Post # 1
DH and I live 15 minutes from his family and several hours from mine. Because of this, we spend maybe one holiday a year with my family and all the other holidays are spent with his. They expect us to be there, because we live so close.
However, we are going to become parents in a couple months. I would like to start our own holiday traditions with our child and any future children we have. I know his parents live close by, but does that mean we automatically have to spend all of our holidays with them, or can we start spending them in our own house with our own little family. When you have kids, where do you spend your holidays?
Post # 3
I can tell you what we did when I was a kid, we have on on the way.
My moms family lived several hours away. Her sister and parents would come to our house for some holidays and other holidays we would go to them. The years we would go to them we would spend 1/2 the holiday with dads parents since they lived nearby
If I were you I would spend one holiday or two with your parents. Then on the other holidays spend it 1/2 at home and 1/2 with them. IE Xmas morning is at home by yourselves and then you either go to them for Xmas dinner or they come to you.
If you want to start new traditions you start hosting a holiday where you encourage your parents and his parents to come. Maybe its a 4th BBQ.
EDIT: as a kid and now my favorite parts of the holidays were the times we spent with my aunts/uncles/grandparents for the holidays. It was just so much fun and festive having everyone around. To me thats the best part of the holiday.
Even now my friends come to my house Xmas night because its only their family and there is only so much to do with them on that day. So Xmas night they come over because we have a big family party with lots of food and booze. Its a ton of fun
Post # 4
@Bichon Frise: We’ve always lived a half hour or less from both our families, but we decided right away that Christmas day was going to be spent at our house, just “us” — husband, wife, and kids. We get with my family before Christmas (sometimes Christmas Eve) and his family after, but Christmas day is just the 4 of us. Fortunately, we both wanted it this way and our families were not too resistant. And after the first few years, no resistance at all.
For the other biggies, Thanksgiving and Easter, we usually host those at our house because we have the most room. Early on, before we started hosting, we would go to both families’. At least one host would ask “what time is good” so we could work around the other. Ex: if his mom was flexible but my sister had to do hers at 6:00, we’d ask his mom if she could do hers early, like 2 or 3. It always worked out, so we were pretty lucky in that regard.
Post # 5
We alternate Thanksgivings and Christmas’ between families. We don’t have kids yet though, so its not an issue. FI’s family lives in the midwest and we are in Pennsylvania. My parents live nearby so we see them all the time. When we have kids I want to have our own traditions – I want them to wake up in our house for Christmas for sure, at least while they’re little and still believe in Santa. Thanksgiving, Easter and other smaller holidays I’m a little less worried about and am willing to go to Iowa every other year for those.
Maybe his family can come to your house every other year for certain holidays? That way your family can be there too and you don’t have to choose.
Its so easy when all the families live close by – then you can just make your rounds for every holiday.
Post # 6
Don’t know how our first Thanksgiving as parents will work out this year, may very well spend it with Dh’s family like we did last year. (We were still engaged and I was 37 weeks pregnant at the time.)
This past Christmas was our first one as parents as our son was born two weeks before that. The three of us initially went to my mom’s house for the annual family Christmas luncheon (us, Mom, stepdad, and sister and her family) then went and visited with his cousin.
We don’t really have any plans this Easter. It might just be another Sunday on the calendar (go to church and that’s it) for us, at least for now.
Post # 7
It is so much easier when the children are little to start a tradition of having holidays at home.
Babies and toddlers like to maintain the routine they are comfotable with- their own bed, their own toys, etc etc . I am not saying they can’t travel because we took our kids many places. It is however so much easier not to have to take all the gear that they need .
You can invite family to join you.
Post # 8
I am pregnant with our first child and I have been thinking about this too. We don’t spend a whole lot of time with our families at the moment and I don’t really want that to change!! That sounds so bad but I really like doing our own thing and doing things with just the two of us (soon to be three of us). I definitely want to make our own traditions and have family time with just us and have our wider family visit / us visit them but not be around them all the time. That is how things were when I was a kid but I think that was easier because my parents were both from big families so their grandparents were less focused on our family.
Post # 9
I always spend time with my family and extended family. My brother and sister both have children and they come spend time with us too. Once my child is here I am not going to change anything. My sister splits the holidays with us and her in laws, as does my brother. They do christmas morning presents with us or the in laws. I have been doing the same thing with family since I was born, we just keep adding new faces is all.
