(Closed) How do you split time with families on holidays?

posted 5 years ago in Holidays
Post # 2
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Holidays have been (and will continue to be) nightmarish for us. Our families live nine hours apart, and there’s no way to pop back and forth easily. 

DH and I have pretty much decided that as soon as we have children, we aren’t traveling at all and if you want to see us, you’ll need to come to us. 

Post # 3
2076 posts
Buzzing bee

First, realize that you will never please everyone will how you decide to do holidays.  And yes you may see your ILs a lot throughout the year but holidays are different.

For my H and I, we flip flop every year.  This past year we had my family up for Thanksgiving and went to his family for Christmas.  Next year it will be the opposite.  We try to flip flop evenly but as always with work schedules and being granted time off and cost of travel it isn’t always possible, but we do our best.  This Christmas will be the first time ever that H will not see his family at all (we will be out of state with my family).  His Mom was not very happy about that but it is what it is.  

So I think that you and your Fiance need to make a plan that works the best for the both of you and stick with it.  And not sure if you are considering having kids, but this will be an even bigger issue once you do.  My Mom decideded that after one crazy Christmas of dragging my sister and I around from house to house that she just wasn’t going to do it anymore and made the decision that if people wanted to see us then they can come to us.  That meant she hosted Christmas every year, but it also meant that she and my Dad weren’t having to haul us to 4 different houses in one day.

Finally, your Mother-In-Law is crazy to think that people will feel ripped off if you can only stay for a few hours instead of the whole day.  Most normal people know and understand that trying to juggle multiple families on holidays is rough and that because of that you can’t stick around all day.


Post # 4
2403 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
ksklemenz96:  Well, my husband and I both live a plane ride away from our families, so we’re lucky if we see them each once a year – at Christmas. In the past, we’ve tried to see both families by spending Christmas with one and New Years with the other, and we switch back-and-forth  between who “gets” Christmas so that it’s fair. 

If you’re seeing your Mother-In-Law every week, I can see why you would want to spend holidays with your family.

If Mother-In-Law never gets to see her child on holidays because you spend all major holidays with your family every year, I can see why she would want to spend holidays with you/him.

The beginning of your post makes it sound like your family lives very far away since you’re only seeing them at holidays, but then your compromise solution sounds like they live much closer since you’re able to fit everyone in on the same day as long as you leave after a few hours (presumably with MIL). So OP – how close is your family to you and your MIL? That will help us all come up with other possible ideas. 🙂

Post # 5
9524 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

since it is just 3 people on your FI’s side, invite them to your family stuff.

we have some holidays at our house where a small number of family members from both sides come to our house. 

for other holidays, because DH has a large family, it is very easy to just include my mom (and brother if he is visiting).  that way we don’t have to have a separate day with her. 

Post # 6
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

View original reply
ksklemenz96:  we alternate holidays. However we have discussed that if we are living in the same area that his family is then my family gets all the holidays and vica versa. It makes sense that if you are seeing them on a regular basis then your family should get the holidays. If mother in law complains I would just say okay well I will move next to my family and see them every day and I’ll see you twould or three times the year. Hows that?

Post # 7
1991 posts
Buzzing bee

Christmas: Christmas eve with my inlaws, christmas day with my family.

Thanksgiving: dinner with one family, dessert with the other (alternate every year)

Easter: my family only, his family doesn’t do anything big 

Mothers & Fathers day- same as Thanksgiving, or we celebrate on different days.

In my family, we often celebrate on different days to work with everyones schedule. To us, there’s no reason Mothers day brunch HAS to be on Mothers day. We celebrate it the day before, week before or week after with one family to make sure we can see everyone. 

Our family events are typically an hour-ish apart, and it is a pain to drive back and forth. Some events we can’t celebrate on different days, but the ones we can, we try to push to make it more feasible. 

Since your Mother-In-Law has the smaller family, can she do easter dinner on the Saturday? I know easter is on Sunday, but is it that big of a deal? Can she do Thanksgiving dinner Saturday? Or can your family push and do thanksgiving on a saturday one year so she can have that Thursday?

Post # 10
3609 posts
Sugar bee

Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas with his. We don’t celebrate Easter.

Your Mother-In-Law needs to learn the meaning of the word “compromise.”

Post # 11
5082 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

View original reply
ksklemenz96:  We do something different every year, depending on circumstances. DH’s family lives about a 2 hour drive from us, my family is a 3 hour plane ride away. We don’t see either very much though. We see my family maybe twice a year and his a handfull of times. Last year, we celebrated Thanksgiving with a friend and her parents, my parents came to visit in December and left before Christmas and we celebrated Christmas Day with DH’s family. The year before we had Thanksgiving with DH’s family and my parents visited for Christmas so we had Chistmas with both families together (we also got married). The year before that we had Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas with just my mother. Easter is a non-issue, we don’t celebrate it. 

Where you live so close together, there should be a compromise that can be made. Spend Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day with the other. Or Thanksgiving for one and Christmas for the other and alternate years (I did this in the past with an ex). I also don’t see the big deal in splitting the day. Your Mother-In-Law will just have to get over it. 

Post # 12
10542 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

We currently live 15 minutes from FI’s family so they get a lot of the holidays and I usually fly home alone for Christmas.

In August we are moving and will be more half way in between each of our families. We are planning on alternating Christmas between our families and the rest will be determined by our budget and vacation time. Luckily both of our families get that we can’t spend every holiday with them and I’m not expecting and drama surrounding the holidays.

Post # 13
2076 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
ksklemenz96:  I hope this doesn’t come off sounding bitchy because it is more me being curious, but if you live 20-30 minutes away from everyone then why don’t you see more of your family throughout the year?

I think the fact that you all live in the same vicinity means that you need to start splitting the actual holiDAY up between families.  MIL may not be happy with the fact that she won’t get the entire day, but I don’t think it is fair to use the “well we only see my family 3 times a year” so my family gets us on holidays, when you live 20-30 minutes away from them.  Splitting up the days would make the most sense and then just try to make more time for your family during the remainder of the year.  Or at lest flip flop holidays.

Post # 14
1295 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

If your Mother-In-Law only has her parents and son, I can see why she’d be upset about it.

Can the three of them not join in with your family too?

Post # 15
4888 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

We struggle with this. We’ve been together for a total of over 5 years, but have only been married for over a year now. This is mainly for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My parents live in town, but we travel to my grandparents for Christmas (3 hours away). DH’s parents live an hour away and most holidays are either at their place or at DH’s sisters… which is in our city.

I usually take time off around the holidays, whereas DH does not. He works IT in retail and that’s their busier time of the year. This year, we split Thanksgiving. I went with my parents to my grandparents and he stayed in town.

For Christmas this past year, we did Christmas Eve with his parents/family and then did Christmas Day and the day after with my family. It worked out that Christmas was on a Friday and he had it off anyway.

If we ever have kids (TTC now), I don’t know what we’ll do. We mainly go to my grandparents since they’re still around and someday won’t. I know my mom has said that once that time comes, we’d probably just do our own thing in town and hope my sister comes home every year. That will make things easier, actually. However, I want my grandparents arond as long as they can be!


The topic ‘How do you split time with families on holidays?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors