(Closed) Those who live far away from family, how do you do holidays?

posted 9 years ago in Holidays
Post # 3
13094 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

We are a plane flight away from both of our families (and they are a plane flight away from each other too so we can’t visit both at the same time).

We alternate holidays.  Last year, we went to my family’s for Thanksgiving and his family’s for Christmas.  This year, we’re spending Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine.

I can’t imagine not seeing family for the holidays so it is well worth the cost of the plane tickets, IMO.

Post # 4
5842 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

My family is far away and his is close so we alternate. Flying home for Thanksgiving and Christmas is too expensive and I like to spread out my visits home.

Post # 5
11163 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

We live in the same town as his family however mine is over 500 miles away. We alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year we are doing Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with his.

It is hard and I really miss my family and our special customs, but it is a sacrifice we must make since going down to my family for both really isn’t fair.

Post # 6
2453 posts
Buzzing bee

My family is a plane ride away, DH’s is within driving distance.

We both have odd work schedules so that affects our holidays. The past three years both DH and I have had to work on Thanksgiving so we didn’t see my family. My job forced me to travel so I’d be out for his family’s get-togethers. DH usually has to work Thanksgiving day and the day after (darn hospitals) so he’d go see his family over the weekend. 

For Christmas we’d spend it with our own families because of our schedules (our days off never matched up). 

This year he has to work on Thanksgiving so we’ll travel to see his family on Saturday and Sunday. Since we’re doing this, we’ll spend Christmas with my family. 

Our plan is to alternate holidays every year (if possible). 

Post # 7
1096 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Just do Christmas and alternate which family you spend Christmas with.

We both live a flight away from our families and we spend the holidays by ourselves and love it. My parents visit us a week or two before Christmas.

My brother spends Christmas with my family one year and with his wife’s family the following year.

Start your own Thanksgiving traditions. If you plan to start a family even if it’s a few years away it gets even more expensive to travel and less convenient. We’ll be spending Thanksgiving here with our friends who also have families out of town. I already know that no matter what, my children will wake up in their own beds Christmas mornings so we decided to make sure we’re in the habit of being in our own house for Christmas now.

Post # 8
5091 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

We’re still figuring it out.  My family lives far away, but most of his is local(-ish).  It’s even harder for us because FI’s extended family on both sides is huge and all very close, so we’re really juggling three families.  Last year, we did Thanksgiving with his dad’s side of the family and Christmas with his mom’s, though we Skyped with my parents and grandparents for a bit.  This year, my parents are actually coming to us for Thanksgiving, so it’s going to be FI’s immediate family and my parents.  We’re going to stick with his family for Christmas, too.

As awful as it sounds, I think my family is going to end up losing this battle.  They’re all really spread out, and my immediate family has NEVER lived in the same state as any member of my extended family.  These days, my parents are in Ohio, my brother is in California, my grandparents and dad’s side of the family are in Indiana, and my mom’s side is in Georgia (mostly).  Even if we did fly somewhere to visit my parents, it almost doesn’t feel like it would really be worth it because it would only be them.  🙁  We’ll probably fly up there once every other year or something (once we have money), but I think most holidays will be spent with his family, not mine.

Post # 9
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We’re extra complicated because both of our parents are split up! FI’s dad and stepmom live about a three hour drive from us (which we consider close), his mom lives a plane right or day+ drive away, my mom lives about two hours from his mom, and my dad is also about two hours away (all in opposite directions).

Our first Christmas together we were broke so we went up to his dad’s house. The next Christmas, we flew to my dad’s, then Fiance took off to his mom’s for the week. I made the awful mistake of driving all over the province for the week, spending a day which each person I wanted to see, which I am never doing again.

We’ve decided to alternate between Northern and Southern Ontario each year, although that does mean our family up here gets more time with us because we don’t have to travel as much. I’m not sure how we’re going to manage to see all three Southern Ontario families, but we’ve made it work on our visits there before.

I, for one, want to have Christmas here, at our house, and whoever wants to see us can come to us– I’m sick of always being the one who travels!

As for Thanksgiving, it’s usally here because we can’t justify spending that much time/money just to go down south for one weekend.

Post # 10
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

We’re a plane ride away from our families and they are a plane ride away from each other.

We made a decision when we got married that we would always celebrate Christmas in our own home as a family.  If anyone wants to come out here to visit, they are welcome (and his family took us up on that last year).

We visit my family in the summer when the weather is nice and there aren’t likely to be travel delays.  I much prefer it that way, plus there’s no financial strain from the holidays.

His family we visit hit or miss on holidays.  They come to visit, or we’ll stop by on the way home if we’re driving.

We actually really like that arrangement.  We’ve set our own traditions for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and no one is offended that we’re visiting someone else on a holiday.  I don’t know why people get so possessive over holidays anyway, they are just another day.  There are other holiday weekends in the year to choose from.

When we were dating we tried out alternating Christmas and Thanksgiving with one family and the other, but it was just too expensive to travel that much.  Then I got a little angry that our families expected US to always be traveling when we have as much money as they do, and they could just as easily travel HERE.  And that’s why we chose what we did.

Post # 11
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

We live a plane ride or full day drive away from DH’s family and a 3+ hour drive away from mine. Since we are able to see my family random weekends throughout the year, we have historically always gone to his family’s for Xmas and Tgiving. However, things have to change since it’s extremely expensive to fly and we don’t have enough vacation days to take two days off every visit just for driving time. This year we are spending both holidays either in our own home or with my parents (day trip) and we’ve asked his parents to come visit us at different times in the spring. We would welcome them to our home for a holidy with open arms, but they wouldn’t take us up on it since everyone else in the family will come to them.

Post # 14
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Our parents are a plane ride away as well, but we’re fortunate that they live in the same city.  We haven’t actually been able to go home for Thanksgiving or Chirstmas yet due to work and cost of flying over the past two years (but if we did, we’d probably just go for Christmas and then visit both sets while we’re there).

We’ve started our own holiday traditions, and it makes me feel a lot better about not being able to see family for Christmas.  Every Thanksgiving, we host a huge dinner at our place for the guys who live in the barracks here (we’re military) and don’t get to go home for the holiday and don’t have the means to make a meal themselves.  It really makes us feel good, and is like a little adopted family of sorts.  And Christmas…well, we’ll just say that I’ve taken my parents love of decorating and we’ve gone nutty putting up Christmas trees and little villages everywhere (oh yes…it does look like Santa threw up all over our apartment!!!)  It makes it feel like we’re “home for the holidays” because we’ve brought a little of our families’ traditions out here with us.  🙂

Post # 15
2495 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

Thanksgiving is a bigger deal to his family, and Easter is a bigger deal to mine.  So, we decided that since we see our families frequently anyway from living close to both, Thanksgiving will be with his family and Easter will be with mine. 

Christmas Eve is split between our families, then Christmas Day is just us.  Next year, DH will likely be deployed for some or all of the holidays (waaa…) so I’ll probably come home and split my time between my family and his family.

Post # 16
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

FI’s family is a 6 hour plane ride away. We haven’t really figured out how to do holidays, but he only visits them every couple of years anyway. Last year we visited them over New Years.

My family is a 20min drive so we see them much more often.

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