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

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 31
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’m pretty lucky in that I still get to see my family for every holiday, but I did have to give up Christmas dinner with my family which has been hard since my brother lives far away and it’s one of the few days I would get to see him each year.  He travels all this way to spend Christmas with us, and then I have to leave on Christmas Day to be with DH’s family.

What we do – and this is because it’s the precedent that was set by DH’s siblings who have been married far longer than us, so we follow the same holiday schedule they created long ago:

– Easter: my family gets Easter Sunday, his family celebrates Easter the day before
– Thanksgiving: my family gets Thanksgiving, his family has their Thanksgiving dinner the next day
– Christmas: my family gets Christmas Eve, his family gets Christmas Day.  My family would be incredibly hurt if we didn’t see them on Christmas, and I would feel bad about it as well, so Darling Husband and I open our gifts together at our house on Christmas morning, try to enjoy a little alone time, head to my parents house for a late breakfast, and then to his parents house for the rest of the day.

Post # 32
447 posts
Helper bee

This will be Fiance and I’s first holiday together engaged.. and I did inform my mom Christmas would be different. We had dated 5 years previously, and how we did holidays did work out… but again we weren’t engaged so in a way it was different. We’ve been pretty blessed with times and things working out though, and I’m sure Fiance and I will make our own traditions upon getting married next June. 

Thanksgiving – We start at FI’s grandparents #1 (his dad’s side) at 10AM for a breakfast/lunch then go to grandparents #2 (his moms side) for lunch. After that, we go back to my house with my family. By the time we eat and visit, the timing works out great for each… but we are miserable from eating so much so we have to pace ourselves. We typically end the evening at my house. My family doesn’t do anything special other than cook dinner for Thanksgiving and my aunt and her Boyfriend or Best Friend come over, so its just Fiance and I, my parents, brother, and aunt and her Boyfriend or Best Friend. 

Christmas – This gets hectic because we have quite a few very close family friends that basically are our family we do Christmas with, as well as real family. PLUS FI’s side. Typically the weekend before Christmas we do a small cousin party, no gifts, just dinner and games. Christmas Eve we go to FI’s grandparents #1 (dads side) most of the day then go to church that evening (5pm mass.. I think). After church we go back to my “family but not family” Christmas and we do open gifts, dinner, etc there. 

Then Christmas Day, I have always opened gifts at my house and go to my great-grandparents where we have a big Christmas… like my entire family comes into town, its huge and its usually fun, like a mini-family reunion. However, FI’s grandparents #2 (moms side) eats only like an hour before my grandparents do… but my family lolly gags around to open gifts/play games. So this year, I think we will open up our gifts separate with our parents (FI and I don’t live together yet) then I will go to FI’s grandparents, we eat, gifts etc. then we will go to my grandparents in time for gifts, games, end the evening there. 

Post # 33
292 posts
Helper bee

Things are simplified for us because our families don’t celebrate the same holidays. We can easily spend Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter with my family and get to join his for Diwali, Holi, and other Hindu celebrations 🙂 I imagine once we save enough to buy a house we will host Christmas, etc. and invite his parents to join in as well if they are interested! My parents live in a rural area but my siblings and I all live in the same city, so it’s easier if one of us organizes holidays and they come to us. I’m hoping they’ll move closer as they get older. Thanks for this thread – it makes me feel warm and happy to think about holidays to come once we’re married and our family grows!!

Post # 34
615 posts
Busy bee

Thanksgiving is our first holiday that we are engaged, but we spent our holidays together last year and did the following:

Thanksgiving:  Early Dinner-FI’s Family/Late Dinner-My Family

Christmas:  Christmas Eve-FI’s Family/Christmas Day-My Family

This year, we are all having Thanksgiving together, so our families can meet.  We are doing a lunchtime Thanksgiving meal with both sets of parents and my sister’s in laws.  My sister’s husband is an only child, so it was necessary that they be included, but they also know my future in laws, so it should make the getting to know you a little more comfortable for everyone.

We will be splitting Christmas this year, but we have yet to decide how.  Christmas Eve with one and Christmas Day with the other.

**Just reading for those of your with divorced parents or in laws how difficult that must be!!  My parents are divorced, but have always spent holidays together, with their new significant others, and so we “kids” get to have the holidays with our entire families together. I can’t imagine trying to fit another visit in somewhere over the holidays!**

Post # 35
2679 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California

We’re lucky that both of our families are pretty flexible and close by. It helps that we both don’t have a ton of family also. We did Thanksgiving with my side of the family this past weekend about 4 hours away so my grandparents didn’t have to travel. We’ll be doing Thanksgiving with his family Thursday afternoon.

Christmas we’re not sure about yet, but it’s nice that we have a 3-day weekend this year. We’ll probably do my family the 22nd-24th with my grandparents and then his family later on Christmas Eve or some time Christmas day, whatever we can work out with the in-laws.

Post # 36
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Lake Louise Canada

His family is overseas so we’re rarely together holidays. This year they’re here for our wedding so we will spend the whole 3 weeks with them and only see my family at the wedding, which I think is reasonable since it’s so infrequently that we get to spend time with them.

Post # 37
2081 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

We do a lot of entertaining and traveling in December, so I have no desire to travel for Thanksgiving. Boyfriend or Best Friend and I usually spend it together, just the two of us. This year, we’re going out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, and, although I adore cooking, I think it’ll be a blast to relax and go out instead. We’ll come home and light a fire and watch movies. Excited.

For Christmas, we always visit his dad and step-mom in Florida. They are elderly and, frankly, I would rather be in Florida for Christmas than Michigan because of the weather. We take 2 vacations with my parents every year, so it’s not like we never see them. Sometime in December, we also visit with BF’s sister and her wife (they are local to us) to eat fondue and open presents.

