Post # 1
DH and I just got married last month, and the topics of holidays never really got brought up/discussed. While we dated, we never spent Thanksgiving or Christmas together – and did our own things with our own families. Plus, it didn’t help that he never took time off around those days, whereas I do, so it allows me to go out of town for family stuff if that’s the plan. I’ve always taken time off around these holidays for as long as I can remember – and have a job that allows me to every year.
So this year for Thanksgiving, I am going to my grandparents 3 hours away with my parents and sister, and he is staying here to do something with his family (which he said, they don’t do much anyway). We’re leaving Thursday morning and coming back Friday sometime, so it’s not like I will be gone for very long.
Does that seem weird to an outsider? My grandparents are getting older (my Grandpa just turned 91), and I’d like to see them as much as I can before they pass away – which you never know when that will be. And it wasn’t until probably 5 years ago or so that we always had Thanksgiving at my parents house in town, but started traveling due to my sister not being able to make it home, or my grandparents not being able to drive here by themselves. DH doesn’t seem to care what I do, but I still feel bad that we won’t be together.
We’ll just have to sit down and figure out Christmas, cos I know his family does do something big for that – but so does my family. I just don’t want to disappoint my family (I love Christmas with them), but also don’t have DH to dissapoint his. Traveling between the two may not work since he pretty much just gets Christmas off, where I’ll be off the 24-29.
Post # 2
Kacie209: If it works for guys as a couple then that is all that matters.
My husband and I often spend holidays apart due to the fact this his family is on the other side of the country. We try and alternate between family’s but sometimes it is just not possible with work and finances.
Post # 3
j_jaye: What you said makes me feel better! This year may just be the transition year, and next year we’ll figure it out better.
One of my cousins does that, alternates holidays with each family. Like this year is Thanksgiving with his wife’s family (they live near them), and then they’ll have Christmas with ours (7 hour drive for them).
Post # 4
Kacie209: you definitely have to do whatever works for you as a couple. my now husband (been married 6 months) and i have worked out a way since we first started dating to see both families as much as possible during the holidays, and have not spent a holiday apart since we started dating over 3 years ago. it means a lot to me for us to be at everything together especially now that we are married, but also because i have a small family and love having a second family to celebrate with 🙂
Post # 5
Kacie209: Last year, when we were engaged, we spent Christmas apart. We chose to do it as a last time kind of thing – last time before we got married and what not. Thanksgiving is never a big deal to us – we do it usually w/his family because my dad goes to his girlfriend’s family’s thanksgiving.
My husband’s parents live 5 hours away but a lot of the “kids” in the family are in this area. We convinced them to come down here for Christmas instead and are splitting the time between them + my family. We are having everyone to our place for Xmas Eve, Christmas Morning w/his family, then everyones (his fam + my fam) going to my dad’s for Christmas dinner. I guess we will have to figure out when to do presents w/my family. I am just happy that we don’t have to travel + I still get to see my family thought it makes me upset to not spend Christmas morning w/my family (which I have for the past 28 years) but I keep telling myself that it’s time to make new traditions.
Are both of your families in the same area? If so, that’s great. Perhaps its time to have a BIG Christmas Eve party w/whatever family you won’t see as much as on Christmas day, or vice versa. Honestly, I think the fairest way to do it is to simply split the time and then swap it next year. And know that you’re not alone – it’s hard! One of my friends confessed to me that she cried the first time she spent Christmas away from her family.
Post # 6
weatherbug: Yes, my parents live in town, as well as most of his family (sisters and some aunts/uncles/cousins). His parents and brother live about 45 minutes away – so not far at all. The rest of my family is at least 3 hours away in either direction from where we live.
I know my mom just really wants to see her parents as much as possible, just in case this time next year they’re not here (my other grandparents have passed). We do see his entire family a lot since they come to town pretty much every weekend – whereas I don’t get to see mine often because of the distance.
Post # 7
Kacie209: So they are all within driveable distance…. I think you just need to figure out a way to evenly split the time. Would it be an option for someone to pick up your grandparents and drive them back to your area to spend a few days? We go and pick up my grandmother who lives 5 hours away most Christmases. It’s a bitch of a drive but shes old as well and can’t drive herself.
