the inevitable "holiday mesh" posting

posted 2 years ago in Holidays
Post # 2
Member
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Mrslovebug:  That’s so tough! Our Christmas works out very well becuase we celebrate Christas Eve with my family and Day with his. We typically spend holidays with my family unless his family stays put or they come to us because they travel 3 hours away, so it is easier for us to justify not going. When its winter holidays, which pretty much include everything, it’s an even easier decision to make because we will not risk our son’s life on the icy roads.

Post # 3
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

It really rubs me the wrong way when one side of the family (his or hers) tries to monopolize a couple’s time, especially around the holidays.  To me, holidays are about spending time together with the ones you love, and it almost seems like the “greedy” party is saying that their time is soooo much more valuable, and how can the couple even consider spending time apart?!  Yuck.

Here’s what works for my FI and I:  during even years, we spend Thanksgiving entirely with my family and Christmas entirely with his family.  During odd years, we switch.  It works really well.

Since it sounds like your conflict is between time as a couple vs. time with his family, you could tell them that you’ll spend _____ holiday with them every other year, alternating with time spent by yourselves (or with your family).  That way you can build your own traditions as a family, and establish some healthy boundaries with the in-laws (good job standing your ground with that wedding, btw!).

Post # 4
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Mrslovebug:  We alternate Thanksgiving each year with our families. We spend Christmas Eve with his family and Christmas Day with my family. I totally get your last statement too about bringing your favorite meals to add to the dinner and getting snubbed. My FMIL is a martyr – she complains all day about how long she’s cooked and how hard she’s worked, but she won’t let anyone help or even bring anything. I tried early on in our relationship (oh, look, Jen brought broccoli salad, everyone make sure to have some, then she would put it away on a table in another room, super passive aggressive). I finally stopped trying and stopped offering. We bring in a bottle of wine and that is it (and open it right away, if you catch my drift). 

Post # 5
Member
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

We still do separately (different towns, just engaged), or he sometimes comes to mine because his family doesn’t celebrate (Easter).

I just want to give major props to your DH for seeing the problem and taking initiative!

Post # 6
Member
6000 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

 

Since both of our parents are divorced and remarried we decided that we no longer wanted to spend the holidays traveling to 4 different places so we told everyone that they can come to us or don’t see us. So now all our family comes to our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. That way it allows our parents to spend Christmas Eve/morning with my step-siblings and nieces/nephews. Since I now have a niece and nephew, we’re going to try to visit with them on Christmas Eve. Sounds a little harsh but it’s so much nicer having everyone come to one place as opposed to having us travel to 4 different places. And they get the bonus of not having to cook/clean.

Post # 7
Member
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

Ugh it’s so tough for us. Both of our parents are divorced and all 4 live hours from each other. Luckily our moms hang out once in a while so sometimes we can see them both at once.

Usually though, it ends up trying to see say his Dad and my Mom over Thanksgiving (Separate days), and then his Mom and my Dad over Christmas. We end up spending the whole holiday weekend travelling and riding in the car and it really sucks.

We’ve now moved to a different state and are still expected to travel home. This year we’re doing Thanksgiving and then staying home for Christmas. It’s so much worse travelling like that when the weather is bad. 🙁

Post # 8
Member
4596 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We just got married, and actually have always spent Thanksgiving and Christmas apart for various reasons – so this will be the first of them that we’ll be married and I have no idea what to do.

Each of our family has traditions for each of them. Also, he usually never takes extra time off around them, whereas I do. His family lives 45 minutes away, and for mine we travel at least 3 hours if we do go out of town – for either holiday.

I may have to bring the tiopic up now and hope we have something figure out soon!

Post # 9
Member
957 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

FI and I always go to our families (both sets live about 2 hours away) , we switch years so this year is his family’s year so we will spend christmas day/boxing with them, it depends how much time we get off work (working in retail is a bitch for xmas holidays!) but this year we’ll go to my parent’s house on christmas eve with his parents and we’ll all have a meal together. we’ll only spent some time with the other set of parents if we have the time too though so some years we don’t see one family. normally, we’ll see other members of the family in january eg. grandparents normally invite us for a meal.

your mountain christmas holiday sounds lovely! 🙂

Post # 10
Member
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Jeeze that’s rough. But really, I’m not surprised she did that. It seems she expects all plans to revolve around her wishes, so she probably thought nothing of her request. It’s horrible to be like that. Sorry you have to deal with it. 

This makes me so thankful that my family and DHs family all live within 2-3 hours of each other. Prior to being married we would flip flop years for all holidays except Christmas. Christmas Eve was always spent with my parents (it’s mine, my little sister’s, and my dads birthday!) and then we would drive Christmas morning to visit his parents. Now, all major holidays are spent as one huge, combined family. My parents and his parents really get along so it’s great. Plus our family traditions meshed well.

Post # 11
Member
329 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

 

Mrslovebug:  When we were dating our first christmas together was AWFUL. Christmas morning was spent with his family at his brothers house, with their kids and his parents. Then we went to my moms house for christmas dinner. THEN we got guilted into going to his mothers house AFTER that to have ‘late dinner’ because she was having people over. The following year we went to Mexico, alone, and that was amazing. 

This year is difference since we are expecting our first baby days before christmas, so who knows when it will make an appearance, or how i will feel. We’ve decided that this year we arent promising anyone anything. Everyone has said they are okay with that BUT i am expecting some last minute guilt trips from my MIL.  Next year will be tricky as I dont want my child experiencing christmas morning at someone elses home, nor do I feel the need for grandparents etc to be with us. We will have to see how this pans out and who trys to guilt us into what!

Enjoy your holiday with your family!

Post # 13
Member
198 posts
Blushing bee

@mrslovebug I think the key part of this post was that your DH clearly has his priorities straight and in the right place!

The best scenario is when the Parents have their own interests and are very active: this year his father said ” so will you be here for Christmas? No? Good, we are free then, as (SO’s sister) will also be with her partner. We can make plans with our friends!”

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