Read Acts 2:46.
Room Set Up
Using seasonal decorations, create a warm, cozy space that depicts being home for the holidays.
Serve a simple meal of bread and soup with your favorite drinks. Hot cocoa would be an excellent option.
To enhance the theme of blended families, the following activities promote teamwork.
- Instruct women to stand in a circle holding hands. Give them a hula hoop. The object of the activity is to get the hula hoop all the way around the circle without breaking hands.
- Create a simple obstacle course with an X at the end. Divide everyone into pairs. Blindfold one person. The one who is not blindfolded must get their partner across the obstacle course and to the X using verbal instructions.
- Divide your women into teams. Give each team 20 sticks of spaghetti, a yard of tape, a yard of string, and a marshmallow. Challenge them to build the highest tower with these supplies in a certain amount of time. The team that builds the highest wins.
Food for Heart and Soul
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46).
Growing up in the South, you quickly come to find out that any and every event will include food. Every holiday is usually spent around a table with lots of food, laughter and love. Growing up, my own family made even the “small” holidays a celebration at my Grandmother’s house. We spent Christmas and every other holiday at her house. And there was an abundance of food on the table at each of these gatherings. The act of breaking bread together brought us closer to one another.
Now that I am older, I strongly consider food to be one of my love languages. There is just something holy about preparing a meal and sitting together at a table with people you love, whether they are friends or family. Even when a very simple meal is shared, I can feel the warmth emanating around the table. When I got married, I embraced any opportunity to cook for my husband’s family. These precious moments of sitting at the table together are moments I won’t forget.
When we had our first child and he began eating solid food, we made it a point to eat at the dinner table together as much as possible. I believe that God intended for food to nurture not only our bodies but our souls as well. I also believe that food is the way to a person’s heart. It’s what can bring us together in ways many other things cannot.
For many people who did not grow up in a blended family and who do not have one now, it can be difficult to understand why holidays can be so difficult. You often can’t just continue the same traditions as before. Having a blended family takes a lot of work, especially during the holidays. It is difficult during that first holiday season when you are trying to forge new traditions not to step on anyone’s toes and to learn what makes everyone feel welcome.
Because food is my love language, I really do think there’s a recipe to help most anything. Think of it as chicken soup for the soul if you will. (Pun intended.) While this “recipe” for both blended families and nuclear families alike may not be the cure to all your family’s unique situations, I believe it will certainly help.
- Begin with a cup full of grace. Remember that people will make mistakes. They will forget certain things, or they may not always hold the same traditions you do. In these moments, it is best to exercise grace. As women, we especially need to have a lot of grace for the children in our home, whether they are biologically ours or loved by choice. There will be moments of exhaustion, times of confusion and frustration as they try a new way of life with their new family.
- Add in a heaping two cups of humility. For as many times as you are frustrated with others, remember that you also will make mistakes. There will be many times that you will have to ask for forgiveness. Be prepared to do so. There is no shame in admitting when you are wrong, and it certainly teaches our children that they are worth an apology.
- Stir in respect. Remember that each person in the family is their own person, has their own thoughts, opinions, talents and abilities. Remember to respect and honor those in the best way you can. You will learn as you go, which is where the humility begins to really stand out in this recipe.
- Don’t forget to sprinkle in a lot of communication. There will be bumps in the road, but they can be fewer with planning and communication.
- Cover all the ingredients in prayer. Spend time in prayer, studying God’s Word and sharing in the celebration together.
- Slow cook these ingredients. A family coming together will take time and should not be rushed.
When we break bread together with glad and sincere hearts for all that God has done for us, we are doing something holy. This act of worship changes the hearts of those who sit around the table with us.
Play the board game “Life,” emphasizing that life does not always go as planned. It isn’t always as pretty or nice as a board game. Remind women that acceptance is key, to be empathetic towards those whose lives are different than ours.
Resources for Blended Families
Here are some fantastic articles for blended families that may help them during the holiday season: