When relatives are raising the children of relatives a new family dynamic develops. Listen to what may be in the hearts of the children.
1. I wonder if Mom or Dad will show up, this year.
2. I bet it is hard on grandma to make Christmas special this year. She doesn't have much money and I know it hurts her that there isn't much under the tree.
3. My cousins are great fun, but I never had to live with them before, and now they have to share Christmas with me. I hope everything goes OK.
If you see children withdrawing during the holidays these may be some of the feelings they are sorting out. You might want to find a simple family gathering activity you can all do together to take the pressure off...play a board game; pop some corn and watch a movie; decorate some sugar cookies; have a baked potato bar for dinner;or anything simple that they can participate in, but does not create more stress for YOU!