Post # 1
This morning I drove my SO to the airport so she can fly home for the holidays. In the past we spent our holidays separately with our respective families. We’d talked about trying to split up holidays once we’re officially engaged/married, and neither of us were looking forward to the family drama it will probably create. However, I can’t envision a world where we’d even be able to do that. Because of my work, I’m unable to take any time off around the holidays and therefore can’t travel to see my family. They live in the same state as hers, though not in the same area, which is several states away from our home. Thanksgiving is hard, but Christmas will be harder. I love Christmas – it’s my favorite time of year, and my brother will be visiting home then too, which is the only time our family is all together again. I completely support my SO’s decision to go home to her family for a number of reasons. However there’s just something very disheartening about being completely alone on family holidays, and I don’t foresee anything changing once we’re married.
Post # 2
It doesn’t seem right that you have to work on EVERY holiday. Is it not an option to arrange with your work to have at least one of the major holidays off every year? Then you and your spouse will know you can spend your holiday together, and can alternate whose family you spend it with.
Post # 3
Nope. This is our busiest season and corporate dictates that we’re not allowed to have time off from the week of Thanksgiving through Christmas. We have Thanksgiving day and Christmas day off, but with family so far away, there’s no way to get to them in just one day. I work weekends as well. I love my job but sometimes I wish I had more control over my schedule.
Post # 4
LadyCapricorn: do you have any friends in the area that you can spend time with during the holidays? I know it’s not the same but at least you won’t be alone. I know this will sound cheesy but maybe consider volunteering to help the needy or to deliver toys to kids on christmas or visit a children’s hospital and help. It might help to do something like that so you aren’t alone and are still spreading some love around christmas. If i was going to be alone and had no friends to spend the holidays with that’s what I would do 🙂
I’m sorry you are so bummed. I would be too. Maybe talk to her and see if alternating every year would work? one year she spends it at home with you (since you are her family unit now) and one year she can go visit family? thats the solution I would suggest if I were in your place. Good luck OP
Post # 5
I don’t know why but something about this post compelled me to come back and respond. I think when your SO returns you should have a talk about how you are going to practically deal with Thanksgiving and Christmas in the future. Who to spend the holidays with can often be a difficult decision to make but one that should only be made by the two people in the couple and not to be ditacted by either family.
I live in England and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving so can only speak from a Christmas perspective. My DH works in a supermarket and he isn’t allowed any holidays for December. He has his usual time off obviously and everyone gets 3 days around Christmas day itself but it does mean that we can’t go away together to visit my family members who live elsewhere in the country. Instead I am going with my parents to see them a few weeks prior to Christmas. Is there anyway your SO could go before the holidays so she still gets to see them but spends the actual day with you?
For me, the most important thing is I get to spend Christmas Day with my DH. Whether that be with his family, my family or somewhere completely different.
Post # 6
stardustintheeyes: The alternating thing was what I was going to suggest. Maybe your family can even visit you during the holidays.
Post # 7
LadyCapricorn: That is a bummer. I would be pretty bummed if I had to spend the holidays completely alone. At the same time, there is no way in hell that I would leave my SO alone for the holidays to go visit my family. As PP suggested is there any way that your SO can go visit family before Christmas and then come back and spend Christmas with you? If you have friends in your area, maybe you can spend the holidays with them?
Post # 8
LadyCapricorn: To me, being with my spouse is not an option. I think the best solution would be for you and your SO to start new traditions at your home on major holidays. Perhaps your family or hers could come to you, instead. Perhaps choose a weekend around the holidays where you can go home and celebrate and visit your families. It’s not fair to you that she leaves every holiday – I wouldn’t stand for it.
Post # 9
Its nice that you support your SO’s decision to go travel home … but you should pretty down about it and personally, if I had to work every holiday I would want/expect my SO to stay home with me for some of the holidays. If SO has more vacation than you they can go visit other times some year or if its just the timing you could go together at some other time. And, I don’t know how old you are but I feel like my parents have gotten more understanding as I’ve gotten older that I have my own life separate from them now and can’t spend every holiday with them.
Post # 10
Sweeeeeeeeeetie, that sucks. Plan your own Christmas and thanksgiving late! Just the two of you! Been there. It’s really annoying. Ugh missing out on Christmas cuddles. Delay it, change it, break the ruuuules. But I feel for you.
Post # 11
Thanks all. We went out to dinner last night – something we don’t get to do very often – and counted that as our “Thanksgiving.” We’ll have “Christmas” where we exchange gifts a few days before she leaves for that. She has thanked me over and over for being so understanding, so it does make me feel better that she isn’t taking this for granted.
I support her decision for Thanksgiving in particular. Her mother has gone through some tough illnesses, and while she’s doing pretty well now, it’s made my SO consider that we never know how many holidays we’ll have with our loved ones and she very much wants to see them. Last year we did make a bit of a compromise. The first year I was alone for almost two weeks, including New Year’s – which is also my birthday – and it was incredibly difficult. We talked it over and she came back by New Year’s and we celebrated my birthday together, which was wonderful. That will hopefully happen again this year. She is a Phd candidate and teaches classes as well, so she gets time off during certain parts of the year but cannot take too much time off during the academic year.
Ideally we would travel to the state together and visit one family set, then the other for different days. Getting them all together or coming down here would not be feasible, since her family is divorced and neither her two families nor mine get along with each other.
I usually agree with posters that decisions should be made by the couple and not by the family. Unfortunately the sad reality is that this is not always feasible in all situations. If I were to insist she stay with me, we still would not be able to enjoy our holiday together. The resulting fallout with her family would overshadow any joy we might have together.
I suppose I’m just venting a bit, since I don’t really want to say anything to her and I don’t particularly have many friends to talk with. I know she’s also sad we can’t spend the holidays together and I want to put on a brave face for her. Whenever she goes home her family always has some drama and I know it will take a toll on her – I don’t want to add to it.