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Christmas card conundrum

pixielady's picture

DS is having his first Christmas (he was born right after Christmas last year), and I wanted to do a First Christmas card with his photo, but will I get flack for not including SS8 who is long distance? We won't be seeing him here until the week of Christmas, though DH is visiting him for Thanksgiving for a couple of days. I didn't send out Birth Announcements so I wanted to send this as a combo Birth Announcement/First Christmas card. Should I get them and send to my family only and send DH's family generic Christmas cards? Should I use a random iPhone photo of both boys and send them to everyone? I know blended family stepmoms who have their own bio kids miss out on a lot of the firsts because they have to think about the skids, but I can't help feeling I want my own first baby on his own Christmas card for his first year. BM will prob do an SS Xmas card. Thoughts? Advice? Please no "you're a crap stepmom for being selfish, blah blah). I would appreciate real advice from those who have experienced this before. What solution has worked out best?


lieutenant_dad's picture

Why not do a Christmas card with multiple pictures? One of each boy (your DH could get a good one at Thanksgiving) and one of you and DH?

I always envision Christmas cards as being a family affair, ergo the whole family is in it. If you have 1st Christmas pictures you want some family to have, include a wallet size photo of DS in with those cards (or get larger prints and give them to special family like grandparents, etc).

Honestly, when I get customized Christmas cards, I barely look at them. However, if I got them from a family that I knew had multiple kids, I'd find it a bit odd to see a picture of only one kid signed off by "The Smith Family". It just seems...weird to not include the whole family on family Christmas cards.

pixielady's picture

OH, that's a good idea to get wallet size photos of 1st Christmas ones for DS to include in the cards. When I was considering getting Christmas cards with just DS, we would have had them signed off from him as it's his first Christmas. Thanks for the ideas.

lieutenant_dad's picture

If you plan on having a 1st birthday party, you could also have an invitation with him celebrating his 1st Christmas and birthday. Something like "Happy Holidays make for a Happy First Birthday" or "Christmas Babies are Happy Babies" or "Thus Year Starts the Tradition of Singing 'Jingle Bells' and 'Happy Birthday' at the Same Time" or some other clever Pinterest-y saying. The front is his picture and the back is the invitation so family can keep it in an album with it looking like a Christmas card or just a picture.

Paintcrisis's picture

I used to send the christmas cards to my list only and included just my kids.

Most of my family and almost all of my friends never met the former skids so i didnt bother.

I sent the ILs a generic card.

blueskies4me's picture

Nah. Have your baby son have his first Christmas card to your family without the long distance other kid. Your son only gets one first Christmas and first birthday and deserves not to have to deal with stepkid/half sibling bs. Who cares if someone gets butthurt over the omission. Tell them to be quiet, it’s your son’s first birthday etc.

strugglingSM's picture

I would probably send a card with your baby on the front - with an announcement of his birth / first Christmas, whatever you like and maybe put a pic of the whole family on the back and say "with love from the Joneses". You could also just do the announcement and leave off the back. Maybe also sign the SS's name.

I'm the second child in my family and it honestly makes me a little annoyed that my sister appears in nearly every picture. She's three years older, butntjere she is in my first Christmas photo, first birthday photo, everything. I saw let your child have some things to himself.

Mrs Fireball's picture

Yes, this.

Sometimes it's okay to let one child have the spotlight.

It's crazy that even Christmas cards can get complicated.

pixielady's picture

Yes, thanks. It IS complicated and something you don’t think about when you marry a man with children. You should be issued an official of possible stepfamily complications when you marry a divorced dad and another one when you have a child with him. I know SS is my husbands son but it didn’t even occur to me when we decided to have DS that I would have to think about putting SS, a child I don’t even like and who doesn’t like me onto a first Christmas card with my DS. I know that sounds mean but I can’t help it. You don’t get many “firsts” or many “only your child” moments.

ESMOD's picture

TBH, for all the reasons you stated above.. this is WHY you SHOULD include your SS on this first Christmas card. Do you really want to cement the bad blood by erasing him from his dad's life at the first public opportunity?

Do you want to confirm in his mind that his dad is pushing him out and you and your child are his replacements?

Sorry.. this is a time to be the bigger person. Now, before years of bad blood have passed under the bridge.

