Saturday, October 20, 2012

How do you choose When and Where to go for the Holidays...without upsetting family?

Just recently DR and I decided that we weren't heading to Indiana this year for the holidays. We are taking a year off from the 14 hour winter car trip...YAY!!! Though I won't miss the trip I will miss seeing my family. I'll be a bit bummed about not seeing my siblings, parents, grandparents, nieces and nephews. But I didn't realize till just the other day how GOOD I'm going to have it this year being all alone! 

This will be the first Holiday Season of NO CRAZY RELATIVES! Hoorah!!! 

Yeah, you have em' too don't ya?? Everyone has that one crazy relative that you spend all of Thanksgiving/Christmas avoiding. If you are lucky you have a cousin/sibling who'll play wing man and rescue you when you've been backed into a corner by Aunt Suzie discussing her latest allergies or Uncle Ted who is introducing you to his new wife...your new aunt. (Is this wife #3 or #4?) 

(By the way cousins, I still remember that year I was stuck talking to THAT ONE CRAZY AUNT for tooooo long. Thanks.)

Yep, I've got it GREAT this year!! Ha, ha!!

I hadn't even given the holidays much thought until a friend of mine gave me a call asking for advice. See, she's recently married and living near her new in-laws. Her mom, who lives out of state, is asking when she's going to come home for Christmas and her mother in law is insisting that she and her husband spend Christmas day with her! 

My poor friend is going through her first holiday season married. Which means she's trying to make everyone happy during the holidays. She asked me my advice, "How did DR and I decide where to spend the holidays when we were first married?" 

I don't know if I gave her the best advice though. Our families live only a few hours apart so DR and I were always able to spend time with both when we lived back in Indiana. We were also lucky since both of our parents were very understanding if DR and I couldn't make it to every holiday family get together which really took a lot of stress off of us. 

I told my friend that she and her husband needed to make a decision that they were both happy with and let their mothers know where they'd spend the holidays; she probably wasn't going to be able to make everyone happy. 

Do you have any advice for my friend readers? How does your family decide where and when to spend the holidays? Do you have a good solution on spending time with family in separate states? What works for you? 

Thanks in advance, I'm sure my newly married friend will appreciate any advice she gets! 


  1. Been there done that! The year my daughter was born (she's 17 now) we did two Christmas Eves, two Christmas Days, and a Hanukkah. She was two and a half months old, breastfeeding was not going well, we were so broke we couldn't afford to pay attention, and my (now ex) husband was a wake-&-bake pothead. But I was afraid of hurting anyone's feelings. It was horrible. So I put my foot down and said that from here on out, we were only going to do one Christmas Eve and one Christmas Day.

    My mistake was that this was not presented to the relatives as a united front. My ex told his folks, "I'd love to come, but Renee said no." That caused no end of problems. My parents were very understanding, but his weren't. That meant that my family always got to see us less, because his family really laid on the guilt. They are dysfunctional in many and various ways, and I became the Bad Guy of the family, and that's a rotten place to be.

    So I would encourage your friend and her husband to make a decision together about what will enable their new family to have a Happy Christmas and then announce it together to both sets of in-laws.

    As the years went by, I have also become a lot less attached to celebrating on the official calendar date. We don't know what day Jesus was born on anyway. Since my ex's family is so picky about it, I let them have the kids on The Day and do our Christmas either the weekend before or the weekend after.

    I know this is long, but I hope that other people can learn from my mistakes!

    1. Oh no, I am so happy that your comment is long! I think my friend will really learn from it! Thanks so much, I'll definitely pass on your story to my friend. :)


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