First, a personal story that will hopefully help you feel a little better:
This is our first holiday season as an engaged couple and the first where we’re living together as well.
For Thanksgiving, we drove 30 minutes to my Grandparents house for an early dinner (around 2:30) and dessert. We left, drove an hour to his parents’ house, and had dessert with them sometime around 6:00. His parents wrapped us up some of the food from dinner and we stayed until about 10 or 10:30 when we left to drive 30 minutes home.
I thought everything was fine until a few nights later. I put on some holiday music and got him to dance with me a bit in the living room. Didn’t immediately notice that he was crying. He wound up explaining that it was the first time in his life he hadn’t eaten Thanksgiving dinner with his family and, while he had a wonderful time with my family, it made him sad – especially when I put the music on because it reminded him of being home with his family at Christmas.
I felt horrible. And then he felt horrible for making me feel horrible. And then we started laughing because that’s just what we do. Lol!
Now the plan for Christmas is that we’ll drive down to our hometown to spend Christmas Eve with his parents and sleep over their house. We’ll have Christmas morning with them and then drive 10 minutes to my parents’ house to celebrate with my family as well. His family has always celebrated Christmas Eve, as well as Christmas, and my family doesn’t so we figured it would be a good compromise.
I think most people go through this at some point. Merging families and creating a new one can be really difficult and it takes sacrifices from everyone – I guess this year it was your turn to sacrifice.
I do believe there are compromises to be found though, especially if you guys move back to your home state. Would you guys be willing to switch holidays every year? For instance, one year you do Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with your’s and the next year you switch.
Or, you could see about splitting your time over the Holiday Season. For instance, you could celebrate Christmas Eve with your family, celebrate Christmas at home with just the three of you, and celebrate the day after (or weekend after) with his family. . . or any variation of that.
Or, since you’re having a baby, you can tell the families that Christmas will be at your place because you want baby to be able to play with their toys on Christmas instead of running all over the place visiting people.