Post # 1
This is a little crazy, but even though my guy and I were together for eight years before we tied the knot, we NEVER spent a holiday together! I didn’t want to miss my family’s events, and he didn’t want to miss his, so we just went separate ways. It was never a big deal – our families live a few hours apart, so we’d usually just be away from each other for the day. However, I don’t think we can do that any more now that we’re married.
I will be honest, when it comes to holidays, I’m very selfish. I have a huge family, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times everyone is able to get together. I’ve been celebrating Christmas in the same place, with the same people, and the same traditions since I was an infant. Missing that would break my heart, and I’m starting to feel depressed just thinking about it. At the same time, I know my husband’s traditions are important to him, so we’re thinking the most fair method would be for us to alternate years.
I’m wondering how other people deal with the holiday situation. And how did you feel the first time you spent the holidays with your inlaws? Sorry if I’m being dramatic, but this is really stressing me out!
Post # 3
Ooooh. Holidays are interesting for us. FI’s parents divorced a few years ago, so they had just worked out a holiday-splitting system when I came into the picture. I’m pretty selfish about holidays too, although my family is pretty flexible. Last year, FI’s mom made us promise to spend this year’s Christmas with her (which I am NOT pleased about…needless to say we don’t make promises to family anymore). But we’re spending thanksgiving with my side. After this year, I think we’ll be spending at least one holiday at our own home and if anyone cares to visit, that’s fine, but we won’t be going to see them. After my wedding, all my siblings will be married, so my family decided to make Columbus Day weekend our family ‘Christmas.” We’re all meeting up someplace next year, celebrating together and not having to worry about who’s spending Christmas where. Plus the hype isn’t near as bad as the Holidays.
Post # 4
we’re starting this this year (even though we’re not married we agreed it was important!!). my family is 14 hours away 🙁 here’s what we came up with:
christmas will alternate. one year we’ll stay here with his parents, the next year we’ll fly home and spend it with my family. however, we’ll still fly home to my hometown at some point over the holidays even if it’s not for christmas day.
unfortunately because my family is so far away, his family ends up getting all the other holidays. UGGGGH. i’m not sure how christmas is going to go but i am already really sad about it (we’re staying here). i can’t wait to see what advice other bees have!!!
Post # 5
I don’t know how much help this will be but I felt the same way about my family’s holiday traditions and I was not going ot give them up. What was ULTRA awesome was that my traditions did not clash with the FI’s family traditions so we are able to make it to both. My family does a big thanksgiving dinner on thanksgiving and they do Christmas day. His family does Thanksgiving the Sunday before (the FI has an already married sibling and this is how they worked out their family stuff) For Christmas his family does everything on Christmas eve and my fmaily does everything the next day. The Christmas time celebrations make for a very long and tired day but we are able to enjoy both families.
Post # 6
We spent our first Christmas apart (our families do not live near each other so it’s minimum a week apart). The next year, he came to my family for Christmas but flew home a day or two later and spent New Years with his family. Then we decided to alternate years. Last year, I spent the whole holiday with his family (we visited mine in October) and this year we are both going to spend the holidays with my family but have planned a weekend trip to his at the begining of Dec. I think it is more complicated for us because visiting my family requires 9 hours of flying and visiting his needs at least 7 hours of driving or 3 hours of plane/train so it’s not like we can just visit casually.So far, alternating works because wherever we are, at least we are together and we started a tradition of getting everyone to send a greating to the other family via speaker phone.
Post # 7
I know that can be hard. And if you have to balance other married siblings etc. balancing their own holiday schedule it can be even more challenging. I have a SIL whose family always makes sure they get together for Thanksgiving on FRIDAY. And a cousin who celebrates Christmas with her own family a week or two before actual Christmas. I think she wants to make sure she celebrates Christmas day in her own home for the kiddoes.
I think alternating is a good solution, especially if your families are far apart. It would be hard for one family to completely claim something like Christmas. But if there is a way to coordinate an alternate date for the holiday, you could still manage to see the family for the “spirit of the holiday”. Also, maybe at some point you could host the festivities. I’m sure some of the extended family wouldn’t make it. But you could get your parents and ILs together. (Of course that depends on how much space you have.) And it’s a situation that has to be reevaluated often. The game might change when you have kids, the ages of the kids, the health of people, etc.
It’s an adjustment, but you’ll be fine.
Post # 8
I know how you feel. DH is really not happy about missing his family stuff–it’s the time of the year they all get together, too. But now that we’re married he doesn’t get to be selfish just b/c his family stuff is “bigger” than my family stuff. Bigger doesn’t mean more important–my parents are just as important to me as seeing his family is to him.
Our families are 4 hours apart and I’ve always managed to spend them with my family (i would leave at noon and drive to St Louis to spend the rest with him) and the only holiday I missed with him, besides our very first (started dating 2 weeks before Christmas), was the Christmas he was in Iraq
We decided to spend the 18-21 with my parents, then spend the actual Christmas with his family. Next year, I’ll likely be too knocked up to travel (that’s the plan anyways) so we’d like my parents to come visit us. When we have kids, we will try to “host” holidays since my parents are the only ones in the ENTIRE extended family who don’t live in St Louis. So DH thinks THEY should travel to be *fair*, but c’mon they’re not young chickens. I think he’s just being particular b/c he’s missed Christmasses and family time due to the military. My argument is that I don’t see my family often and I get 1.5 weeks paid Christmas holdiay, so we SHOULD go see them, even though his family is 30 min away, we see them more often. We both have valid points. Once we have kids, we’ll make it a point to visit my parents every other month and for holidays, we’d like them to come visit us so that everyone gets to share the kiddie love, but when they get too old to drive the 5 hours or don’t want to spend $600 on plane tickets, he knows we’ll have to go visit them more often b/c it’s the right thing to do.
