It is, and it isn’t. My parents are divorced (but get along really well) and his are still married. We have a lot of places to go to, but the focus isn’t always on gift giving.
We will go to my dad’s house on Christmas Eve around 2pm. We’ll have Christmas movies on in the background and make a bunch of appetizers. We’ll exchange presents. We normally don’t spend more than $100 or so since we are older. This one is more about traditions. One of them is that we always get Christmas lottery scratch-offs, and it’s fun to see who ends up making the most money. After we open our gifts, family friends will come by. We’ll have appetizers, although last year was a sit-down meal. We’ll play games afterwards for fun, or it might be for small amounts of money.
Then, we’ll go to DH’s dad’s side of the family. There isn’t a ton of gift giving there, because his youngest cousin is in college. There are now a few great-grandchildren, but I think those gifts are taken care of by their individual grandparents. We’ll play a Rob Your Neighbor type of game, but it’s nothing big (one year, the rules were you had to re-gift something, and the next year was you brought your favorite snack). It’s honestly gotten to be somewhat of a pain.
On Christmas Day, we go to church, and then relax a bit at our own home. In the afternoon, we’ll go to my mom’s house to open presents with immediate family. Then, we’ll end up having Christmas Day with that side of the family. Some of my aunts and uncles exchange gifts, but not everyone. We then head over to his mom’s side of the family, where we will play Rob Your Neighbor (usually with a $25 limit), and then we’ll play Bingo for wrapped presents.
Usually, a day or two after Christmas, we’ll celebrate with DH’s immediate family and exchange gifts. His family isn’t all that big into Christmas, but they are big into getting all of us together. We end up spending a good chunk of time with just them, and that’s what they’re really all about. It works out well for everyone…it’s one less thing to cram into the days, yet we still see each other on the holidays, and we get to spend more time together (which sometimes can be a good thing :-)).
Next year, we’re adding a kid into the mix, and DH’s brother and sister in law will also have had a second child. I feel like things are going to change again, so we’ll see.