This year, we are traveling to London in the mid-December for our 5-year anniversary, going to Florida for Christmas, and having 3 holiday dinner parties at our place. I’ve been ordering my decorations and will be putting up the tree, wreath, garland, and other stuff right after Thanksgiving. I love the holidays.

Although it’s easy to say, we don’t do pressure. We take everyone’s feelings and viewpoints into consideration and then make a decision that’s right for us and kind to others. We don’t need anyone to approve. I know my parents sometimes wish we would visit them for Christmas, but it’s just not negotiable. We spend more time overall with them than with BF’s parents, so I have no guilt. It’s better that way.

Post # 38
1159 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

My family lives about 6 hours away and my husband’s is only 20 minutes away. We typically alternate who we spend Christmas and Thanksgiving with. If we spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his, the following year we’ll spend Thanksgiving with his and Christmas with mine.

It’s getting more complicated now that we have kids though. I want to start our own Christmas traditions, so I’m thinking we’ll start doing every Thanksgiving with my family so that our kids can wake up to presents under the tree at our house on Christmas.

DH’s mom is a little batty about Christmas and wants us there early in the morning for gifts and breakfast, we go home around noon and are expected back by 3 for dinner. So the compramise will probably be that we just go to dinner but spend the morning at home. Both families are big into Christmas, so I’m sure neither will be happy, but tough luck. Their kids are all in their 30s. It’s our turn to have fun for the holidays with ours.

Post # 39
1466 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We’re pretty lucky. For Thanksgiving we live way too far away from our immediate families to make going to them a real option. But they live in the same small town (on the same street, there are 4 houses between them). DHs family does Christmas Eve, and mine does Christmas Dinner. On Christmas morning his tends to get up before mine (and we stay there) so we start with them and then join my family when they wake up and are ready. Then we run back and forth (maybe a 3-5 minute walk) all morning. We switch ever hour or so or when there are natural breaks for breakfast and stuff. We are both the oldest with several younger siblings at home, so there are a lot of presents to open. It’s relly fun and festive and it’s Hawaii so the weather is usually good for walking. When we have kids we might have to be more stationary, since it’s not as fun to shuttle them back and forth, but we’ll see.

Post # 40
2017 posts
Buzzing bee

Christmas Eve with DH’s family, Christmas day with mine and Thanksgiving we alternate. Sometimes we do both families in 1 day, depending on location. It is not ideal, but it is what it is.

Mother’s day and father’s day we try to schedule on off-days. Like, DH’s mom on Saturday and my mom on Sunday. 

Post # 41
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

His family has their Christmas parties on a different day so that everyone can make it. So for Christmas day we celebrate with my family. Then the week or so after Christmas we go to his one side of the family for their Christmas celebration and then a different day will be his other side of the family’s celebration. 

Thanksgiving, we go to my family’s because my birthday falls a few days after Thanksgiving so my family gets me a cake. This year, we are stopping at his family’s Thanksgiving because it’s on the way to my parent’s house.

My family is a lot more close knit than his and some of his family members are actually kind of mean so my Fiance perfers going to my family’s. So mother’s and father’s day is also spent with my family. His father lives out of the country anyways so we couldn’t really celebrate that with him.

Post # 42
2539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

clairhuxtable :  I would say ours is somewhat unconventional. I have a son from a PR so not only am I trying to split with FI’s family, but also my son’s dads. 

For thanksgiving – my family typically celebrates the weekend after not on Thursday. So, my son’s dad gets him the majority of the day, and I get him that evening. My FI’s family lives a few hours drive away so typically he drives down there wednesday night and comes back thursday. So I don’t see his family for thanksgiving.

Christmas – Son’s dad gets him night before christmas eve and most of the day christmas eve, we head to my family on christmas eve around dinner time, then we open presents at home christmas morning and afterwards head to my FI’s family. 

Post # 43
1863 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

If we did everything our families did, we’d have 3 Thanksgivings (on opposite ends of the state) and 6 Christmases. All our parents are still together, but both sides still celebrate with extended family too  We had to compromise from the start! Thankfully people have been very accommodating, but almost to the point of annoying because they make it so we don’t have an excuse not to go!  We did put our foot down from the start and we will not be anywhere earlier than 3:30 Christmas Eve because that morning is our Christmas celebration. No compromise there! 

This year is our first with our son, so there’s even more pressure to be at everything. I think we finally got it worked out though: 

Thanksgiving: weekend before with my dad’s family, day of with DH’s family. Home for the rest of the weekend. 

Christmas: Christmas Eve morning is just the three of us. That night, we’ll go the hour to DH’s parents for his extended family party. Christmas Day will be with DH’s immediate family. The 26/27 will be my immediate family. And the 31/1 will be my mom’s extended family at our house. We’re skipping my dad’s extended family Christmas. 

Post # 44
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

We both have siblings out of state who don’t come home for holidays ever, so Thanksgiving and Christmas both sets of parents come to us. Everyone gets along, so it works pretty well.

Post # 45
267 posts
Helper bee

I am admittedly very stingy with my holidays but on the flip side of that, I am not bothered if conflicting plans mean that Darling Husband and I spend holidays apart.

I spend all holidays with my mom and sister, full stop, no negotiations. That being said, I’m fine with Darling Husband spending holidays with his family if their plans conflict with ours. In fact, Mom, Sis, and I have more fun when it’s just us girls.

Often, his parents will plan a dinner or something on a weekend in December and that’s when we’ll do our celebrations and gift exchanges.

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