How do you and you FH/DH split the holidays?

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 16
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We switch off. Last year it was Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his, this year it’s Thanksgiving with his and Christmas with mine. My parents are divorced, but amicable, and luckily my brother’s family usually hosts for the holidays, which makes things easier. I’m sure it will get complicated when we have kids though. 

I wish we were all in the same city, then we could cover everyone. My family usually does Thanksgiving at lunch time and FH’s start at 7pm. His Catholic family is more focused on Christmas Eve while my secular celebrates Christmas morning. But alas, they are 375 miles apart. At least we live near FH’s family, so we don’t have as much traveling as some of our friends. 

Post # 17
1285 posts
Bumble bee

For Christmas me and my partner and my brother and his wife split. We all spend it with our childhood families. SO’s are welcome and some holidays have been spent with in laws but very few.  We all have different traditions and we all usually enjoy spending the holidays with our childhood family with our own traditions. It feels like being a kid again to have a sleep over at my parents with all of us. Also then no ones parents have to spend Christmas alone. Everyone is very flexible. My mom expects Christmas participants to.anmounce themselves week before so she knows how much to cook, but doesnt mind if none of the kids show up. It’s never a fight in our household.

Post # 18
221 posts
Helper bee

His parents are hosting his families side of Christmas this year which is making things a little easier. I will be dropping him off there and spending a couple of hours with them then head off to my parents so we spend the majority of the day separate. He then joins my family for the evening. Boxing day is then spent with my family and the day after spent with his (so long as I can get it off work). 

When we have kids things will no doubt change dramatically and we will have to rethink, but for now we’ve got a situation that works. 

Post # 19
4 posts

We have it kind of easy I suppose. We live in the UK so there’s no Thanksgiving, but my parents emigrated to Australia 4 years ago (siblings went earlier) so I have just been spending Christmas with his family. This year we are going to Australia to spend it with mine (first time in 5 years for me). I imagine we might alternate the years for whenever we can afford to fly out there.

When I was little, though, we always had 2 Christmas dinners – one on Christmas Day with my Dad’s parents and one on Boxing Day with my Mum’s parents. We’d have dinner and open presents, so two Christmases! They would then alternate who would be on Boxing day and who would be Christmas Day each year. I think, if my parents we’re more easily visited, we’d do it that way too.

Post # 20
1892 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

clairhuxtable :  We do Thanksgiving Day with his family, the saturday after is Thanksgiving with my family. Christmas eve is his family, Christmas day is mine. 

Post # 21
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

It was work to figure out our holiday schedule. I don’t want to rotate every holiday every year, so this is we’re going to do. Note, we live about an hour away from each set of parents, in different directions. His parents are divorced. 

Thanksgiving: rotate. One year with his family (two different dinners); next year with my family.

Christmas with his family: the weekend before Christmas. Afternoon with one side, evening with the other. 

Christmas with my side: Christmas Eve.

Christmas morning will be spent at home, with our kids (pregnant with first baby now). Open invitation for family to come visit US if they want to, in the afternoon.

My family is extremely flexible and accommodating, which helps (i.e., this is the last year we’re visiting EVERYONE for Thanksgiving, and my family is having ours on Saturday to accommodate his family’s dinners). But, I don’t want my family to always be the ones to have to adjust for his family’s rigidness. So there has been a balance. I do NOT want his family to get the impression that because my family is so easygoing, so they will always adjust. 

It also doesn’t help at all that his parents guilt trip their kids so much about everything. You would think that a divorced couple would be understanding of the situation that the divorce puts the kids in — different obligations, being pulled in opposite directions, etc. But no. They lay on the guilt, even though they’re the reason husband is in his situation in the first place. Very frustrating.

Post # 22
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Thanksgiving is usually with husbands family since i usually work on or around Thanksgiving, and my parents live out of state.  Christmas Eve is with husbands family and Christmas Day with mine, unless i have to work.

Post # 23
437 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - State Park

Lucky to both come from non-divorced families. Less lucky, but my mom along with pretty much all of her side of the family have died or moved to panama. Husband is an only child.

Thanksgiving we host our parents every-other year. The opposite years my brother hosts us and we don’t see my husband’s family but maybe go visit for dinner sometime in November. I get to see my dad every year, which is nice.

