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Married Life
Sharing Holidays
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6414, member since Sat May 15, 2004
On Sun Sep 22, 2013 08:33 PM

Just curious how all the couples out there split the major holidays between your family, your in laws, and you and your spouse alone! I'm from the United States, so I am thinking of mostly Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our families live two hours apart (and we live in their respective cities while we finish schooling) although my family often travels three hours farther for Thanksgiving. Not sure how we will work this out this year or in the future, but I am curious how you all do it. Do you trade or do the same thing every year? I know it can be a source of major drama in some families!

19 Replies to Sharing Holidays

re: Sharing Holidays
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:00 PM
Yeah, we fight over this every year. My husband was a lot better at sharing holidays before we got married.

We go to his family for Thanksgiving.

Then, I don't live near my mom, but I do live near most of her family, so the week between Christmas and New Years, she comes here. So we go to his family for Christmas day, and usually the 26th, and then come back here in time to spend the week with my mom. She actually ends up making that split easier for us, because we don't have to worry about getting to his family (Indiana) and mine (Arkansas) in the time that our son gets off from school. :/

And the fight we have every year is because he never asks for my opinion. I don't even get the courtesy of his pretending like he cares. "This is what you're doing. Get in the car." SUCKS. My family has Thanksgiving dinner too, what the heck?
re: Sharing Holidays
By GetRhythmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4773, member since Mon Jun 20, 2005
On Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:06 PM
My husband and I are closer to my parents (physically and emotionally), so we don't ever argue about who we spend the holidays with. Until my husband's grandmother passed away in January, we would normally eat at her house for Thanksgiving because his parents would drive up from where they live (2 hours away), and his aunt and uncles would come too. Now that she's gone, we will probably spend Thanksgiving with my parents who live about 5 minutes away.

For Christmas, we usually have my parents over to our house for breakfast, and then we would go to his grandmother's like we did on Thanksgiving and celebrate Christmas with his side of the family. Again, now that she's gone, I'm not sure how Christmas will go this year.

You just have to find out what works for your families. Everyone has to be flexible and be willing to give and take a little so that no one's feelings are hurt.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:30 PM
We trade.

Basically with Christmas is we spend Christmas day with my parents since my dad usually comes back from work on Christmas eve for leave and spend Christmas eve with my man's family.

If that can't happen we have a lunch or dinner outing with the family we couldn't see. Most of the time we host a dinner at our place and have them both come over - it works because our families get along really well. My partner's dad lives about 2 hours away from my parents, sometimes with work he could be 4 hours away so it's still a trek and he still comes or we still visit for the one day.
re: Sharing Holidays
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7113, member since Fri Aug 02, 2002
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 02:05 AM
We are so, so fortunate that our families are only an hour from each other, so we do both families in one day.

We do Christmas morning at his mum's house, because he's the oldest of six, so there are kids there and it's just more fun. Then we go to my family for lunch, and then his extended family for dessert and dinner (they've usually already had lunch, but there are 25 cousins, so their Christmas lasts all day).

The only thing that sucks is that we have to travel 3 hours to get to our families, so we do that a few days before Christmas. We never even have a Christmas tree up at our house, because we're not even there so there's no point. Now that we have a baby, I really want to have a Christmas tree to keep all the presents under.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 03:32 AM
I get off really really lightly for Christmas. My dad doesn't care about the festivities whatsoever and my mom's in New Zealand, so it's just a given that we go to Tim's parents for dinner. Well, we now go to his sister's but his mom still cooks :)

We also all live within the same postcode district, I think you could walk a loop between my house, his parents house, my dad's house, his brother's house and his sister's house and be done within an hour. So we go to the local pub for a drink in the morning and see my dad, then go to his mom's for dinner. We'll normally see my dad on Boxing Day and a few other times over the festive period as well.

I think if my mom still lived over here we'd probably have to alternate.
re: Sharing Holidays
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3906, member since Fri Jul 25, 2008
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 07:17 AM
Thanksgiving is usually at our house, with my family, and Christmas is usually at his mom's house. Christmas Eve is for my husband and I. Usually my family doesn't really do anything for Christmas, so it works out fine, but this year my cousin and her little girls are coming to spend Christmas with us. I think we are actually going to go our separate ways this year, although we haven't worked out all of the logistics. But I think I will probably spend Christmas with my family and he'll spend it with his, at least for the first part of the day. Both of our parents live in the same city as us, so we might meet up later for dinner with his family. We don't have kids of our own, so that also makes it less complicated.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12956, member since Wed Mar 17, 2004
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 07:27 AM
His (divorced) parents live in a kind of suburb of our city; mine live about an hour and a half away. Thanksgiving isn't as big here in Canada and my parents especially don't do much, so we don't worry about it (this year, I'll cook something nice at our apartment and invite his mother and sister over.)

