to wake the rest of the family up, once we are all up we open presents. If someone isn't there then we aren't waiting for you.
helpful (0) 
 Can you not let her open just 1-2 presents then she can open the big ones when he gets back. It's not an unreasonable request he has made.
helpful (1) 
 Agree with above poster but personally I think sd has made it into a power struggle, and won. She’s 14. She could wait until 8 or 9 until your presents are done with miss 3. Seriously.
helpful (1) 

Growing up, we had Christmas Eve with one parent, drop back to second parent at 11am to do Christmas lunch. Then the next year we had it the other way around. We still loved that Santa had been to both houses!

I feel you. I was put in the same position as your daughter by my dad. I had to wait while he did presents with his new partners family. They weren’t even kids or his. But enough with the rant. I have been put in a position where I had to make my kids wait to open presents. I had a stocking which they could open and play with to keep them occupied. Would something like this be a suitable compromise where Santa can leave something that she can open but the rest have to wait for daddy to get home

 It will only be a couple of things from santa, she can wait to open the other gifts. He seems to think I can keep her out the lounge for hours so she doesn't see her stocking full, or that Santa ate his cookies.
helpful (0) 

Ours is older & doesn't believe in Santa so she comes over later so our youngest still get their dad.

 SD is 14, it's not about Santa it's they see each other for the day.
helpful (0) 
 So she’s 14, you’ve been with her dad for five years and she wants nothing to do with you? Please don’t take it personally. I really feel for you xx
helpful (0) 
 She decided when she was little that she didn't want step parents or siblings, her friend was unhappy in a blended family. Once we got engaged she refused to have anything to do with me. It's ok, it's her choice, she misses out on things not me.
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 So someone let an 11-year old dictate she didn't want to have brothers or sisters, or dad to have A new partner, and everyone was like oh sure whatever you want honey... ?
helpful (1) 
 Obviously it didn't work because Dad remarried. Really, what could be done? You can't force someone to accept people if they don't want to. I do disagree with this Dad spending Christmas morning with her at the expense of his family, thats wrong and if she doesn't want to go to him then she should be the one to wait.
helpful (1) 
 She decided no steps, but obviously she didn't get her way. I dont want to force a family on her that she doesn't want, and I'm sure she would make our lives miserable if we tried. She know we are here if she changes her mind.
Yes her dad doesn't want to start issues, and thats fine, hopefully when he realises he missed seeing the look on her face when she gets up and sees Santa ate the cookies, and left her a present and all that excitement he will change it next year.

helpful (0) 

Were suppose to have my step daughter alternating years. So one year we just don’t celebrate until Boxing Day but in reality, we never have her on Christmas. At most, the years we’re suppose to have her we are allowed to pick her up at about 3pm Christmas arvo. I don’t make my kids wait until Boxing Day anymore. 8 years of my kids having to wait around for her to get here, nah had enough.

My stepson lives with us so that makes it easy. Last yr he was with his mum in the morning so we just didn't put presents out till he got home. But my kids were 2 and just shy of 1 so didn't really understand anyway. This yr he isn't going to his mother (she hasn't even attempted to make contact with him all yr so hubby told her she isn't getting shit this yr) so they'll all be home for Christmas morning. Which I am honestly so excited about. I agree with the Christmas eve idea. Or do presents with your kids before he goes to his daughter? How old is she and could this be a possibility? Or if you can get up before your kids, distract them and keep them out of the room that presents are in until hubby gets home? Good luck and let us know what you come up with.

 I think the easiest solution is for my husband to go see his daughter a little bit later, it's only a few santa presents. I can't really tell a three year old yes Santa came, but you can't have them until your dad gets back (unless she forgets 😂).
It's going to look like I'm deliberately making him late so SD has to wait to open her presents. I think I will mention it and just let him decide. He might have to miss the Santa presents.

helpful (2) 

Xmas is full on with all the different sets of families & then on top of that negotiating with exs on when you can have the step kids. Need to set up an schedule from xmas eve to boxing day it's crazy.

 Christmas morning is when they see each other. We go to my husband's family Christmas day, SD won't have anything to do with me so it's tricky. I guess they could just make it a bit later.
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Is there an option to have 3yo daughter open gifts Christmas eve? I don’t imagine at 3 they will question the days. How old is hubby’s other daughter? Maybe changing the time if all parties agree. I mean your 3yo will no doubt be up quite early, mine used to be up from 6am. Provide more information if possible.

 It's only the Santa presents that I'm worried about, the other gifts can wait until later. She usually gets up 730-8, I hope she isn't up earlier as she won't get through the day.
She will put out a mince pie and carrot the night before, and santa will leave a stocking and small gift, so she will know what's going on.

helpful (0)