Post # 1
DH and I have been together for 5 years (married for 4 months). We have managed to do most major holidays together for the past 4 years- and all of them for the past 2. But STILL, it seems like pulling teeth each time we try to figure out the best plan with our families for the next big holiday. I get that there are a lot of people to organize, compromises need to be made and not everything is going to be perfect every time. But apparently our parents don’t even know what compromise is. (I’ll be honest, my parents are often the culprit when it comes to holiday stubbornness, but his folks have had their moments as well). It’s just so frustrating.
And lately, his mom, knowing that my mom can be… difficult (its true)… has taken to just making a plan WAY early- basically beating everyone else to it. And while I get the instinct to do that, it isn’t always the best course of action.
And the funny thing is, we have-on paper- a really easy situation when it comes to this stuff. We have a pretty small immediate family. I’m an only child, he has one brother. Everyone gets along. Everyone is always invited/included in holiday gatherings. His parents live 40 minutes from us, mine live 3 hours (still not all that bad). AND his brother and sister in law (and her parents) live in the same area that my parents do. So everyone is relatively close to each other.
And yet, still, there are problems. (Not to mention the fact that, with the exception of Christmas, we pretty much ignore my bio-dad in all of this- which is not a good long-term plan).
We have already started talking about Easter. (His mom has already made a plan… that doesn’t work for my parents) and it is just making us super stressed.
As much work as I know it will be, I can’t wait until we move into a bigger place and then WE can actually host some events and maybe that will help?
Post # 3
This year we will have been together 13 years. We started dating at 15 so for the first few years we spent holidays with our respective families, but for about the last 10 years we have just alternated major holidays. Thanksgiving with his family this year, Christmas with mine. Next year it will flip. Its not really been a big deal at all and we’ve never had any issues.
Post # 4
Yup. Always a nightmare to organize even if we have small families. Both our sets of parents want the same dates so we have to switch every year and keep it in the calendar so we can show them that it’s in fact not their turn this time and that we’ll see them the day before or after.
It’s come to the point where I told DH I’ll just rent us a cottage for the whole holiday season and not see anyone and just enjoy everything in peace with our children.
Ugh I hate when people are so unreasonable.
Post # 5
I wish I could tell you it does, but we have been together for seven years and married for four this year, and holidays are still a PITA. We live in Texas while both our families are back in Ohio, so some years we are able to avoid the whole mess by not going home at all. But whenever we are home, both my parents and his two sets of parents are constantly vying for our time, comparing the time we spend with one to the other, etc. All you can do is whatever is least stressful for you, and the family will just have to deal with it. They’ll get over it by January anyway. 😉
Post # 6
I really hope it gets easier at some point. Both mine and my FI’s parents are divorced with my parents getting along well and able to spend holidays together. His parents are the opposite. Havne’t spoken a word to each other since the day Mother-In-Law left Father-In-Law. So during holidays someone always ends up feeling bad and left out! Every Christmas I alwys threaten to go down south! I can only imagine how the week of the wedding is going to pan out when we have family visitng from Out of Town on from both mine and FI’s families.
Post # 7
@delovely13: Next Christmas will be our first as a married couple. We’ve only been together 2 Christmases so far. The first we did our usual thing as we’d only been together 2 months. Last Christmas we did our usual Christmas day thing and his mother invited myself and my mother to her Boxing Day party (its only me and my mom since my dad died 20 years ago).
My hope is that this year we will host Christmas day at our place. His parents are divorced so it would only be his mother and grandmother as well as my mother. Then his mother can do her usual Boxing Day and do New Years Day maybe.
Easter is more of a Church occassion to me and we don’t do a big family thing. Between Thursday night, Friday afternoon and then either Saturday night/Sunday morning I’m exhausted.
Post # 8
@delovely13: I’m not married yet, but our holidays are the most complicated things ever, and I don’t see them getting easier anytime soon.
For Christmas my parents usually have breakfast and then we visit both sets of grandparents. SO’s family usually has Christmas Eve dinner at his grandma’s and then Christmas dinner at his mom’s. His mom kind of tries to take over all holidays, and that’s what she did with Thanksgiving (I was at my parents house for half of dinner before we were rushed on to spend the next 6 hours of the evening at his mom’s where she guilted us into staying late even though SO had to work BF), so we figured we’d spend more time with my family on Christmas. NOPE! Christmas Eve I spent the day with one set of grandparents, rushed to his grandma’s Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we rushed to open our own presents and have breakfast, rushed to my mom’s, rushed over to my grandparent’s and then went to his mom’s where we got guilted again into staying forever when we were only at other places 2 hours tops.
Hopefully Easter is better since that isn’t such a sought after holiday. We could always just go our separate ways for these things, but we spent the first four years of our relationship apart on holidays. Now that we live together we aren’t allowing that to happen anymore, and I’m not sure if we can handle having another holiday season like this past one. The only way I see it getting any better is when we have children. We will be the first in our families to have kids, so I’m thinking we’re going to employ a stance of “you’re welcome to drop by, but we’re not hauling baby all over the place, sorry!” My parents won’t care, but his mom definitely will.
