(Closed) How do you and your spouse split the Holidays between your families?

posted 4 years ago in Holidays
Post # 2
11520 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

sammylouwho:  My stepmom’s family does alternate years.  One year everyone goes to her mother’s family home, the other year is off.

Perhaps you could do something similar? 

Can you get your families to do thanksgiving on 2 different days? (sorry is that’s a totally taboo thing to do in the US, it’s not uncommon here for people to do the dinner on any of the 3 days of the long weekend)

Trade of Thanksgivings one year his family one year yours and then see the opposite family for Christmas?

Post # 3
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

we do thanksgiving at FI’s parents’ place because we do a turkey trot in their town that morning, spend the day with his family, and catch up with his high school friends at night.  December 23rd we drive down to my parents’ house so we can spend Christmas eve with my family.  Then on Christmas day we spend the morning with my family and then drive 3 hours to his family to open presents, have dinner, and spend the evening and the next day with them.  We’ve been doing this system for 3 years now, but I have a feeling we may have to modify the whole driving on Christmas day thing because it really has become quite a trek.  But that was how we avoided splitting up for the holidays.

Post # 4
449 posts
Helper bee

I had to accept the fact that to spend the holidays with my SO I couldn’t spend every holiday with my family. We’ve only been together for 3 holiday seasons (this year will be our 4th) but we’ve either done Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his or vice versa. Trying to visit 4 houses is a lot though! You may only get to spend a holiday with each parent every other year, but kids grow up and have their own lives. Hopefully your family will be able to accept that.

Our drive distance is 5 hours between our parents, if it makes any difference. 1.5 hours isn’t that unreasonable! You could do Christmas eve at one house, spend the night, and then leave around noon on Christmas to make it for a nice dinner at another relative’s home!

Post # 5
528 posts
Busy bee

DH’s family lives 3 hours west of us and my family lives 6.5 hours north of us so it is really impossible to see both on the same exact day for the holidays.  For Thanksgiving, my family goes to my cousin’s house which is fortunately only 1.5 hours away from his family’s vacation home.  Since Thanksgiving is the only time each year that I see my entire extended family, we do Thanksgiving Day with my family and then drive to the vacation house on Friday morning to spend the rest of the weekend with his family.  

Up until last year, we had always spent Christmas separately with our own families but neither one of us wanted to continue doing that since we were engaged at that point.  So we went to see my parents the weekend before Christmas and then spent Christmas with his family.  This year we’ll do the opposite.  We’ve let both sets of parents know that we’ll be alternating between them until we have kids and then we’ll reevaluate.

Post # 6
1919 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

sammylouwho:  My Fiance and I have talked about this and will continue what we have worked out during our relationship. My parents are divorced, we live in the same state as Fiance family but mine are 5 hours away. So:

1.) We will not bend to appease our families.

2.) Will we rotate holidays as it works for us. We will only see one family each holiday.

3.) We WILL NOT separate to see family… re-read rule #1. =)

If we see my family Thanksgiving, then we stay in state to see his for Christmas. Then switch the next year.

You both just need to stick together, have a backbone, and set your rules with your family. If any family gives you guilt, do not let them! Let them know you will have to make it next year then. This year one place for Thanksgiving, one for the day before or after Thanksgiving, one for Christmas eve, and one for Christmas. Then rotate this each year. OR You have one holiday at your house and invite ALL the families. You tell each divorced parent that they need to be an adult and appropriate or not to come. There is NO need to have separate events just because parents are divorced, that was their choice. Also, there is NO need to have to see every parent at every holiday.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  BrideK2Wings. Reason: typo
Post # 7
4892 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

sammylouwho:  We’re still trying to figure that out. We’ve been married over a year, but have been together almost 5.

This year, I’ll be with my family for Thanksgiving. Darling Husband always works the day after (Tech Support for a retail company), whereas I always have it off. I’m going to my grandparents with my parents, since I don’t know how many more I will have with them. Yes, probably weird… but, it works for us.

Christmas… we somewhat split last year (his family Christmas Eve, and then I went with my parents/sister to my grandparents Christmas Day; Darling Husband did not come). But this year, we’ll split. Christmas Eve wth his famiy (who we see all the time), and Christmas Day and the day after with my mom’s side. His family lives 45 minutes south of where we live. We travel 3 hours for my grandparents (my parents live in the same city as us).

Once we have kids (IF we have kids), we’ll start our own tradition. But, for now… my mom likes to spend time with her parents while she can. And, I (and mY DH) understand thats – even for me to want to see them. Plus, DH’s family doesn’t do the normal Thanksgiving food (turkey, cranberries, pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc), so I would really miss out on my faorite meal of the year.

Post # 8
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Maui

Christmas eve with my extended family, christmas morning with his immediate family, christmas dinner with my immediate family and his mom, boxing day with his extended family. Our reasoning is that when we have kids christmas is mainly at our house (with the exeption of 2 hours with his siblings, neices and nephews) that way we dont have to travel a crazy amount of time travelling back and forth. 

Post # 9
3051 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

My fiance’s family and my family aren’t the same culturally and somewhat religiously. So they don’t really celebrate the same holidays.Since his family is out of state…it’s hard to travel there often. We usually visit once a year around Tet.

Post # 10
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

When all my grandparents were alive, Christmas day was insane. We spent first thing in the morning with my parents, got ready, went to his parents for an hour, drove an hour for lunch at my one grandparents house, left there and went directly to my other grandparents dinner, and then after dinner did dessert with FI’s parents. We didn’t feel bad about it, but it was a super busy day. His parents always throw their huge Christmas the Saturday before Christmas so we don’t miss out on seeing them – but we always made a point to see everyone. We now have no grandparents left, for the first Christmas we have no idea how to fill our day 🙁

Post # 11
889 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Most couples I know alternate holidays each year. For example, if you went to Thanksgiving at your parents this year, you would go to his parents next year. 

Personally, Thanksgiving is a bigger holiday for my fiance so we are planning every Thanksgiving with his parents and every Christmas with mine. I can’t imagine splitting up to celebrate – I think that would ruin the holidays for me. 

Post # 12
592 posts
Busy bee

My fiancé and I have already set it up (before we were engaged) that we do Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas with mine and then we switch holidays the following year. Both our parents are still married so it makes it a lot easier since its two families instead of three or four. Maybe you can set it up that way? Your set of parents on one holiday, his set of parents for the other holiday. Clearly they understand that you guys can’t be in four places at once.

Post # 13
4238 posts
Honey bee


We rotate years.

Ideally, they’d come visit us if they want to see us that year but then we’d have to cook, clean, decorate more, etc., so, I guess there is that silver lining about visiting them.



Post # 14
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Christmas is a big holiday in Canada. We take the week between christmas and new years off (only 3 vacation days!). We spend 3 days with his family and 3 with mine. We rotate every year who gets Christmas Day. He’s family lives 4 hours away and mine lives 1.5 hours away. Luckily my family is on the way to his. When we eventually have kids I want to have Chirstmas day at home then visit each family. 

Post # 15
1980 posts
Buzzing bee

We usually spend actual xmas with FH’s sister (she lives near us). Then, the weekend or two after after we host FH’s family xmas once everyone else has flown up, and at some point we fly out to for my family’s xmas anywhere from mid-December to early January. My family isn’t too big so my parents are pretty flexible about the date. I do know that my mom wants me to come out for proper xmas one day, but honestly it’s such a pain to fly right around December 25th, and it takes up so much vacation time.

Thanksgiving is different each year; sometimes it’s just FH and I. This year, my parents are flying out.

At some point, you begin your own traditions as a couple. This works for us, for now.

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