The blended family Christmas
When Mum and Dad aren’t under the same roof, Christmas needs to be flexible, which can make for even more chaos - and joy…
We all want to give our families the perfect Christmas, but that isn’t always easy… And no one knows this better than some of our favourite Loose Women!
Gloria Hunniford – a twice-married mum-of-three and stepmum of two with 10 grandchildren between her and hubby Stephen Way – says her blended family now numbers ‘around 27’ at Christmas, admitting, ‘It’s crazy, but it’s wonderful.’
Gloria agrees with fellow presenter Andrea McLean, who previously explained to best, ‘It doesn’t matter what the day is. We have turkey, presents, ham. Christmas Day is just a day. Every day is what you make it. You make your own traditions, because what happens behind closed doors is what works for you.
‘Once you divorce, Christmas becomes quite a fluid thing,’ she added. ‘Anyone in this position has to celebrate when it suits them – it can’t always be the 25th.’
Stacey Solomon must know exactly what she means. The former X Factor singer has sons Leighton, five, and Zachary, nine, from two previous relationships, while her boyfriend of two years, Joe Swash, has son Harry, 10, with ex-fiancée Emma Sophocleous.
Can they unite their respective broods for a big fat Swash/Solomon Christmas in between Stacey’s stint in panto and Joe’s in Australia co-hosting I’m A Celebrity… Extra Camp? It could be pretty hectic. But with Stacey previously admitting she wants ‘seven’ more kids, the idea of mayhem clearly wouldn’t bother her!
Christine Lampard is another Loose Lady who’ll be trying to make it a Happy Blended Christmas with her husband, Frank. As well as celebrating their second wedding anniversary on 20 December, his two daughters, Luna, 12, and Isla, 11, will no doubt be splitting their time between Frank and Christine’s Chelsea pad and their mum Elen Rivas’ home.
Speaking recently, Christine said, ‘I think with Frank having two little girls, you’ve got a strange sense of motherhood without being mummy, but it is wonderful… Disney has done a brilliant job of making out that all stepmothers are evil but, when you find yourself in that situation, you make the best of it. ‘I’ve always had such lovely Christmas memories, and I’m always trying to recreate that for Frank’s girls.’
Andrea McLean, mum to Amy, now 10, and Finlay, 15, is set to marry Nick Feeney soon. He also has two daughters. Last Christmas, as she told best, the kids all came together at her house – along with Andrea’s parents – for the first time.
You would imagine they’ll do it again on the big day this year. Will they be on the rum again, we wonder? Andrea previously admitted it’s her traditional routine with her parents on the 25th.
‘By 10am, my dad’s making his rum punch and we slowly get wobbly,’ she said. ‘Mum will be making Christmas lunch and I’ll lay the table – I’m a rubbish cook, but I can make things look pretty!’
Her best-ever Christmas, Andrea said, also sounds like the most disastrous. It was when her family lived in Kenya and they had a power cut. ‘ We thought, how the hell are we going to cook Christmas dinner?! But we managed to cobble something together.’
Christmas – like families – may not always come in a tidy package. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be wonderful!
After divorce, you make your own traditions, says Andrea
Gloria with grandsons Gabriel and Charlie
Stacey goes dotty with Leighton and Zachary