Post # 1
So a little backstory. Christmas had always been the one holiday my family would spend together. we would either spend it at my parents house or at my oldest brother’s house. Five years ago my family got into a huge argument and we haven’t celebrated Christmas since. I have been trying for the last couple years to get everyone back together, and I believe i may succeed. Both my brothers having their first child on the way helps. We all live at least 6 hours apart. We have only seen my family a couple times a year due to the distance and our jobs, and this usually involves them coming here.
My fiancé has always been close to his family, the holidays are a big deal and his family spends Christmas Eve together with dinner and gifts. This has been a tradition for 20 years. His family all lives within 10 minutes of each other and we see them frequently. Two years ago we moved Christmas from his mom’s house to our house and it was a battle to relocate, but turned out very well and was more relaxing for everyone. They also celebrate Thanksgiving together.
Recently we were coming back from visiting my oldest brother and the topic of Christmas came up. He knows I have been working at getting my family back together, we have discussed it numerous times (and both agree that my family needs to get over their issues). The problem arises that he stated thst his family has had their tradition for 20 years and would not change It or miss it.
My family is very important to me, and this has really hurt me. At the time we decided this was a topic for another day because I didn’t want to fight with a four hour drive a head of us and wreck a great time.
How do I even begin to approach this and what would be a reasonable compromise?
To add difficulty, I only get off Christmas every other year.
Thanks for your help.
Post # 3
@Sckruse: While I don’t have the added drama that you have with your family, I am also dreading this christmas as its the first one together as a married couple and we will have to decide what to do. Honestly, part of me just wants to celebrate with our respective families and then come back together after and celebrate together. I don’t want to have to sacrifice my family time to see his. Maybe that makes me selfish, but we have been together 9 years and have never spent thanksgiving together since family traditions have been happening for longer than we have been together. So maybe we will end up spending it apart. We will see.
Post # 4
Your FI’s family does Christmas Eve. This will work perfectly!
Your family will will be needing a revamp of their tradition, so why not suggest that you do Christmas dinner OR move your Christmas to Boxing Day? Either way you’ll have enough time to travel to them and celebrate.
Post # 5
@Sckruse: We do Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with his. Christmas Day is always cut a bit short, so his family tends to bitch, but I have work the next day so it’s non-negotiable.
I would say that’s a good compromise. I have to say though if he isn’t willing to work with you for one year so you can spend it with your family then you guys should split up for the holiday at least for Christmas Eve. Yeah, not ideal, but maybe that will make him realize that you’re serious about wanting to see your family. Sounds like you are trying to find a fair compromise, and he is very unwilling to budge at all.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@Sckruse: Host Christmas Eve for his family at your house and then host Christmas Day with yours the next day on years you’re off on Christmas. If that doesn’t work then you need to rotate Christmas & Thanksgiving or just do Christmas with his family and Thanksgiving with yours.
It’s something you just have to figure out and he may have to compromise on spending every Christmas with his family. I understand it’s a 20 year tradition for his family but I find it impossible to believe that every person attended every single year, especially if they are married abd have obligations to their in-laws.
We compromise by rotating Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter among three sets of parents and every few holidays we go on “strike” and just stay home to enjoy the holiday just the two of us so we can build our own traditions.
Post # 7
Every family has holiday traditions that they don’t want to miss out on. I would vastly prefer to spend every holiday with my family, but FI and I are one unit and from the day we got serious we have never been OK with splitting up for holidays. So, in odd years, we spend Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine, and in even years we do the opposite. It has worked very well for 4 years now.
I think in this situation both of you need to decide to embrace change, make new traditions, enjoy what time you do get to spend with your families, etc. When two people come together to make a new family I don’t think it’s reasonable for them to expect that nothing will change.
Post # 8
I think it’s reasonable to trade off. Once we got married, my DH and I will do Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other. I always swore I would not be one of those people who tries to fit two families into one holiday because it just seems to make it so hectic and tiring. It’s worked out well for us so far and our families understand completely. Would I love to spend every holiday with my family? yes! But you need to compromise. Trading years seems like the fair way to do it, and I really like it! I get along great with DH’s family, so I enjoy the new traditions that I’ve become a part of when we were married 🙂