Post # 8
Kacie209: Do I think it’s weird? No. Would I do it? No. I’ve spent every major holiday with my FI since we started dating. It’s something that is important to me to be with him during the holidays. We just figure it out with our families where we will go. In a past relationship, we alternated Christmas and Thanksgiving among the families. FI and I just figure out whatever works best. Our families aren’t super needy about us needing to be with them or needing to do certain traditions on the holidays so everybody is pretty flexible. My family lives about a 3 hour plane ride away and FI’s family lives about an hour and a half drive away. This year my parents are flying down and we are having Christmas together with both families.
Post # 9
I’ve spent Christmas/Thanksgiving with my now husband every year since our second year dating (and we may have spent our first year dating together as well, I don’t really remember). Now that we are married, I couldn’t imagine being away from him for the holidays so we split them up as best we can. What you’re doing wouldn’t work for us, but if it works for you then go for it. I would broach the topic of how future holidays will be handled though especially if you plan on having kiddos. This year you can always celebrate that weekend with your husband 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN
Spending the holidays with DH was just something that I really looked forward to after we got married. And it would be very weird to my family and me if we didn’t spend the holidays together. So we worked out a schedule. This year we’re spending thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his, then next year it will flip flop. Granted both of our families are not that far too travel to. The farthest from us is probably 45 minutes (minus his sister and her husband who live 13 hours away, but they either come up or we go down if it works out). My point to that though is that I can visit my grandparents more than just on the holidays.
Also, even though it does sound weird to me, the way that you and your husband are working out holidays, if it’s really working for you two then do it. I understand wanting to spend as much time as possible with older family.
Post # 11
In the six plus years of dating (prior to getting a house together), we never spent holidays with each other because we both loved being with our families. Now that we attempt to spend holidays together, it’s always a topic that we approach carefully since we both have families that celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This year, we’re spending the actual Thanksgiving Day with his family but then using the weekend to go see mine. I can see how this wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t all in the same state.
Post # 12
weatherbug: Yes, we have done that in the past (had someone drive my grandparents here, or half-way), but winter weather is unpredictable so this is not always an option if the weather is bad or something comes up. Usually it’s my aunt (mom’s sister) that does this, but she is also the same lady who refuses to drive on the interstate in ND (no traffic!) when there is a chance of rain.
I’m sure we’ll figure out something different next year (and years to come), and when we start having kids – that will change too. Both of our families like seeing us, so something will work out eventually.
Post # 13
Kacie209: The thing about becoming one family is that you and DH start doing one family things. It is kind of a bandaid right now to seperate on the Holidays. At some point in time, either through having kids, or one of your families feeling unliked by the other spouce for not attending holidays, or just not seeing eachother on holidays it will become an issue. The best time to work out the issue is now at the beginning of your marriage. This way later no one can say “But Kacie, you and Mr. Kacie always spent the holidays apart before, why can’t you do it now?” “Kacie, why don’t you just bring the kids without Mr. Kacie? His family didn’t mind you not going to their parties before.” or “Mr Kacie obviously doesn’t like spending time with our family.”
Also like pulling off a bandaid, it will hurt some feelings up front not being able to make everything, but it will heal quickly. Your parents have been through this with their parents, and his parents have been through this with their parents. They may feel a bit hurt upfront, but they will get over it.
I do understand the grandparent thing, though. If I was in your situation, I would ask my DH if he wouldn’t mind spending some holidays with my family right now, as my grandparents might not be around much longer. I would promise to make it up to him by spending a bit more time with his family in the future. I don’t have any grandparents left, but if I did, I would want DH to spend time with them too because I would want them to know the wonderful man I married. I’m sure DH would feel the same way.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
You asked for opinions, so yes I think it’s weird. Holidays are the most important days of the year. I would find a way to spend them with my husband. Our families conveniently live in the same area, but if they didn’t I guess we’d do some kind of alternating thing where we did his family one year and mine the next.
Post # 15
Our families live on different continents so dividing holidays between them gets sort of expensive. We’re HOPING to alternate Christmases.