My birthday is Christmas Eve. We usually see my parents that morning (they drive up), his dad and stepmom and sister, grandmother etc. on Christmas Day, and his mom in the next couple of days, as she lives alone and doesn't mind which day is Christmas.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 08:28 AM

The only thing that sucks is that we have to travel 3 hours to get to our families, so we do that a few days before Christmas. We never even have a Christmas tree up at our house, because we're not even there so there's no point. Now that we have a baby, I really want to have a Christmas tree to keep all the presents under.


We put up a tree, and put a bit of presents underneath. Usually it's the presents that we know are going to other people, but at least then we get the look. The first couple of years James was born, we put my mini tree up on the counter in the apartment we lived in at the time, but then James got bigger, and we moved in to a bigger house, so we have a full size tree now. We also have a gigantic couch that takes up most of the living room, so there isn't a ton of space for the tree (no way could we pull off sitting around it, for example), but we have it up! :D
re: Sharing Holidays
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 25878, member since Tue Jul 16, 2002
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 08:37 AM
We're not married and won't be for a while, that being said...

As it stands now, he goes home twice a year for Passover and Thanksgiving. Geographically and emotionally, he's a lot closer to my family. I've spent maybe 24 hours with his family in 3 years of dating. They live in south Florida, so it's largely impractical for us to drive and a lot cheaper for just him to fly down.

My parents usually go see my mom's parents for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My sister lives in Minnesota and never comes home for holidays. I usually stay home and referee the cats. This year, I think my grandparents are coming up for Christmas since I'm out of time off and they haven't seen me in several years. We haven't spent a major holiday with my dad's parents in about 5 years. That's largely due to the fact my mom's parents live about a 2 hour drive away and my dad's parents live in Virginia.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Live_on_Broadway Comments: 2538, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 08:39 AM
My family lives on the other side of the country (a four hour plane ride plus a three hour drive), and his live about six hours away. We can't see both families over Christmas, so we trade each year. I spent last Christmas with his family, and we'll be flying to see mine this Christmas.

Thanksgiving has never been that big of a deal for us (we're Canadian), so we'll probably just spend it together at home. Maybe I'll make a tofurkey. ;)
re: Sharing Holidays
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2426, member since Tue Feb 20, 2007
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:16 PM
Luckily it's usually pretty easy for me and my DBF even though we have plenty of family...

My family never does Thanksgivings but his step dad's family does and they live on a farm outside of town. Sometimes his dad has supper and he's by town as well.

For Christmas it's usually pretty scattered. My mom's family on Christmas Eve (1.5 hours from me usually though it sometimes changes), Christmas day is lunch at his step dad's parents then supper at his dad's. And my dad's family is New Years Day.

The only thing that stops us from going to all of them is work since my job doesn't have holidays.
re: Sharing Holidays
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:33 PM
Trying to trade off equitably is tough for a lot of families. Especially with far-flung families it can end up with never having enough time to spare to make a tradition for yourself and spouse and kids alone. Either that or the grandparents don't get the chance to see the kids very often. It helps to work some summer vacations into the mix. If you don't make it for Thanksgiving or Christmas, maybe the kids could spend a couple of weeks there during summer vacation.

Two or three hours apart is relatively easy. Try living a couple of thousand miles apart!
re: Sharing Holidays
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:40 PM
Always at my parents' house. His lived a thousand miles away and we used to visit them in the summer so we didn't have to drive long distances in winter weather. We spent a few holidays with them but that was a long time ago. They both passed away several years ago, so it's no longer an issue.

kk~
re: Sharing Holidays
By CaffeinePremium member Comments: 3194, member since Wed Aug 08, 2007
On Tue Sep 24, 2013 05:03 AM
For Christmas, we have a rotating roster with his side of the family, so that we host once every four years (last year was our turn; this year is SiL's; etc). On the years we host, we have my side for lunch and his side for dinner (and anybody who wants to come to both and spend all day is welcome). On the years we don't host, we visit my side of the family for Christmas lunch and his for dinner -my family live about an hour away whereas his are ten minutes away, so it makes sense to do the later one closer to home.

Now that children are thrown into the mix, things might change. It's OK when they're small, but I don't want to schlep M all over the countryside on Christmas day instead of letting him play with his presents.
re: Sharing Holidays
By tumblebugPremium member Comments: 10100, member since Fri Mar 29, 2002
On Tue Sep 24, 2013 05:15 AM
This was never a problem until my daughter was born because up until then, both sets of parents didn't care.

