So Many Grandparents, So Little Holiday Time

Compromise, flexibility and kindness are key when there are four sets of grandparents and just one grandson.

But we’ve always had Christmas Eve at our house, we’ve always gone to Christmas Eve service at my childhood church, we’ve always had egg casserole and mimosas for Christmas-morning breakfast. I hate change, I want everything to stay the same and I want to be in control.  I don’t always get what I want, so I take a deep breath, well, maybe ten deep breaths, and tell myself to go with the flow. With the addition of a grandchild in the family, our holiday routines are changing and even though it can be difficult to accept change, it can also be a good thing.

As the only grandchild with four sets of grandparents all within a 30-minute drive, there is serious competition for time with six-month-old Callister. How do we all get to be part of his first Christmas experience without my daughter and son-in-law feeling as though they are being pulled in four different directions? What is the solution that will make everyone happy?  We’re not all going to get our way, but there are compromises that can be made so everyone can feel satisfied and most importantly, our grandchild, who we all love, will have a great holiday! If you’re in a similar situation you may want to consider these suggestions.

Accept change

Change is hard, but it can be good! Just because you’ve always done things a certain way at a certain time doesn’t mean there isn’t an alternative that might turn out to be even better.

Give up control

I’m a bit of a control freak, so it’s hard to know I’m not going to be the one calling all the shots. However, the positive flip side of that is I have less responsibility (specifically, less cooking!), and I’m beginning to see that can be a good thing, a very good thing.


It’s the lesson we should have learned in Kindergarten, but some of us (who me?!) continue to have trouble with this even as we’re receiving AARP invitations in the mail. There are only so many hours in the day, and there is one grandchild to be shared with four sets of grandparents. A get-together that includes all grandparents can go a long way in reducing the stress on the adult children and grandchildren. In our situation, that means putting aside petty differences with ex- spouses in exchange for time spent with a six month old we all adore.


You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. Children hear this often, but I think many adults, including myself, need to take heed. You may have to compromise and realize that it isn’t all about you. Would it really be so bad to have waffles and orange juice for breakfast or go to a different church on Christmas Eve? Give a little in the name of family harmony.

Although the holiday season is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, it can also be an extremely stressful time. Perhaps our family is on the far end of the complicated spectrum, but I know we’re not the only family with challenges. As family dynamics change, we must be willing to embrace change, or at least keep our opinions to ourselves. Do the details really matter in the grand scheme of life? I want my kids and grandchildren to have wonderful holiday memories, and if that means giving up a few of my “always” traditions, then that’s a price I’ll be happy to pay.

Categories: Grand Life