Christmas, one side gets Christmas Eve and the other gets Christmas. Whatever happens Christmas Day we agree we need to be home by 3:30 to relax, then we open presents to each other and go out for Chinese. Christmas night is the only part that really matters.

We turn down invitations to extended family that might be the weekend before or after.

It’s easy because there’s not a lot to give up. If my family were still living, it would be tougher.

Post # 24
9163 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

(DH’s parents and my father has passed away, so a little less family to split our time between)

so DH’s sees his aunt and cousins from his dad’s side on a weekly basis for dinner.

therefore, we spend holidays with DH’s mom’s side of the family.

thanksgiving is my mom’s.  i have a small family spread around, so my mom, brother and I have always traveled, exploring a new city every thanksgiving.  when I started dating Darling Husband, he joined us, then our son.

because it is just my mom (and brother if he is in town), if we do something at either of DH’s aunt’s, my mom is always included.

but mostly we have been hosting my mom and DH’s mom’s side of the family.

now for hanukkuah, since it is 8 days, we do one night with my mom, one night with DH’s mom’s sister’s family, and one night with DH’s dad’s sisters family.


Post # 25
497 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Greenspot Farms

We go Thanksgiving with my grandparents on the actual day and a thanksgiving with his parents on the following Friday or Saturday.

we spend Christmas Eve with my grandparents and all day of actual Christmas with his parents.


no kids yet. I suspect that’s when things will change because I won’t be wanting to travel on actual holidays.

Post # 26
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

We always do Thanksgiving with my whole extended family, flying out Wednesday through Sunday to the state where they all live. It’s a family tradition and the only time that I see some of my family every year. 

We generally split up the Christmas break between our two immediate families, with more time with his family to balance out Thanksgiving. We do several days including actual Christmas with his, and then a few days after Christmas at my sister’s house with her husband and kid and my parents. We buy a three-way plane ticket from here, to his family, to my family, back to home.

All the travel gets expensive, but I love being with family. When the two of us have children – hopefully in the next year or two – I anticipate some of this might change, but it works for now. 

Post # 27
242 posts
Helper bee

The best thing (so as not to have split days, which might feel unsatisfying and be split inequitably) might be to just alternate holidays. This year, we’re doing Thanksgiving with my family, and we’re staying with DH’s family for a week for Christmas. We will see my family a few weeks before Christmas to exchange gifts. Next year, the plan is to do Thanksgiving with his folks, and Christmas with mine. If we work in additional get togethers around those holidays, that’s all the better.

I think it’s unfair of families to complain about this to their grown children—it’s not fun for you to miss out on holidays with your family, there’s no reason why you should feel worse, but you have a larger family that you need to spend time with around the holidays. The worst thing is to let it drive a wedge between you and your husband. Try to get on the same page, and put up the same allied front when you get complaints about not being around for this holiday or that. 

Post # 28
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2020 - Windermere, Cumbria

I’m a UK bee but my SO and I both live abroad and we have a cat, so we spend Christmas here just the three of us. We don’t get on well with my family AT ALL, so if we ever move back home we’d spend it with his lovely family.

Post # 29
1925 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I totally feel you on this. This was one of the things I dreaded before getting married as well. When we were engaged, we discussed this, and decided to table it, because it’s just so difficult. DH’s idea is to do Thanksgiving with one family, and Christmas with the other, and alternate years. My family, my mom in particular, were completely and totally against that idea. We didn’t discuss it with  my in laws, but I know they’d be against it too. Last year we each attended a Christmas together on our family’s side, and one apart.

For Thanksgiving, my family celebrates the night before Thanksgiving, ever since my brother got married, to make it easier. So, that’s taken care of. For Christmas, we’re spending Christmas Eve with my family, then possibly Christmas Eve overnight, and Christmas day with the in laws.

We’re blessed in that my family only lives 30 minutes away, and my in laws live 1 1/2 hours away. However, I am sad that I won’t get to participate in Thanksgiving with my grandparents this year, or Christmas with the other set of grandparents. It’s just too many holidays to juggle.

Post # 30
909 posts
Busy bee

My family is in Boston and Darling Husband family is in Atlanta. This year we are spending Thanksgiving in Boston and Christmas in Atlanta and next year we will switch. I hate being away from my family on Christmas but whats fair is fair. Plus we have been doing it this way since before we got married. 

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