This was originally featured on Momaha on December 19, 2016.
Navigating the role of grandparent can be tricky this time of year. Here are five tips for grandparents this holiday season.
• Avoid a competition. Grandparents should avoid making buying presents for the grandkids a competition. Sets of grandparents sometimes try to outdo each other in the gift department in order to be a grandchild’s “favorite” grandpa or grandma. When buying gifts, it might even be a good idea to talk to the other set of grandparents so no one goes overboard and there’s no duplication.
• Be flexible in planning. Scheduling Christmas celebrations can be tough when there are two sets of grandparents. Many families celebrate Christmas eve with one set of grandparents and celebrate Christmas day with the other. When great-grandparents are involved, you might have to schedule get-togethers for a weekend before or after Christmas. Obviously, this is easier to do when families live close to each other and don’t have to deal with long-distance travel. Planning is key so that kids get to experience and enjoy the holidays with the most senior members of the extended family.
• Share traditions. Kids love to hear stories about how their parents and grandparents spent Christmas when they were kids. Grandparents can share their favorite holiday moments and experiences, and teach their grandkids how to be part of holiday family traditions. Grandparents also can start new traditions such as reading classic Christmas stories and books to their grandkids (“The Night Before Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” etc.). They also can teach the grandkids Christmas carols and sing them together.
• Remember the true meaning. Grandparents can reinforce the true meaning of Christmas by reminding their grandkids how wonderful it is to be together during this most family-oriented holiday season – even though their family may not look like the other families in their neighborhood.