First married Christmas and I'm a little sad

posted 3 years ago in Holidays
Post # 3
Member
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think everyone goes through this at some point. Generally married couples spend the holidays together, and it’s especially tough to see both families if you live far away. Have you figured out a plan how you will split Christmases going forward? Like one year you’ll see your folks, one year you’ll see his? That might help to know that this won’t always happen. I would definitely Skype or call your family so you feel somewhat included on Xmas. What you’re feeling is normal.

Post # 4
Member
97 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Lemon-Squeezy:  I can relate. This has always been my favorite time of the year, too. Our families sound very similar. We always do a big Christmas Eve gathering, and then again on Christmas day. Unfortunately, I’m working both Christmas Eve and Christmas, and I live two hours away from my family. I didn’t want to do presents at all this year, what with planning and paying for a wedding. But FI’s parents guilted us into doing at least something. Which I don’t understand. We’re all adults and can buy our own things. I normally like being with his family (mom, dad, and brother), but it’s a little depressing when I’m used to being around a larger group of people for the holidays. I’ve also been feeling depressed in general, being cooped up in an apartment. It’s all around turning out to be a crappy holiday season. I hope you can make the best of it though! And now that you’re starting your own family, you can start your own traditions, too 🙂

 

Post # 5
Member
8910 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

I’m bummed too – my husband has to work (night RN shifts) Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day, and we’re too far away from family for me to go visit myself. I mean, I could easily fly there, but we’re flying for a belated Chrismas thing with both families the first week of January. So I can’t really take off 2 weeks for work. So I’ll either just go to work or curl up with my kitties at home…

So cheer up, at least you can spend it with your husband and a big family who (hopefully) loves you! But I’m sorry it’s tough, hugs. 

Post # 7
Member
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@Lemon-Squeezy: 

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. Undecided

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.

Post # 8
Member
6506 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I can definitely relate, however, I at least get to see my family for Christmas. We live about seven hours away so even though I get to see them on Christmas day I sure miss all the Christmas traditions. I’ve tried to continue them at our place but DH just isn’t into Christmas as much as my family is so he will do everything but he doesn’t really enjoy it.

*sigh* I’ve just been feeling kind of down this Christmas season even though I usually love Christmas. I’ve actually been on the verge of years a few times because I miss my family, friends, and traditions and I don’t even have extra hormones coursing through my body. (Hugs)!!

Post # 9
Member
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m facing the same dilemma next Xmas!

My whole family (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings, nephew!) gets together at my uncle’s hotel in the mountains (which they close during the holiday season for all of us), and there’s so much noise, happiness and presents!

However, FI’s family do not celebrate Christmas (they only celebrate The Three Wise Men, while in my family we celebrate everything!), so they just get together to have dinner.

We we get married, we will be moving to Barcelona due to FI’s job, and although we have said that each year Christmas will be spent with one of the families, I feel that the years that Christmas will be celebrated with his will be a little disappointing.

However, I will keep my family traditions and I will celebrate both days with my kids! The more, the merrier! (and I’m hoping FI’s family will join the fun!)

Post # 10
Member
1147 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Lemon-Squeezy:  I’m sorry you are feeling sad this xmas season. I don’t mean to thread jack but I want to give you the perspective from the person who has flexible holiday traditions: I grew up with super flexible holiday traditions so when DH & I started spending xmas together (this will be our 4th) it was super easy for me because all I really cared about was being with then BF/FI now DH. But DH had a super strict holiday tradition down to what they ate for each meal (the 23rd, 24th & 25th) & how each day was spent over the holiday. Every year we’ve been together we’ve spent some part of the holiday together, either xmas eve or christmas night, (splitting the other times separated with our own families, but once we were engaged it was important to me that we spend the whole holiday together). DH (FI at the time) literally cried when we left his parents house on xmas afternoon to go have xmas dinner with my family. It made me feel like sh*t because I felt like being with me wasn’t enough for him and I feel like I am DH’s #1 family and should be enough for him no matter who else we spend the holiday with even if that means we spend it together alone. We haven’t made too many “hard and fast” rules about Christmas because I feel like doing so will cause us to be inflexible & not adaptable to change over the years & I want our daughter & any other future children to be flexible when it comes to the holidays.    I promise it’ll get easier as the years pass but remember to be flexible moving forward & def set some boundaries for when you do fly to your home state about how your time will be spent. Maybe instead of bouncing between both sets of families you pick a home base for each trip, your family one trip, his family the next trip. I’m also a big fan of bringing both sides of the family together. DH’s parents would love to keep us all to themselves so we make it a point to invite them to all of the family events that involve my moms family because I want them to feel connected and bonded with my side of the family too.

