So we are having a hard time dealing with holidays and visiting both families.
Where DH and l live forms a sort of triangle with his parents house and my parents house and we are all basically one hour away from each other. Another thing: my parents are in the Eastern Time Zone and me and DH and his parents are in the Central Time Zone.
My parents have always done Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve and it is the same with his family. DH and I have decided that we will rotate back and forth. This year will be Christmas eve with his parents and Christmas day with mine and then we’ll swap next year. Last year I did Thanksgiving on Sunday with my parents and celebrated with his parents on Thanksgiving. It is too much driving to see everyone in one day.
Once we have kids, the madness stops and everyone will come see us instead. I refuse to pack up multiple kids and diaper bags to drive an hour to one grandparents’ house and then drive another hour to the other grandparents’ house and then an hour home. That sounds like torture.
We do not get together with FH's family - his dad lives in Wyoming so that's not a biggie not to get together with him. His mother lives nearby but she doesn't usually want to get together for the holidays. We both enjoy my family.
I hate this part of the holidays. LUCKILY our parents only live about 2 miles from each other.
-Easter and Thanksgiving day is dinner with his parents, stopping by my mom's for dessert
-Christmas Eve we stop by his parents house before going to my moms for dinner
-Christmas Day (is exhausting): We go to my mom's to open gifts, then to his parents and then home for a nap and I have to start making dinner for my dad, sister and grandma and he heads off to his grandparents during the afternoon for a bit.
This year we will be: Going to my mom's around 8am and then to his parents. From there go to my cousin on my dad's side for a family breakfast (only 4 miles away from my mom's house) and then head 25 minutes from there to his grandparents for a bit and then head and hour home from there to have dinner with my dad. I'm already exhausted.
I would love to eliminate part of this by having Christmas Eve but our house isn't set up for entertaining and has no room for more than 4 adults. I'm pretty sure once we move into a house that suits us better then FH and I will be taking over Christmas Eve or Night eliminating alot of the driving
We will alternate Thanksgivings (when I have my son my family, when he's with his dad we will go with DH's family). Christmas Eve will be with my family and Christmas Day with his family. I think I'm ok with this.
My family is out of state. My FH's family is a few hours away. We make it over when we can, and sometimes I don't want to make the drive with my son. They have another son who rotates holidays: Christmas with one family, thanksgiving with the other, then switch.
This is such a tough one-- you have my sympathy as you struggle with it, Sarahdell. "Compromise" is the right word, and when your family gives you flack cause they 'don't see enough of you', just remember what they *mean* is they wish they could see you more, but you don't have to oblige them.
I swear I thought I was the only one who hated this part of the holidays. It's so frustrating, and I've given up my family time so many times the past years so he could be with his, and me with him. We usually spend an hour in the morning with my family on both days then spend the rest of the day with his. This year will be different.
Thanksgiving: Our first holiday in our own apartment. I will be cooking for the two of us, and we will have an early dinner before going to visit his parents for the afternoon, and then mine at night.
Christmas Eve: My family, always. His family does not do anything this night. (though, we may stop by his parents this year since we aren't living at the house anymore)
Christmas: We will be taking our time this year. No rushing. He will cook us a Christmas breakfast while we watch the disney parade (tradition lol). From there we will visit my family, and then go have dinner with his.
It's SO exhausting!! But hopefully, this year will be a little better.
I don't even want to think about it. Add my birthday into the mix and joint custody of a child and I'm not even sure I want to celebrate! Okay, really, I love the holidays. I love that my birthday is on Thanksgiving once in a great while, and I love that my parents still celebrate Christmas as if we were kids (way over the top, it's awesome!) what I don't love is how I'm going to merge it all. We talked about rotating (he already does with his ex) but Christmas has always been on Christmas Eve in my Family, no exceptions. Even when dad was away with the Army, we celebrated Christmas Eve. I can only remember one adult year I wasn't with my family. Our families are hours away in opposite directions so maybe well just have our own. I want to make sure his son grows up knowing my family and his traditions. We constantly joke about how to handle Christmas as he goes to church Christmas Eve and we open presents and have our Christmas dinner that day! He keeps telling me you can't open presents then as Santa hasn't came yet! Then we get into the foundation of my German heritage, say well figure it out, then start all over the next time!
We were "suppose" to be switching off Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we always end up going to both families on Christmas, even though we ALWAYS go to her family's on Christmas eve. So pretty much we switch off going to one for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas "Dinner" each year. We see her mom already, at least once a week... it gets irritating! I mean I love my future inlaws, but they annoy the crap out of me MOST of the time! They have this thing where they brag about how early they get up every morning! It's like, so you want a cookie? Because you woke up first?.. I'm not a morning person... and I about went off on her mom when I answered the phone and she told me she's been up since 7am... I wanted to say..."you want a cookie?". I didn't say anything and gave my fw the phone.
