Fairness - Christmas related — The Bump
Blended Families

Fairness - Christmas related

Now that I have DS I'm trying to navigate the fairness aspect of a blended family. Its not related to gifts.

Im a huge Christmas nut and Im deciding whether to do elf on a shelf and I found some stuff to make a letter FROM Santa for LO. I want to do stuff like this but I didn't do it for SDs. Its purely coincidental, they aren't here the whole month of DEC for EoaS and I got the idea for Santa letters just recently from an email from the county (you pay a fee and they will send you one so I thought I could make my own).

I guess its stupid because we have done special things with them at Christmas. I just don't want them to look back and feel like I did more for DS.

I also text them occasionally to talk to them or send them a pic of DS (send a pic maybe once a month not frequently or anything). they said they wanted me to send them pix but I get no response. I worry that they have negative feelings about it. Or they could just be acting like teens.

I just don't know if I'm doing this right and I'm insecure about maintaining this balance. I never want them to feel like "less" than DS in our eyes and I worry about this a lot.
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Re: Fairness - Christmas related

  • I'm sure you are doing fine.

    We are long distance and still do Elf on a Shelf...we just show them some of the silly stuff he does on Skype.

     

  • I started doing Elf on the Shelf last year and it was so much fun for all the kids, even DS who was 13 at the time.  They loved seeing every morning what shenanigans Penny got into during the night.  I'm doing it again this year even though the girls are getting a little old.  I know that PJ will enjoy it next year when she's older and I want to maintain that tradition.  It doesn't mean that I love DS, DD or K any less, it's just a new thing I found to do.

    I don't remember how old SD's were when you all became a family.  If they were older than your LO is now, then I think it's understandable for you to be doing things for LO that you may not have done for SD's.  Of course you make a big deal about Christmas for little kids.  But if SD's were 10 or 11 and the magic of Christmas and Santa had already faded, why would you do all kinds of kiddy stuff for them?  As teenagers, they should be able to figure that out on their own.  Plus, they may enjoy the "fresh" perspective on Christmas and seeing it through LO's eyes.  I know when I was in the hospital having PJ, DS did the Penny stuff for me those 2 nights.  Not for his sake, but for DD and K.  The kids are really excited to take PJ to see Christmas lights this year and do all the stuff they have become "bored" with doing.  When there's a baby involved, it seems way more exciting to them now.
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    Pamelacake
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  • If it is a year we don't have the kids the 1st half of Christmas break we also use this: http://www.portablenorthpole.com/home and email it to BM to show the kids.
  • I met SDs when they were 3 and 4. They are long distance so they usually come for Christmas week and then go home. We do stuff like Christmas baking, we've made gingerbread houses, zoo lights, gone through those light parks where they blink to the music, we did ICE! at the Gaylord hotel by us etc. They are 11 and 12 now. I found out about elf on a shelf a few years ago but I didn't think about sending them pix. One year we DID get a phone call from Santa when they were 5 and 6. We tracked Santa online on Christmas Eve.

    I think I want to do Santa letters for them too. I guess they might think its lame but maybe they will think it's funny/cute and its better to include them and have them think its lame than skip their letters I think.

    I just worry about this a lot.
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  • I love that you're worried about being fair and not hurting your SD's feelings. I think that says a lot.

    I understand why you're worried. BUT.. I think this kind of things happens in intact families, too. Things can change over the years--finances, trends (elf on the shelf was not a thing when I was a kid!), parenting ideas, etc. Two kids growing up in the same house with the same parents can have vastly different experiences. I think we all just have to do our best. I have to believe that when we have good intentions, we can only screw things up so much. =)

    I am with you, though. We do a lot of silly things for the sake of not hurting someone's feelings. And I have no clue if that would even be on my radar if we weren't blended. 

    I think you could do some GREAT sweet or funny/ironic letters to them from Santa. 
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  • I think you are doing fine. We started Elf on the Shelf 2 years ago, so yes, after DS was born, but I had not heard of it before that. The kids all love it. Although when my SKs are not here, they don't know what is going on with the Elf. When they get here they usually ask DD what all the Elf did while they were at BM's. I actually do less cool things with the Elf when only DS is here because coming up with new ideas gets harder.

    I think it's harder when the kids are long distance.

     

    DD(14),SD(13),SS(11),SS(9),DS(3)

  • I like the idea of doing letters to the girls, too. Even if it's "lame" now, it'll be sweet later when they're all grown up. They'll remember being included and might even laugh about the lameness of the letters later on, but it's a memory you all shared.
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  • I love that you're worried about being fair and not hurting your SD's feelings. I think that says a lot.

