How do you split the holidays?

posted 11 months ago in Family
Post # 31
497 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Greenspot Farms

I feel you! Families get so complicated with marriages and divorces.

In my family Thanksgiving is the big holiday and it is the one my grandmother loves to host. So we do Thanksgiving with my family every year. I should mention though, my parents are divorced so every year we see my maternal grandparents, my mother, my uncle and his daughter. I never get to see my father, sibllings or their children… they live in Wyoming and we are in California. 

My Mother-In-Law does her Thanksgiving the day after, on Friday and we attend that.

We do Christmas Eve with my family and then we spend actual Christmas with my Mother-In-Law.

It will get even more complicated when my sister in law married her long time boyfriend because she and his family all live in Arizona.

Right now, this all works but this may change next year as we are expecting our first baby and I don’t plan to travel on Christmas with a child because I want to start developing our own family tranditions so we may host and if people want to see us or the kids then they’ll make the effort to show up. 

Post # 32
689 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

futuremrs2020 :  First, don’t feel responsible for your mom’s feelings. She’s an adult and she can make her own plans. Of course you should be sensitive to them and invite her if you so choose, but don’t base your plans around not hurting her feelings. You and Darling Husband are a family now and if you have kids in the future, holidays are only going to get more stressful!

My Darling Husband and I have been together for 5.5 years. My mom lives in the same town as us, but she’s cut off so we don’t see her. My dad lives 8 hours away, and my sister lives 8 hours away in a different direction. My husband’s family lives in the same town as us.

For Thanksgiving, we either go to my dad’s, my sisters, or stay in town and host at our house or go to my MIL’s house. Whether we travel or not depends on my dad and sister’s plans. This year, my dad will be hunting and my Darling Husband just had knee surgery, so we don’t want to drive for 8 hours. Mother-In-Law volunteered to host, so we’ll be going to her house. We hosted at our house last year. 

For Christmas, we only have my step daughter Christmas Eve, every year. So every year we celebrate Christmas Eve at my SIL’s house with me, Darling Husband, my daughter, my step daughter, my Mother-In-Law, her Boyfriend or Best Friend, SIL, Brother-In-Law, and their daughter. We have dinner, step daughter opens all her presents from us, daughter opens presents from grandma and aunt/uncle, and adults do a small gift exchange. Christmas morning is me, Darling Husband, and daughter at our house. Anyone who wants to come see us on Christmas is welcome at our house, but we don’t parade around town to see people. My Mother-In-Law usually hosts Christmas dinner and we go to her house for that.

Long story longer, and a reminder that took me years to learn… holidays are supposed to be enjoyable for YOU. They’re about celebrating and enjoying people’s company. Don’t stress yourself out trying to make eveyrone happy- you’ll ruin the holiday for yourself and your family and that negates the whole point! When we started staying home for most of Christmas day, I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was. Good luck, Bee! 

Post # 33
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2020 - Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin

Holidays can be tough! We’ve been doing the “holiday dance” for 7 years now. For a bit of context, we live in Denver and my parents live in Chicago. My in-laws live about 3 hours away by car from my parents in a small town with no airport (they travel to Chicago to fly if they have to). We’ve lived in Denver for the past 5 years and have gone back for every Thanksgiving and Christmas up until this year (taking a break from Thanksgiving and doing our own thing here). We split the time we’ve taken for the holiday evenly. Luckily, my parents don’t care about the day that we celebrate any said holiday on so we usually do a holiday with them after the actual holiday itself. For example, last Christmas we flew in to Chicago, borrowed their car and drove down to the in-laws. We were down there for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day afterwards, then came back up to my parents and spent time with them before flying out a few days later. It’s a lot of traveling, and some people think we are crazy for doing it every year, but spending time with family is important to us since we’ve moved so we’ve made it work. Eventually, we’d like to have them come out here for a holiday once in a while, but we each have one remaining grandparent and neither of them can travel, so we come back for them.

I think in your case, it’d work out best for your mom to come along to one of the events. Maybe just see if she’d like to come for after-dinner coffee or dessert if she’s not up for joining the entire event?

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