This question is about how to go about setting holiday boundaries with multigenerational families.
My ex-husband’s wife, who is recently widowed, had been sharing holidays with her husband’s grown children, their wives and families, including me and my husband, who also has children from his previous marriage.
My ex lived high on the hog. He left our grown children his business and provided properly for his widow. Since our children were young we’ve been celebrating the holidays as a big happy extended family.
Nonetheless, now that my children’s father is dead, and our kids have growing families of their own, we’re wondering how to set holiday boundaries with the widow.
My husband and I are trying to simplify; we’re getting old and holidays are a lot of work as well as being expensive.
Setting holiday boundaries for expanding multigenerational families is definitely a huge challenge. The good news is that you are all members of one big happy tribe.
As you say, holidays are a lot of work. Focus on the youngest members of your growing family. Make them your priority. You can set boundaries for gift giving.
For instance, assign each guest (even the children) another guest to whom they bring a wrapped gift with a tag that only identifies the name of the person to whom it is for. Or make the children under eighteen the only recipients of presents.
Be patient. In time, your former husband’s widow will enlarge her circle of friends and find her own path.
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