Now it's a whole other story.

The fight is brutal and ugly every year with temper tantrums, that would make a 2 year old envious, thrown by Grandmas who think they deserve every holiday and could care less about the 'other' Grandma. It's came to the point that we dread holidays because they are dedicated to hours of driving back and forth to make everyone happy but ourselves, and flat out miserable.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Tansey Comments: 2367, member since Fri Mar 27, 2009
On Tue Sep 24, 2013 08:36 AM
For many years I lived in DC, 500 miles from my parents and siblings. My inlaws lived quite near us. I hosted my inlaws for every Thanksgiving and we flew to Massachusetts to spend almost every Christmas with my family. We kind of alternated years for Easter, but definitely spent more Easters in Massachusetts.

When I moved back to Massachusetts 13 years ago, I put my family on the same holiday schedule my married siblings were already using. They alternate years; whichever spouse's family they spend Thanksgiving with they also see on Christmas Eve, but the other side gets Christmas Day. Easter is alternated year to year. My former inlaws died before we moved up here, but I'm divorced now, so the kids are with their father for whatever holidays my siblings are with their inlaws.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3466, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Tue Sep 24, 2013 08:46 AM
Edited by Dancing_EMT (115664) on 2013-09-24 08:48:09
Considering his parents live within 15 minutes of us, we go to them for the holidays. Except for the Christmas right after we got married, due to how his mom behaved at the wedding, we decided to have it to ourselves. I worked and then came home to a lovely meal prepared by my husband, we still consider it the best Christmases we've ever had. We had a nice quiet evening to ourselves and got to enjoy each other's company.

We hope to make it down to my parents sometime soon, I haven't seen them since we got married. :( I also miss my friends.
re: Sharing Holidays
By PHD_againmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 444, member since Mon Jul 19, 2004
On Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:30 PM
My family is pretty laid back when it comes to holiday things so that makes things pretty easy.
My hubby works a 7 days on 7 off shift so the years that he's not working Thanksgiving we usually end up going to his mom's for dinner (2 hours away) and as my family is more relaxed than his, my mom will usually plan dinner on a different day (we live in the same town). If hubby is working then my mom just makes dinner a little later and we go there.

The big thing for Christmas in my family is breakfast so we (or I if hubby's working) always go to my parents for that. If hubby's working Christmas then we'll sometimes show up late to which ever of my relatives is hosting dinner or have a quite Christmas dinner at home if dinner is too early and then his Mom and step-dad will come up when hubby's shift is done and we'll do dinner with them at our place. If hubby isn't working then we do breakfast at my parents and then drive up to his mom's for dinner.
My father in law hosts a big dinner on or near New Years so that his kids don't have to choose which parent to do Christmas with so we always go to his place for that.

My brother and sister in law who don't have kids will generally do one Christmas with my family and the next year with hers. As her family is an 8 hour drive away they either spend Thanksgiving with my family (2 hours drive) or stay home.

My brother and sister in law who DO have kids are pretty lucky in the fact that they live next door to my mom and dad and her parents are only an hour away so they can usually schedule Thanksgiving at both her parents and mine. For Christmas they always stay home Christmas Eve and do the big family breakfast and then drive up to her parents for dinner or her family will have dinner boxing day or New Years if that's easier to coordinate with the 4 kids in her family.
re: Sharing Holidays
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Wed Sep 25, 2013 09:57 AM
We are the elders in this case, have two adult kids with two boys each. Our kids live close by, 12 and 15 miles. No other family in the immediate area except my son-in-law is a local. Son's wife if from NJ/NY border area.

So, Christmas Eve is at our house. Dinner at 6 or 7, gift opening and they leave at 9:30 and do within family gift (e.g. Santa) Christmas morning. Christmas Eve is a German tradition and wife and I are ethnically German though families have been here since 1850's. Wife and I go to church at 11 PM and have the next day pretty much to ourselves. On Christmas Day, Son and wife usually go to her NJ home with her family and sister's family. Wife and I usually watch sports on TV. Daughter and husband go to one of his relatives who live in this metro area.

Thanksgiving Day has usually been at our house and involves 10 people. There are 4 very active grandsons who are 10, 7, 7, and 5. All their parents are 46 or older, son is 47, son-in-law is 51.

My daughter and husband just moved into a house with a large dining room and my son and wife live in what by my standards is a mansion. I'm wondering if there will be changes to the routine.

Jon

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