(Closed) Splitting up the holidays??

posted 4 years ago in Holidays
Post # 2
1865 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We had a similar situation.  Both of us have really close immediate and extended families that get together for everything.  Our first Christmas, we were invited to 6 Christmas’s in the span of 3 days.  It’s too much to do everything!!!

Some of the best advice that we got was to 1) start setting boundaries now with all of them so that they’re already used to us not being at everything when we have kids and 2) to make sure we’re setting aside time for US to enjoy the holidays too.  So, how we split it up (at least for now, this will change when we have kids and all of them know it), Thanksgiving Day is usually with DH’s family, the Saturday after is with my dad’s family (grandparents, aunts and uncles).  We don’t see my mom’s family for THanksgiving. 

Christmas Eve is JUST for us.  We don’t travel anywhere until late in the day and take a majority of the day as just OUR time as a couple. Christmas Eve night (late) is with DH”s immediate family. Christmas Day is with DH’s extended family.  Somewhere around the 27-28 is with my mom’s family and New Years Eve/New Years Day is with my immediate family. 

Easter is usually split (Good Friday with one set, Easter Sunday with another), Labor Day is almost always with DH’s family as is July 4 (they have a cottage on the lake, so we spend a lot of time there in the summer). 

Start setting boundaries now.  It will NOT be a fun holiday for all of you if you’re constantly worried about being at the next place on time. Spread the holidays out if you can. 

Post # 3
46680 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Don’t even try to spend some of each holiday with all the families. This will drive you crazy, be very stressful and you will come to dread holidays.

Spend Thanksgiving with one family this year and Christmas with the other. Reverse that plan next year. etc


Post # 4
141 posts
Blushing bee

I believe one of the best ways to deal with this situation is to kinda make a schedule. Spend Thankgiving / Christmas / New Years with your family this year – then spend them with his family next year. For Easter / Superbowl / Etc, spend those with his family this year, and yours the next. Just flip-flop. I agree with some of the previous posters.  🙂 Good luck, and try not to stress out too much.

Post # 7
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

futureMrs.Owens:  it’s expected as you get older. I’m envious of my brother and his wife because her parents and my parents live in the same city so they don’t miss out. this could be confusing so bear with me. We live 4 hours from my parents and then his parents are 6 hours from us or 3 hours from my parents. His parents don’t host the big holidays though. So for those everyone goes to his grandmas which would be 7 hours from us. obviously we can’t see everyone in one day. We decided to just rotate so this year we are going to his family for thanksgiving and then my family is christmas. We just moved in June but before that we did Easter at his parents on Saturday and my family on Sunday. He told me this is okay even though I did tell him it wasn’t fair and I was willing to go to his parents on Sunday. The distance will make things harder so i doubt we will get together for Easter. We used to live an hour from my parents and two hours from his parents. I think if you can’t manage to see all 3 in one day just decide what is possible and then rotate it. If you spend a lot of time with your parents and his dad one christmas then his mom should be your focus the next Christmas. People will be understanding. On the opposite side, my other brother started dating his now wife just over 3 years ago. They have only went to her family during Christmas and will go to ours during thanksgiving (not even a holiday in her country). so this year will be 3 in a row since they said they would be going to her family again. It sucks.

Post # 8
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Unfortunately, we take it as we go. It’s hard because FI’s family plans in advance and my family plans last minute so they always have dates set and list of people who are bringing meals all by the time my family decides they are going to do a get together. My best advice is to split it up by whats most important to each family. 

Future Mother-In-Law nearly cried when we told her we wouldn’t be in town for christmas last year so we rearranged our vacation so we could be there for her while my family is big on thanksgiving dinner since we all have jobs that allow us the time off (stupid retail and black friday!) so we base our decision on that.

Also, if it’s not a big pain and it works out perfect, try to do both. Luckily our families live 20 mins apart so we are able to do christmas breakfast and dinner with both families but there are times when we know it’s going to overlap significantly so we choose 1.