Post # 9
Just wait until you have kids – for us, it was even more difficult.
Post # 10
Yikes, scheduling nonsense already takes the fun out of major holidays, and I’m not even married yet!
SO and I are long-distance, so it’s hard enough trying to spend time with him, let alone at holidays. What makes it harder is that he’s a state park ranger, so he’s never guaranteed to get Thanksgiving and/or Christmas off. His manager was amazing and gave him both holidays this year, but there’s no guarantee next year.
My dad has been amazingly chill about holidays and says that your first priority is your spouse and nuclear family, and everyone else second. However, that only really applies (in his mind) once you’re married. Therefore, I’m still under my parents’ thumb a little bit to go to at least some of the traditional family stuff even if it means missing out on time with SO. His family already practically sees me as a member of the family, so I’m always welcome to any holidays. Right now it’s tough splitting time between SO and my family because his family sees us a social unit, but it’s not quite as legit with my family only because we’re not married yet.
I fully intend on moving out of my parents’ house and into my own place in SO’s town this year, so by the time holidays roll around, by golly we’re making plans together. If he doesn’t get Thanksgiving or Christmas off, I’m certainly not leaving him to spend those holidays by himself while his family does their own thing. I know that probably sounds selfish because holidays are supposed to be all about family, but to me he IS my family regardless of marital status. I would actually love a holiday season where it’s just the two of us without all the scheduling and family drama. It will be so nice when we have a place together and can host a holiday every now and then.
Post # 11
@delovely13: Holidays suck. It wouldn’t be so bad, for us, if his parents would stay at their place for holidays, but they don’t. Mother-In-Law insists on going to her mother’s house, so we have a 3 hour drive rather than an hour and a half. My family is 15 minutes away, so no issues there.
We go to my parents for Christmas Eve and drive all the way to his grandparents Christmas Day. As for other events, we tend to stay with my family becuase I end up having to work the next day, and it just isn’t convenient to drive all the way 3 hours to celebrate a holiday. They don’t like it but they accept it.
With us having a baby now, I can see this becoming really heated with my Mother-In-Law becuase she will throw out the “I never get to see my grandbaby on holidays” card. We already have Easter figured out this year: We will not be cooking or going anywhere. His family is welcome to come Easter Sunday and my family gets Easter Monday, and that’s it.
It’s tough and about to get tougher (and we both have small families), but we will make it work. It’s up to us to do what we want to do, and with a baby, I am not going to be doing any travelling that I don’t want to.
Post # 12
I think we’ve figured it out pretty well, but yes, people still complain.
Fiance is Jewish, so that makes Christmas easy. We spend it with my family. That night, though, his family friend’s have a big party that his family always goes to. Some years, we make it to that, other years we don’t. It’s not a huge deal.
Thanksgiving, we alternate. This year, we spent it with his family (our first Thanksgiving together) and next year we’ll spend it with mine.
His family’s big holiday is the 4th of July – they all get together at his family’s beach house, so that holiday is always his.
We don’t really do anything for Easter with either family, but I’m sure when we have kids, my parents will want us to. Again, not an issue, because he’s Jewish (and we’ve done Passover with his family in the past).
Post # 13
I have two boys from my first marriage & we have two moms, a step-mom, a step-dad and oodles of siblings & their families to try to organize with.
Seeing as we love to entertain and cook better than most everyone else, our answer has been to host all holiday meals where we have the boys with us. Whoever can make it, great! If you can’t, we will miss you but carry on. (We almost always have at least 16+ people turn up.) When we don’t have the boys, we often still opt to host, but if someone else offers, we happily go along, or sometimes we just unplug from life and do our own thing.
We just go to the point where we decided that we were not willing to be part of a power struggle and everyone has adapted well. Holidays are now a lot less stressful.
Post # 14
We don’t have a system yet. We’ve been together 6 holidays now. Someone always doesn’t get what they want and it’s usually us. And because we don’t have kids and will never have kids, we always have to travel. It gets really old!
Post # 15
Fiance and I spent our first Christmas together this year. All of his immediate family (mom, dad and sibling) live in the neighborhood, while my parents are a 3 hour drive away, and my sister lives abroad. I only see my sister at Christmas time. This year, we planned to spend Christmas eve at my parents, then leave Christmas day to spend the afternoon/evening with his. When we arrived at his parents’Christmas afternoon, his mom sulked the whole time and it was so awkward for us, I wanted to burst out into tears the whole day. It ruined our first christmas together. After, she told us that we didn’t spend “equal” time with both families and it hurt her feelings. Fiance said she was immature for thinking that way, that there will be no timers set on who spends time where, and going forward he will leave the next time she wants to sulk when we want to see them on the holidays. I think she’s got the picture!
Post # 16
@delovely13: mine are easy and always will be. My mom goes to her bfs hpuse every year, and DH and i dont speak to him so we celebrate with my mom either the day before the holiday or after.