In your situation, the best option is to NOT do a primary picture card as your "family Christmas" greeting card. Pick a generic Merry Christmas card with a wreath or whatnot and have it come from you, your DH and his son and your new baby. THEN, in the cards that are sent to your family and anyone who would care.. you include a photocard (like a postcard size) that is an announcement of your new baby and can have "baby's first Christmas" on it in fancy font.

Yeah, I know you don't like the boy.. but it is taking NOTHING away from your child to do what I suggest and is a pointed message to HIS child that you and the new baby are going to be bad news if you choose to send a "baby's first Christmas" card to everyone and exclude the SS from the card.

pixielady's picture

I have no problem adding his name to a generic card then inserting the baby's first Christmas photo in the cards for people who care. After some thought and consideration of the ideas presented from other step talkers, this is probably the best option for me. I really don't want to put SS in a photo with baby in the first Christmas card. This is my first child. He deserves to have ONE first Christmas card the way that I'm sure SS had. And I would never have a "family" photo of me, DH and DS. Most of the people who will receive the photo of baby haven't even met SS or know him. I will send in laws generic card with nothing in it. They will most likely get one from BM with SS on it anyway. I asked DH his opinion and he is fine with this.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Do the in-laws not want pictures of your DS that is also DH's son?

pixielady's picture

The in-laws and BM and her parents all play the "poor child of divorce" game and treat SS like a prince, lots of gifts, money, etc. (and not just for birthday/holidays). If I send a baby's first Christmas photo inside a generic card, they will question why SS isn't in the photo as well. I don't want to deal with that. Plus, we've had problems with them not respecting DH's wishes not to spoil SS with material items/money. DH or BM can send photos of SS to them. That's not my responsibility. Sorry about the whine.

ESMOD's picture

What I would do is have a 'family' christmas card and also have printed up an insert with the babies first christmas and his picture on it. Enclose the "first Christmas" enclosure in the cards of those who would care to know about his arrival.

The family christmas card could have pictures of everyone in the family (like faces in ornaments.. if everyone couldn't be present)..or could just be a generic box set.

What you do NOT want to do is to create a "family" card and omit your husband's child because that would be hurtful to that boy if he saw it.. it's not his fault he lives away from his dad.

So.. again, family card with extra picture with "first Christmas/Birth" announcement enclosed.

mommadukes2015's picture

I have 2 step kids with 2 BM's. SS12 lives with us, SD7 lives with her mother & her grandparents. SO has been doing this stupid "supervised visitation" that BM2 has insisted on (without cause) for the last 4 years. He picks up SD or visits her at home. She "isn't comfortable" coming to our house (for whatever reason, I'm sure if control freak BM told her she needed to go she would be fine, but she won't-not my circus not my monkey). So when I do family photos, or send Christmas cards, I don't put SD on them because well, while we all consider her part of our family, she isn't physically allowed to be part of our family.

BM has made a point to introduce SD7 to me, and my kids go on playdates when their dad goes for visitation some times and the LOVE it and as much as we would love her to join our motley crue it just isn't my place to figure out. I have a strict policy of "I worry about the kids I'm responsible for" SD has two solid parents-it's their job to figure this out. It's my job to support my SO or tell him when I think he's being difficult or avoiding something.

I don't know if your situation is similar but if I sent a Christmas card to SO's family with us SS12 (who lives with us) and BD3 I don't think they would bat an eye. Of course, none of them besides my BIL have been allowed to meet her so there's that.

DaizyDuke's picture

If you are not seeing your SS until the week before Christmas, I am assuming he is long distance and you only see him a handful of times a year? I don't see a problem with just doing a Christmas card/birth announcement for your little one. If SS lived with you or even came 50/50, then I can see where that might be a problem but like someone said above, maybe even include a pic of SS and BS together inside the card and sign it from family.

RainbowsAndDaisies's picture

I imagine you will catch flack whether you decide to include the stepkid in the photo for the card or not. You're going to have to make a decision and stick with it, whichever way you decide. If anyone gives you grief about your decision, be a wise woman and ignore them Smile

pixielady's picture

Just being a SM means getting flack from someone who’s not happy about your decisions. I’ve decided to go the generic card route and send first Christmas photos to my side of family and friends. In-laws Can get card sans photo since the first words out of their mouths are “what about SS?” Anytime we do something for DS that they think we should do for SS.