    I understand why you're worried. BUT.. I think this kind of things happens in intact families, too. Things can change over the years--finances, trends (elf on the shelf was not a thing when I was a kid!), parenting ideas, etc. Two kids growing up in the same house with the same parents can have vastly different experiences. I think we all just have to do our best. I have to believe that when we have good intentions, we can only screw things up so much. =)

    I am with you, though. We do a lot of silly things for the sake of not hurting someone's feelings. And I have no clue if that would even be on my radar if we weren't blended. 

    I think you could do some GREAT sweet or funny/ironic letters to them from Santa. 
    All of this.
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  • Can I just say that I hate the elf on the shelf? I have so much more to do than move that creepy little doll around the house, and if you think I'm going to take the time to set up crazy little "activities" for him, your nuts.

    Obviously, I must hate Christmas (not really).

    And I have a serious doll phobia. No kidding. I am terrified of dolls of all kinds. So the idea of moving one around the house to make it appear real is just sick and wrong to me.

    My MIL got it for the kids, and every year now, I fight the urge to burn it in the yard.

    WARNING: This is no exaggeration.
    twister22mccall0113Sigirriabiron
  • ambrvan said:
    Can I just say that I hate the elf on the shelf? I have so much more to do than move that creepy little doll around the house, and if you think I'm going to take the time to set up crazy little "activities" for him, your nuts. Obviously, I must hate Christmas (not really). And I have a serious doll phobia. No kidding. I am terrified of dolls of all kinds. So the idea of moving one around the house to make it appear real is just sick and wrong to me. My MIL got it for the kids, and every year now, I fight the urge to burn it in the yard. WARNING: This is no exaggeration.
    We haven't done the Elf on the Shelf. We *gasp* don't do Santa. DH actually grew up with no Christmas trees, his dad was pretty crazy... MIL & SIL hate that we don't do Santa, and my dad hates it too. FIL and my mom are glad. I absolutely LOVE Christmas though, and go all out and decorations and activities. DH has a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit since his childhood was kind of anti-Christmas.
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  • @ambrvan I was thinking about getting the less creepy target one and I wasn't going to do the pinterest elf activities crap. I was just going to move him. I wasn't going to do it at all but I talked to some people who said their kids go apeshit every morning when he moves, they get really excited. That made me consider it. I love Christmas.

    In any case I'm still on the fence about the elf.
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  • Do the elllllllf!!!!! The kids loooooove it!
    CFjo2010
  • Elf on the Shelf is a newer thing so ven if you had an older kid it does ok mean you would have done it for them. And FWIW I don't do it for my kids, I personally refuse to add more commercial crap to an already instance season. So go for it, you get to make whatever traditions you want just like BM does.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
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  • I did the elf last year, I didn't do all of the things on pinterest. The older kids like some of the silly things he did like... getting into their cookies or cereal. They really aren't into Christmas like I am. I also did letters to and from Santa, the older kids didn't participate, So I think this year I am just going to do letter's from their favorite Disney characters. They can write a letter to them and will get a response letter along with an autographed pic. I just found out about it a couple of months ago. I've been trying to find out if Marvel does something like this.

    I'm also trying to find something that they will all like. I'm saving up for Christmas at the Zoo this year and I think they will all like it, I hope!

    DH wants to have traditions that we can do where everyone is involved as well. I'm stuck. They all like to watch the Christmas classics together but we can do that anytime. It is special but at the same time.. I feel like it's kind of blah. But I guess anything that we can get them to do all together is special with the huge age range.

    I definitely agree with PP who said that maybe they will enjoy it more seeing LO really into it.

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  • Oh my gosh I LOOOOOVVVVE the Elf on The Shelf.  Seriously, I had the entire month planned out and did crazy stuff every night.  A few of my favorites...

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    option458Pamelacake
  • @jobalchak your post alone has convinced me. That is hilarious!
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  • @CurlyQ284 check out this site...   elfontheshelfideas.com


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  • wendilea said:
    I have a friend who goes ALL out with TWO frickin Elfs on a Shelf.  By the end of the month, she's exhausted, half her ideas failed, and she's a mess.  No thanks.
    2 is overkill.

    And I already have the calendar figured out for December, including Penny's arrival, shenanigans for PJ and K's birthdays and a "farewell" for the morning the kids leave...

    I swear I have a life  
    :D
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  • Ginlyn0Ginlyn0
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    edited October 2013

    Ok. I found a few of our elf I'd share for fun. Ignore crappy cell phone pics from my old phone. The older kids named our elf Bernard after the Elf on the Santa Clause movie.

     

     Ignore all the toys all over my fireplace and living room but that's what happens when your 2 year old (at the time) shared a room with us. Bernard toilet papered the living room.