I can see how you can do your own thing with your children and still spend time with family. Maybe a few hours with family on christmas eve or day. Have dessert with them on thanksgiving, or offer to host a dinner at your home.
Post # 10
This is what we did when I was a kid:
Thanksgiving Day- dad’s side.
Day after Thanksgiving- mom’s side (with a full-on meal again!)
Christmas Eve- Dad’s side.
Christmas morning- Santa presents at home
Christmas afternoon- Brunch with mom’s parents
Christmas night- Dinner w/ mom’s cousins
Easter- alternate between families
We’re a big mexican family, so there were quick stops at dad’s cousins’ and another couple houses on Thanksgiving/Christmas usually. Busy busy days. I would suggest inviting your inlaws to your house.
Post # 11
We travel. Thanksgiving is split between my moms & his moms. Eat a little early at my moms so we can visit his mom & have dinner (again) with them. Don’t usually see my dad on thanksgiving or his dad. Christmas we use to make 4 stops!! 2 years ago we got fed up & basically told the dads they needed to drive. So dd & I go to my moms christmas eve (fi always works). We meet him at home in time to decorate christmas cookies & open 1 present. Christmas morning we open presents, head to my moms for brunch. My dad now meets us there & brings gifts. My siblings are all there too with gifts. Go home to unload a car full of gifts. Then go to his moms in the afternoon, his dad brings gifts there. Spend a few hours there then home to recuperate!!!
Post # 12
We spend the mornings at our house- opening presents, hunting eggs- whatever it may be. Then we go to someone’s house in the afternoon. For example, this morning we had Easter at our own house with the kids celebrating, and then went for lunch at my parents’ house. MIL is awesome and often hosts holidays on a day that is not the exact holiday- HER Easter is next Sunday. Both sets of our parents live less than 15 minutes away.
Post # 13
@Bichon Frise: We have some family time (us and our kids) and some with each of our parents. My thinking is they are still my parents so I should still see them. My parents are divorced and not on friendly terms, so everyone coming to our house is not an option.
A usual Christmas goes something like this:
Open presents in the morning with our kids.
Lunch at my mother’s.
Dinner at DH’s sister’s house, with DH’s parents and siblings’ families
Lunch at my father’s the next day.
Post # 14
For me, a big part of the holidays are seeing the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. I think it’s best to mix that with your own traditions that just involve your husband and kids as much as you can. It’s easier for us since we live within an hour drive of both of our parents, but here’s basically how we work it, I don’t see it changing much once we have our baby boy…but we’ll find out very soon, he’s due next month so Easter was our last holiday without a little one!
Thanksgiving: Hang out at home together, watch the parade and stuff. Then we’ll have dinner with one of our families. We rotate who we spend this one with. Last year was spent at his sister’s house, so that means this upcoming Thanksgiving will be my family’s turn.
Christmas is luckily super easy on us because DH’s family likes celebrating on Christmas Eve and mine prefers Christmas Day. So we spend Christmas Eve at his parent’s, then on Christmas Day we spend a few hours at home just us opening presents and relaxing before we head to my parent’s house. Easter is pretty much the same thing (yeah, I know, it’s kind of weird to celebrate Easter with his family the day before, but this tradition was kinda started by my DH’s sister because her husband’s family is quite religious and Easter really means something to them – which the same is true of my extended family, so they get the actual day but have dinner with them the night before.) And again, we do baskets and hang out at our own home for a bit before heading to my parents. And we’ll make sure to come home early enough to give ourselves a bit more alone time after as well.
Post # 15
Currently we are childless, and we have split holidays equally between our families since we were engaged. Last year, for example, we spent Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his. This year we will reverse that. It works well. I am not sure how well that will work when there are kids in the mix, though, so I am interested in what others have to say on this topic. We might invite our families to come to us when the child(ren) are young, and then go back to switching off when they get older.
Post # 16
We live in the same town as DH’s family (including parents). My parents come visit around Christmas and we go to my hometown for thanksgiving. The rest of the time, we are with his parents since they are closer. If we lived near my parents, we would probably all be together since both families get along.