Post # 1
My SO and I are moving in together in September so this is the first time we will be in the same home for the holidays. I know it’s only August, but the other day my SO and I were out at dinner with my Future Father-In-Law and he told us not to make any plans for Thanksgiving because his mother will be in town and they are having a big dinner…and so on. This is the third holiday season my SO and I will be together and I still struggle with figuring out how to divide the time between our families. His parents are divorced and both dating someone, so that only complicates matters even more. I can’t help but naturally want to spend the holidays with my family (he does too), but I understand that we need to spend time with his as well. How do you handle splitting time between families during the holidays?
Post # 2
andielle: When all of our family lived in GA, my mom would do hers on Sunday and then we would go to my FI’s side on Thanksgiving day earlier in the day and then we would head over to my dad’s when we left there. Now that my dad has moved to AL, we normally have to say okay this family got us for Thanksgiving so we’ll be going to this side for Christmas which really sucks cause I love the holidays and seeing everyone! My dad is planning to move closer to us soon though cause he knows we’ll be having kids in a couple years and wants to be able to see his grandkids frequently.
Post # 3
andielle: We only have Christmas to worry about (no Thanksgiving here). Originally we thought we would alternate, Christmas Day with one set and Boxing day with the other and each year swap. That only happened once though. It usually becomes a conversation between us and our siblings, say if one sibling is coming down and they don’t usually then we will go with those parents. We have even split up on Christmas Day before.
We live in the same city as both sets of parents though, so we can usually do both sets even on the same day
Post # 4
andielle: A couple of years ago, my mom started doing Thanksgiving dinner the day before Thanksgiving so that I could make it with my SO (now FI) in tow, but it also made it easier for my sister to make it, so it wasn’t just for my sake. We also started alternating Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, which might be a possibility for you – and for Christmas, we always spent Christmas Eve with one family and actual Christmas with the other.
Edited to add: Our families were 2.5 hours apart, so it did mean a lot of annoying holiday driving, especially since the road to my family from his means going through the same travel area as a ton of beach tourists. For Christmas, we either left late Christmas Eve or super early in the morning.
Post # 5
andielle: Depending on the holiday we split our time. So Thanksgiving one family would have theirs on Sunday and the other on the Monday. Christmas we usually take a couple days off(depending on what day the holiday falls on) and we do say 23/24th at one house and the 25/26 at the other. It’s stressful and crazy but it satisfies both of our “needs” to go to our families holiday.
Post # 6
My family lives 7 hours from us and FI’s family live 20 mins away so we spend more time with his. Christmas, we’ve tended to stay local with FIs family because he doesn’t get much off at Christmas. Other tkmes my family have come to ours and we have both families together.
My family keep bugging me to get to theit’s but it’s just not easy to find a time around mine and FI’s holidays and other commitments around Xmas.
Post # 7
It’s even harder for us. Darling Husband is a nurse – so for Thanksgiving and Christmas he can only have one holiday off. Then we have to decide which parent to see. Last year he worked Thanksgiving and had Christmas off. So for Christmas we went to my parents. This year he’ll get Thanksgiving off and we’ll go and see his family. Yet, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and one I enjoy the most with my family. Ugh. DH’s parents and mine live 3.5 hours away from each other so house hopping isn’t an option either 🙁
So to make a long story short – we’re still figuring it out.
Post # 8
andielle: Both of our families are out of town, and we flip flop holidays every year. So year one we saw my family for Thanksgiving and his for Christmas. Year two we went to his family for Thanksgiving and mine for Christmas and we just continue to rotate. Divorced parents complicate it, but if anyone is local I would try to see maybe one for Christmas eve and the other for Christmas or something similar.
Post # 9
Darling Husband and my mom don’t like each other, and we have only ever spent one holiday with her that turned into a disaster. This is our first holiday season married, and I refuse to not spend holidays with him. I think we will do thanksgiving with his parents since we live in the same area and it’s easier. For Xmas we are going to just spend the day together, and on the 26th I’ll fly to see my mom for a few days and he can go to his parents. It seems to be the fairest way. Once we have kids though, we have already agreed that we will stay home for Xmas and the parents can come to US!
Post # 10
Despite being divorced, do his folks have a good/amicable relationship? Would it be possible for you to host a Thanksgiving and invite them and (maybe) your family as well? I don’t know how much space you have, or even if you could accomodate that many people.
If not, you might want to let Future Father-In-Law know (if he mentions it again) that you have not made plans that far ahead yet and have no intention of setting anything in stone until the two of you have had a conversation about how you’re going to split the holidays between families this year (or spend them on your own as a couple). That at least gives you some more time to mull over it.
Post # 11
andielle: I highly recommend the method Darling Husband and I use. We’ve been together about 7 years. We switch off Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. So, one year we’ll do Thanksgiving at my parent’s and Christmas with his family; the next year we do Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with my parents. That way there’s never any argument about holidays. When we first started doing this we just said, “We thought we’d do X holiday here and Y holiday there, and we’ll switch every year so we can spend time with everyone as equally as possible!”
I find for parents and older relatives it really helps them if they know what’s coming. I never missed a holiday with my parents but when Darling Husband and I got serious and I told them our switching off plan they were so relieved! Even though I’m sure they were sad we wouldn’t make it to Christmas that year they KNEW we’d be there next year (and same for DH’s family). Plus my mom got to plan thanksgiving knowing we’d both be there that year.
We haven’t had any family drama about holidays and I think it’s because we set a strict plan into play early on. So, no matter how much someone misses us at one event they know they’ll see us for the other holiday and that the next year it will be in reverse.
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
andielle: BACK IN THE DAY…For Thanksgiving, we’d usually spend the Sunday with my family and the holiday Monday with my FI’s family. For Christmas my family got Eve and morning (we have our big dinner xmas eve, and a huge brunch in the morning) then have Xmas dinner with my FI’s family.
Since becoming fully estranged with my family (we used to only see them on holidays), I now spend all my time with his family with no problems :-p
Post # 13
My Mother-In-Law is a wise woman and always has thanksgiving the Sunday before- that way she ensures that she has everybody there to celebrate with her.
Post # 14
My Mother-In-Law only lives about 15 minutes away and my family lives about 35 minutes away (so not too bad either). So we are super, super lucky because we get to just house hop. We usually go to my MIL’s early Thanksgiving day because she has her dinner at 1. Then we go to my mom’s that evening because luckily she doesn’t have her’s until much later in the day. On Christmas we always go to my mom’s on Christmas eve and my MIL’s on Christmas day.
If our parents lived really far away we would probably do my husband’s birthday at his mom’s (Nov 27th, and sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving) and then Thanksgiving at my mom’s besides the year it falls on his birthday. Then we would have to probably flip flop Christmas each year and one side of the family get us for the actual holiday and one side not.
Post # 15
andielle: We usually do Easter split, Friday and Saturday with one side and Sunday and Monday with the other side.
Thanksgiving it just depends what’s going on.
Christmas is the same as easter, 2 days with one side and 2 with the other.
Our families live 4+ hours apart which makes it a lot harder. We’ve decided that we’ll switch it up again when we have kids. I don’t want to be on the road half of the day with a baby on Christmas Day. I would also like to start hosting one of the holidays too.