It’s a challenge for any growing family: satisfying long-standing family expectations while taking time to create traditions with the children. In my case, I moved across country to marry my husband and after seven years of marriage pre-kids, breaking free from some (although not all) of the family obligations has been a work in progress. I can only imagine the challenge Kate faces navigating the same waters with her Royal in-laws! While I might muster the nerve to tell my mother-in-law “no” and face the consequences, the Duchess of Cambridge does not have the same luxury when it comes to her grandmother-in-law!
Make the most of the whole holiday season
It is tempting, as parents, to want to do things for our children exactly as we experienced them, whether it’s the timing of decorating the tree, baking cookies, or caroling. One way to balance between the pull of two families without having to say “no” can be to spread out the special events over days or weeks rather than trying to squeeze it all in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Given Carole Middleton’s ambitious holiday craft list (published earlier this month in Homemaker Magazine), she and Kate have plenty to keep Prince George busy from now until Christmas!
There are some traditions too entrenched in a family’s holiday schedule to change. For the Royal Family, the walk to church on Christmas morning falls in that category. When something is that deeply important to one side of the family, it may be worth keeping tradition to keep the peace. Plus, as children grow, it’s a wonderful way to instill a sense of family identity.
Pick your battles
Some reports indicate that, while Kate is still visible for the Christmas morning walk to church, that the traditional formal lunch she dutifully attended as a newlywed has been replaced by an informal lunch at Anmer Hall with presents for the children and the Middleton grandparents close by. The Duchess of Cambridge recognizes that joining families’ traditions isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. Prince George and Princess Charlotte are sure to cherish the close family time together as they grow!
We at What Would Kate Do? wish you good luck and grace as you navigate family traditions this holiday season!