So i don’t have a lot of help for you, but I can appreciate the sticky situation you’re in. It sucks.
Post # 9
Ugh I’m not happy about this either. We are the same way… this will be our third holiday season together and will be the first that we’re engaged. My bf has come to Thanksgiving every year at my family’s house. The first year and this year he will fly alone to his mom’s house for Christmas and the second year he came to my family’s (this year wasn’t a big deal because he hasn’t seen his mom in a long time so he took off 10 days to go for an extended visit and I don’t have the time off work anyways to do that).
I’m the same about my family… I LOVE holidays with my family, and I don’t want to give them up! My family is about a 2 hr drive, my bf’s dad lives about a 3 hour drive away and his mom lives about a 4 hours plane ride away, so it isn’t like we can really do everyone on the same day like I did growing up (we would alternate who got Christmas breakfast and who got Christmas dinner w/ my mom and dad’s parents who lived about 20 min apart).
Luckily Thanksgiving is not a problem because neither his mom or dad celebrate it (no real reason… they just don’t). Christmas isn’t a problem with his dad because that side of the family all gets together at a cabin for a weekend a week or two before Christmas to celebrate, so the real problem will be between my family and his mom for Christmas. I think we’ll probably just alternate years, but I am not looking forward to the first year I have to spend Christmas in NY 🙁
Post # 10
Ooh I know how you feel, and I am struggling with this too!
It previously wasn’t an issue because although we live in a different state from our families, they live 3hrs apart from each other. So we would do xmas eve with my family and leave at like 6am to spend xmas day with his family.
The next two years however may be an issue. Due to FI’s work schedule, we are going to be taking our honeymoon this year over the xmas holidays. The thing is, we decided to go to my home country (a touristy, beachy island in the Caribbean) because it was cheap and easy. Of course, all my extended family is there and my parents will be also flying down for the holidays, so we’ll be spending the 24th & 25th with them.
His mom is LIVID and is now requiring that we spend ALL of xmas 2010 with her (not splitting it like we usually do) – my FI is like “well I guess we’ll be spending xmas eve apart” knowing that I will want to be with my family that night. In my head I’m like uhh yeah, I guess so. It’s only his parents, and all they do is sit around and watch TV. Meanwhile me & my extended family all get together, relatives fly in from abroad, we drink, play the guitar, sing, joke around etc. I’ve suggested that we go ahead and fly down for thanksgiving so his mom feels better, but we’ll see….
Post # 11
I have been with my fiance for about 7 years, and all but the first Christmas, we have spent with my family. To me Christmas is very important and I want to continue my family traditions. It is not an issue at all for us because growing up he really didnt have any family traditions around the holidays. His family barely celebrated, so he really enjoys spending that time with my family.
Thanksgiving, on the other hand, we started spending with friends about 5 years ago, and we will continue to do that as our tradition.
When I was growing up, my family lived about an hour drive from my dads parents and a plane ride from my mom parents. Since we would get 2 weeks off for Christmas and only 3 days for Thanksgiving from school. We always did Thanksgiving with my dads family and Christmas with my moms. Which seemed to work out really well.
Post # 12
Ugh, we go through this every year and our families only live about 45 minutes apart.
I hate to be mean…but it’s just so BORING at his family’s house. I have a younger family and lots of cousins. We goof off, drink, play board games, etc. It’s so much fun! At his family’s house, all we do is just sit on the couch. His fam lives in the country, so there’s nothing to do. Anyway, I digress.
This will be the last year we split up for Thanksgiving. Next year we’re going to have to figure something out. Usually, we come in Thanksgiving Eve to my parents’, and go out to the bar with my sister, her BF, our friends, etc. Then Thanksgiving morning, he takes off for his parents’. He usually ends up back at my house Saturday because we have a poker tournament.
Christmas actually works out pretty well. We spend Christmas Eve (which is the big party in my family) at my family’s house, as well as Christmas morning. Then we spend Christmas Day and the next morning at his parents’.
Easter…we sit in our apartment and order Chinese ;o) It’s too much to do all that traveling for one day.
Post # 13
I’m pretty stressed about it, actually. Even though we’ve been together for almost 4 years (married for 5 months), we didn’t start spending any holidays together until we were engaged. I was with his family for Thanksgiving last year and it was really hard. His family, while very nice, is VERY different from my family.
This year, I think for Christmas, we’re going to do Christmas Eve with his family and Christmas Day with my family. the main problem is that our families live 4.5 hours apart, so that’s a lot of driving on Christmas. 🙁
Post # 14
I honestly get soo mad at this.
My family is in FL, and his is here in MA. Sometimes I would go to FL alone to be with them, but for the most part, since we live close to his family, we spend holidays at their house.
but never has my fiance flown with me to have a holiday at my parents house. he says his mom would get too sad if he didn’t spend a christmas or thanksgiving at home..and I don’t care!!!! He’s going to have to learn that he can’t be with them all the time!
Post # 15
we alternate holidays too. Last year we spent Christmas here in Chicago – with his family. To be quite honest, I think its all state of mind. I was really upset at the thought of missing Christmas with my family – but my parents are great, his whole family is great – and I really looked at it as an opportunity to start and share new traditions. There were a few tears, but nobody made a big fuss about it and I was happy the entire day of Christmas.
Post # 16
this will be an interesting discussion in our house once we get married because of logistics, work and a whole slew of other things; we are in FL, his fam in Iowa, mine in Japan…plus I work at a place that’s open 365 days a year, so I usually work thru the holidays….