Just go with what you feel is best and don’t spread your time too thin. Then you’re stressing at 1 party because you know you’re already missing another party and you promised you would make an appearance but Fiance is having a good time at this party and you don’t want to interrupt conversation because you already knew you were spreading yourself thin and you don’t want to show up alone because then you get the “where’s FI” question from every breathing person who can talk to you at the other party so you decide to wait but now you’re getting the “you’re late” comment from every breathing person because you spread yourself too thin!!!!!

(I’ve clearly been there before and it’s not fun)

Post # 9
1341 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

futureMrs.Owens:  I would not suggest trying to visit all the family on one day. Break up the holidays. IE: This year go to your family for christmas, his dad’s for easter, his mom for thanksgiving, but switch it up the next year. But maybe have a “make up” day during that season. IE: Do some type of fall gathering at his dad’s house, OR, even your own house.

Post # 10
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I have a question on the rotating holidays – Darling Husband and I each have 1 sibling. My sister and her husband, his sister and her Fiance (wedding date 12/13). So when you’re rotating holidays, do you try to be at the same one that your sibling will be at, or the opposite one so that your folks aren’t alone? My parents are relatively local to me but his aren’t in the same state. I’d be sad to never spend holidays with my sister again! Her in laws live a partial day’s drive away as well. How does that work?

Post # 12
4892 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m in the same boat, so I am following – and will have to have a discussion with Fiance and our families at one point… since Thanksgiving will be our first as a married couple.

We met the day before Thanksgiving in 2010 and have spent that and Christmas apart each year. The other days (Easter, 4thm Labor, Memoral, etc) have usually been together unless something comes up – but those we consider minor.

Post # 13
479 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

This is SO hard so thanks to everyone who has shared what they do.  

Does anyone have experience with one partner’s family living within driving distance and the other’s not?  We can pretty much visit my DH’s family anytime as they are a 2.5/3 hour drive.  He typically visits around every 6 weeks or so, and I often accompany him.  My parents live a 6 hour flight away (more if there’s a layover).  My sister is an 8 hour drive, which is not reasonable to me so I always fly, which is about an hour and a half.  Typically the cost of this precludes me from just going for a weekend unless there is a deal going on or something.  

Last year, my sister invited us to spend Christmas with her and her husband and we went, but not without tears from Mother-In-Law, even though we visited for the weekend after Christmas (which meant we had only a 3 day visit with my sister).  We spent Thanksgiving with his parents.  I don’t know what to do this year.  At first I was thinking we could switch holidays, but my sister and her husband both have to work Black Friday and the earliest I could leave is Wednesday.  I’m not sure it makes sense to fly out to my parents’ for a maximum of 4 days or so either.  Then I think his family will be upset if we miss Christmas Day again.  

Obviously he should get to spend holidays with his family too, but I feel like those are the times when it makes the most sense to visit mine because they are further away and I hardly get to see them.  I’m a teacher, so I can’t just take personal days to travel.  We can literally visit his family anytime.  I also don’t care about Easter while it’s very important to his family, so he will always have that.  

Anyone else relate?

Post # 14
904 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My Fiance and I have been dividing the holidays between our two families for almost 5 of the 6+ years we’ve been together.  In our situation, the two family branches aren’t close enough geographically to spend a little time with each during any given holiday, so here’s what we do:  in even years, we spend Thanksgiving with my family (during which we exchange presents) and Christmas with his family.  In odd years, we switch.  Those are the only two holidays we care about, although more often than not we spend Easter with my family because it’s close to my Grandmother’s birthday, and we frequently spend Independence Day with his family because it’s close to his Grandfather’s birthday.  Do I wish I got to spend every Christmas with my parents?  Of course, but marriage is about compromise and now we have two families to consider.  Our families were remarkably chill about accepting our decision, for which I am eternally grateful.  I hope your families are also able to see the wisdom of compromise.

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