(Closed) Fights about the holidays – Help!

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
46416 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sometimes holidays are harder when you live close to both families. When you are far away sometimes

All couple have to deal with changes about the logistics of holidays. You make new traditions that work for both of you.  You won’t be able to do everything you have always done, neither will he.

You don’t sound like you are willing to compromise much when you say”Can’t leave my mom alone on Christmas Day” . The only choices you leave for the two of you are spending the day with your Mom or dividing the day between your Mom and his family. Just because she is toxic, doesn’t mean your mother is fragile. She will survive if you don’t spend Christmas Day with her.

In my first marriage after we had children, we quickly decided that it was a lot easier to invite both families to join us rather than to travel with the kids.

Post # 4
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

What about hosting a big family get together at your place?  Either on the holiday or a week or two before hand.  That’s what we are doing to avoid these kinds of issues.  We’re expecting our first child in April, so I feel like we need to start establishing our own traditions now so the baby will have some great holiday experiences growing up.  

Post # 5
2622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think the only thing to do realistically is to split the day in half and, while its not “the most fun and least stressful” option for your Darling Husband who would rather you stay at his parents house the whole time, its the only fair option. Especially since the drive inbetween is really short.

But to some degree things are going to have to change and not just for you, but for your families as well. They may not be able to see you when they want to.

Could you do a second thanksgiving on that Saturday with your family that you host and spend the day of with his? You could start a new tradition and instead of turkey and the works, you could do ham and the works etc.

Post # 6
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

This has been challenging for us as well, and we’re not even married yet! We’ve been together for 4 holiday seasons, and it’s always been kind of a mess. We’re aout 20-25 min from his parents and about 1.5 hours from mine. We’ve found it’s best to try to split holidays, i.e. do thanksgiving and christmas day at one, and chistmas eve and easter at the other. We will also try to spend other times around the holidays with both (e.g. the weekend after thanksgiving). Of course, this is never enough for anyone and we always get some hostility from both sides because everyone wants everything. I also find it frustrating since that’s on of the few times i really get to see my brother and SIL who live far away.

But we’ve found as long as we make our plans clear early on to everyone, verbalize our rationale, and keep reminding that makes it easier. I honestly can’t wait though until we have our own house big enough that we can just host everyone and it will be crazy but hopefully less stressful.

Post # 7
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I agree with a previous poster that you are not being all that flexible when it comes to your mother and the holidays.  You should take note from your sister, who vists her inlaws or your family…

With my Fiance we split up the holidays  . . . being with his parents during Thanksgiving and my parents during Christmas.  We do not feel the pressures of getting to here and there.  Family is not about one particular day. 

We felt this was the best compromise to share the holidays with our famlies and still have time for each other.

Good luck!


Post # 9
272 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Until you have kids, you could spend Christmas Day seperately (each with their own family) and do Christmas Eve just the two of you. I know a lot of people find this unacceptable but you spend the whole year with your Darling Husband and the holidays are often the only opportunity to spend time with the rest of your family (sisters in your case) so this might be something to consider. Of course, this option is out when there are kids.

Post # 10
986 posts
Busy bee

@kate02121: I love that you are willing to consider new traditions! That’s a great thing, and hopefully it will make the holidays easier for you both. 🙂 

Unfortunately, I can’t really help with advice because we do essentially what you said you weren’t previously open to: for Thanksgiving, we do a long, long day with two big meals and for Christmas, we spend Christmas Eve with our family (but that’s my family tradition, so we didn’t ask them to move their day or anything like that) and then we spend Christmas Day with his family. Our families also live only 10/15 minutes away from each other, so distance isn’t really a factor for us.

This year, I think we’re also going to have a special holiday just for the two of us – to start some of our own traditions. We’re looking to TTC pretty soon after we get married in April, so we want to think about traditions we can start now and share with future little ones.

Post # 11
412 posts
Helper bee

Just because you don’t think your mother should be alone Christmas day doesn’t mean that YOU need to be there for her. You have other siblings 🙂 So one year do Christmas eve with her and your sisters, and then Christmas day with your FI’s family while your sister does Christmas with your mom… other year maybe do half and half? or ask them to do christmas eve? or that first option could be your new normal except for when both sisters aren’t around for Christmas. Thanksgiving I would *try* to do different days if possible – I don’t know how stuck-in-stone your traditions are, but in my family, so long as it’s on Thanksgiving weekend (fri/sat/sun), and everyone commits to booking the WHOLE night off, they’re willing to move it.

another option: christmas eve dinner with mom and then christmas morning with her.. and then lunch on with his family. I agree with your husband that two dinners every holiday is too stressful. I could see sucking it up and doing one double dinner every two or three years as necessary, but that shouldn’t be the norm.

Post # 12
3697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

You and your husband are a family first and foremost, obligations be damned.  Your mother will survive Christmas by herself. 

Talk with your husband and decide what the two of you want.  For me and my husband, all we want is to be at home alone and enjoy the holidays together – so that’s what we’re going to do this year.  We might invite his brother and sister-in-law over for Thanksgiving, and go visit our families over our Christmas vacation, but not on Christmas. 

Post # 13
478 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Figuring out the holidays was a big issue for Darling Husband and myself as well! Last year was our first married holiday season so we decided to do Thanksgiving and Christmas morning with his family then the rest of Christmas day with my family. This year we are switching, so Thanksgiving and Christmas morning with my family and the rest of Christmas day with his. It sucks that we only see one family on Thanksgiving but it makes the day a lot less stressful. Maybe something similar will work for you!

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