Happy Holidays!

Post # 11
Member
1083 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Lemon-Squeezy:  I would be really upset if I didn’t see my family at Christmas also so I completely understand. I’m fortunate in that FI’s family celebrates on Christmas Eve and my family celebrates Christmas Day so we just do both. 

Maybe you and your FI can think of a fun little new thing to do this year and try to make it a tradition? It might get you a little more into the holiday and help cheer you up a bit. 

Post # 12
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Lemon-Squeezy:  I can relate to feeling jealous about family time, but it isn’t my DH’s fault or his family’s fault. We actually live closer to my family, and usually we celebrate x-mas eve with them and x-mas day with DH’s family, but because one of my family members doesn’t get off work until 3 and won’t be bringing the food until then (we eat pizza for xmas lol) they are not having x-mas meal until x-mas day, which like I said is our day to go to his family’s. I am bummed becuase even though I can still see my family, hang out, play games, and open gifts, dinner is very important to me, and I miss out this year because of unforeseen circumstances.

Petty thing to be sad about, but I value my time with my family.

Post # 13
Member
2400 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Lemon-Squeezy:  I can totally relate! Both of our families are clear across the country from us so I always miss my family something fierce around the holidays. I make a point to set up a skype time during one of their traditional activities so I can still kind of be there… Last year we had everyone wait to open their presents until we were skyping so it kind of felt like I was there with them… It’s hard for sure. I also try to make our own traditions with DH, sometimes spin-offs of our familiy traditions. I put a few things in stockings that my mom always did, and added in a few new stocking stuffer traditions. I will say that the holidays without my family is waay less stressful and crazy but it sounds like that won’t be the case with your new cousin =( You can always throw yourself into cooking that day!

Post # 14
Hostess
9910 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Lemon-Squeezy:  the first christmas away from your family can be tough – work on starting new traditions that are yours as a couple – it helps make things ‘yours’.  I now LOVE our Christmases together (and so does FH) we like the way we’ve combined our family traditions into something that’s ours.

Post # 15
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Holidays are hard. You definitely have to find a balance and I will say it is hard to think of your family as just you and your husband but now things are different, or at least I’m trying to tell myself! I’m getting married this weekend and I feel like a lot will change (in a good way). We have been very lucky that our parents are only about 45 minutes apart so for the last four years we have gone to both houses every holiday. But I know it’s not sustainable. We see both on thanksgiving. We do Xmas eve with his, then Xmas morning presents with mine, then brunch and presents with his, then xmas dinner with mine. I feel like we travel back and forth more than we get quality time with any one family, but we also want to see everyone. This year in particular is hard because we’re getting married right before Christmas and I have extended family that will be in town. I want to see them as much as possible and would rather just do his family Xmas eve and stay with mine all Xmas day, but it hurt his feelings to not see his family on Xmas day. I completely understand and would be hurt if he suggested we not see my family on Christmas, but we see his parents all the time and we see my extended family once every 5 years or so. I also would feel guilty leaving to his parents’ home when my family travelled specifically to see us. Anyway, I think you just have to do the best you can, and I’ll be following comments to get advice too! I think having a baby is a great reason to start new traditions!

Post # 16
Member
5932 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@Lemon-Squeezy:  ..holidays aren’t always easy…in fact, while some of them are amazing…others just remind me of the National Lampoons Christmas Vacation….and I’m so very Beverly D’Angelo, telling her daughter, “It’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”

The best you can hope for on the rough ones, is to get through it without crying or causing a scene…and know that since you’re taking one for the team this year, you’ve got some leverage for the holiday ahead.

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