ETA: Both our parents are divorced also. My father lives out of state, I rarely see him at all and NEVER on holidays. My fw's father lives in town, but we don't go see him on the holidays. We only see him a couple times a year and never on holidays.
Hubby's family live about an hour or so north of us. My sister, her family, and my mom (basically everyone I see for the holidays on my side of the family) live two hours from us in the other direction from his so distance can be an issue only when we are trying to see both families in one day.
Christmas is easy because his family traditionally does family stuff on Christmas Eve and mine does it on Christmas Day. So, we just drive up there Christmas Eve, celebrate, stay the night, leave Christmas morning and head to my family's celebration for that day. It means no morning of Christmas celebration but currently we don't have kids so there is no "wake up, open presents, etc" that we need to do. It works well.
Thanksgiving is a bit harder since the families are both far apart. We are going to have to just split year to year. We hosted last year which worked really well (both families came together) but this year my sis is hosting and his family is hosting so we have to pick. We haven't decided where we are going yet.
I think ultimately it will turn into: 1 year we host, 1 year we go to his fam, 1 year we go to my fam, and repeat.
Our first holiday together was Easter and before Easter we discussed how we would split holidays. Because I have a young nephew we decided Easter with my family and then to ensure equal time Thanksgiving with his family. Christmas Eve with his mother, Christmas morning with his father and step mother and Christmas dinner with my family. When we move into a bigger place I will probably host Easter and Thanksgiving. We don't plan on having kids so that doesn't factor into future holidays. But Christmas will be at my sister's for a while as I don't like kids having to leave home and their gifts to go to family's home to eat.
@Theresa - You mentioned the one thing I am ultimately concerned about - Kids leaving their home to go somewhere else for food and celebrating. I'm not saying that I will never drive to grandparents' houses but I think that kids get themselves too excited and worked up over things. They shouldn't have to endure a long car ride to someone else's house to open gifts.
When I was little, people came to see us. We opened gifts with just my siblings and parents on Christmas Eve. Sometimes, we would drive to my grandma's house (1 mile away) to bring her her gift on Christmas day. I remember the non-chaos fondly.
I am lucky in this regard. My FH has a very close-knit medium-sized family and they always celebrate every holiday together all day long (and other random days as well). We live a 10 minute walk from their house so we see them a lot (he also has 2 sisters who live at home too). I only have one family member - my mom. My mom doesn't "do" holidays (her words). Problem solved.
This has always been a problem for me since I have divorced parents. Adding in his and it is just nuts trying to fit in 3 families for every holiday. We've decided to rotate families on most Holidays. Last year Thanksgiving was spent with his family so this year will be with mine. Same with things like Easter. It was with my family last year so next year will be with his. Luckily our families stretch across Christmas. Christmas Eve with my dad, Christmas morning with his family, Christmas evening with my mom. But I always get exhausted thinking about the holidays.
FH and I aren't planning on having kids, but I can understand having them changing what you do and how far your willing to travel.
Our families are in the same town so it is not too difficult to juggle. Typically if it is a dinner type holiday, like thanksgiving, we will go to my mom's on the friday, and his parent's on the monday or something. This year it was spaced a week apart so that was nice.
His sister goes with her husband and kids to Panama every other Christmas so because that falls this year we will do Christmas with his family two weeks early. It is nice that we can still work out a time to all get together, and even being early it still has the holiday feel.
Thanksgiving everyone comes to my house which I am totally fine with. Christmas Eve we spend close to home, Christmas morning we go out to see his family, and then by that afternoon we're back in town to have dinner with my parents.
I am so glad our immediate families are small and live within an hour of each other. My brother lives in Japan with his kids and exwife so we don't see them.
Not that I wish I had parents that were divorced or family in another country or parents that don't "do" holidays.
I just wish everyone would be a little more compromising. Why should I be expected to do all the driving to see people? Last year when I did Thanksgiving with DH's family and did a Thanksgiving dinner with my parents on a different day, my dad said something like "holidays just aren't what they used to be..."
I understand that he's disappointed we can't keep our traditions forever but I would like to start my own family traditions with my husband too
My parents are about 2 hours away, my future in-laws are about an hour away (and about halfway to my parents). Last year for Thanksgiving, we did part of the day with his family then tried to get to my parents' for dessert and it didn't feel like we really celebrated with anyone. This year, we are going to his parents for all of Thanksgiving, and heading to my parents after breakfast the morning after. It's not perfect, because I'm missing Thanksgiving with my cousins, and my grandparents are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family for like the first time ever, and then leaving for Florida the next morning, so I'm missing them too. At least my cousins will be around for the weekend, so we'll see them, but it's still kind of tough.
However....my future in-laws are working on Christmas (medical field), so we will be at my parents' for a few days before Christmas, all of Christmas Eve and Christmas, and then going to his parents for "Fake Christmas" the weekend after.
We've been living together for 3 years, this is the least drama we've had. We're getting to the point where it's impossible to make everyone happy, so we're trying to just make it as easy on ourselves as possible.