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    What the elf looked like after TP'ing the living room

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    When he was sweet and brought candy canes to put on the tree:

     

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    Bernard loves baby Jesus

     

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    When he wrapped the kids bedroom doors (this one was hard to pull off without being loud when the kids were sleeping):

     

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    DD(14),SD(13),SS(11),SS(9),DS(3)

  • Ok I think the Elf is stupid and was always worried about doing it because I don't think Mr. Logical, aka DSalmost7 will believe it but you might be convincing me. Jo, any chance you would share your ideas? When does he arrive?
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • @Littlejen22 Penny arrives Dec 1st. I bought a decorative sleigh and she'll arrive in the sleigh and deliver the kids' advent calendars. One night last year she used crepe paper and covered the kids' bedroom doors. I'm going to have her holding a dumbbell made of a skewer, marshmallows and brownie chunks. She's been tangled in Christmas tree lights, held captive by other toys and "made" her own snowflakes out of paper. One of my favorites last year was when she drew on our family photos (dry erase marker on the frame).

    I know, I know. I go totally overboard and I probably enjoy the Elf shenanigans more than the kids do...
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  • I'm thinking DC & SC are probably getting one of these this year.

    How did your elf arrive & get a name?
  • I NEED to get one now!!!!!
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    CFjo2010
  • I'm thinking DC & SC are probably getting one of these this year. How did your elf arrive & get a name?

    Last year when the Elf first arrived she "crash landed" on our kitchen table into a big bowl of marshmallows.  She brought with her a fun little s'mores set (hence the marshmallows) and she had a note from Santa explaining who she is.  I named her Penny before her "arrival".  I know some people let the kids pick the name.

    Seriously, just google Elf on The Shelf ideas or look on pinterest and you will find a gajillion things!!
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  • @jobalchak I love that you get into it like that, I do too and my friends that don't have kids think I'm crazy...lol.  I have a calendar made with all the different things Charles does so I don't forget.  One of DD's favorites from last year was when Charles showed up in my car to ride with us to school complete with barbie backpack and seatbelt.  She still talks about that! 

    CFjo2010
  • My autistic son HATES the elf. Creeps him the eff out. Sigh
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  • My autistic son HATES the elf. Creeps him the eff out. Sigh

    The feeling is shared. I hate it to the point that I seriously am a scrooge about it. I will move it if I think about it, but just like from one shelf to another. DH tries to get a little creative, but he has never thought about going all out like Jo. I refuse to show him any elf blogs or ideas to keep from encouraging it.

    And I frequently forget to move him (I don't even remember his name). When the kids see he hasn't moved, I just tell them that maybe he thought that was the best place to watch them from our I have DH move him while they are gone.

    He knows I am afraid of dolls. He understands my unwillingness to be involved in it. I make SD keep any and all dolls she might have in her room ask the time of I am home. I feel bad, I do, but I am terrified of them. Can't help it.

    Maybe this year our elf will have a fatal accident trying to bake cookies...

    FWIW, I know I'm terrible. And I almost hate myself for it.
    Sigir
  • sweetwalkssweetwalks
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    edited November 2013
    2 months worth? No way!

    ETA: that's almost as bad as Halloween decorations in the clearance section, and Christmas decorations replacing them BEFORE Halloween.
    [Deleted User]
  • ambrvan said:

    Can I just say that I hate the elf on the shelf? I have so much more to do than move that creepy little doll around the house, and if you think I'm going to take the time to set up crazy little "activities" for him, your nuts.

    Obviously, I must hate Christmas (not really).

    And I have a serious doll phobia. No kidding. I am terrified of dolls of all kinds. So the idea of moving one around the house to make it appear real is just sick and wrong to me.

    My MIL got it for the kids, and every year now, I fight the urge to burn it in the yard.

    WARNING: This is no exaggeration.

    So I hate this elf too but it's something my Dh started doing with SS. Now my SS looks forward to when "the final member of our family" can come out every year.

    It's a little heart warming. I'm ok with the elf now.
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  • I'm thinking DC & SC are probably getting one of these this year.

    How did your elf arrive & get a name?

    You buy the box and there's a whole little story for them to read about the elf- for example if they touch him he loses his magic. Your kids can register his name online and then receive updates from the North Pole.
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  • So do any of your kids notice the elf in the store? My son is so logical that worried me.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • SD has pointed out other kids playing with their elf and caring it around in public. She has never seen it in stores. She has asked why those kids are touching their elf since you're not supposed to touch them or they will lose their magic and not be able to fly back to the north pole. ;) I have always just said, "Oh, how sad. That elf has lost all its magic."

    I mean, inevitably, when you are lying to your kids about Santa and the Easter bunny and stuff, you have to expect that someday they are going to figure it out.
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