The Cologne psychologist Katharina Grünewald advises patchwork families. She knows exactly what their everyday life is like – she has lived in one herself for 20 years: her husband brought two children into the relationship from his first marriage and the couple still have two children together. In an interview with Stern, Grünewald explains how families in a new constellation manage to have a wonderful Christmas and why an emergency plan is always a good idea.

How are you celebrating Christmas with your blended family this year? All the children are now grown up and what happens in all families is happening: family life is changing, and so is Christmas. For example, last year my son went on a trip around the world. This year we are celebrating again with our practiced choreography.

That means?We quickly developed a structure that suited everyone involved: On Christmas Eve I celebrate with my husband and our two children. The big children come on Christmas Day. In the afternoon we celebrate with my mother and my five siblings and their families. It’s now a big, busy Christmas party – also with some patchwork families. The highlight is always the junk imp. We celebrate in a relaxed atmosphere without any obsessive traditions. That feels good and everyone is looking forward to it. In the meantime, it’s quickly discussed: who’s bringing what and whose turn it is to organize it this year, it takes turns. However, not all families find a structure that fits every year – patchwork families often have to discuss what Christmas should look like every year.

For many people, the focus of Christmas is celebrating the holiday with the whole family. That doesn’t always work in a patchwork family. How can I get comfortable with the idea of ​​celebrating with just one part of the family?

Access to all STERN PLUS content and articles from the print magazine


Already registered?