The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but it’s also a time when newlyweds are faced with a new challenge: who to spend the holidays with. We’re very fortunate that 95% of our family lives within 30-45 minutes of one another. This makes it easier to divide up our time during the holidays and other trips we take to our home state to visit. Others, however, aren’t as lucky. I have friends whose families live in opposite coasts which makes it impossible for them to see both sides of the family for every holiday.
Ideally, the end goal is to be able to celebrate the holidays with as much of your family as possible, but keep in mind that you cannot please everyone. Chances are, someone is going to be hurt by your choice in how to spend the holiday, but ultimately, it’s up to the two of you to create a plan that works for both of you. Your family and friends need to be understanding and willing to compromise with you as well. I think all of these options are a win/win!
Take turns each year
If your families live in separate states (or not within reasonable driving distance of one another) then alternate each year. Spend Thanksgiving with one side and then Christmas with the other. Then reverse it the following year. That way you have a full holiday with each side of the family and everyone is taking turns. This is typically how I balanced both sides when my dad lived in Vermont. It was a four(?) hour drive to Maine from where my dad lived so it wasn’t as doable to spend both holidays with both sides. Everyone understood.
Split Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
If your families live close to one another than celebrate Christmas Eve with one side and Christmas Day with the other! You could even split up Christmas Day. This will be the option we choose this year. We will be spending Christmas Eve with Zack’s family (and possibly visiting mine later in the night) and then Christmas morning will be spent with my side while Christmas afternoon will be spent with his. It’s pretty balanced and this way we’ll be seeing everyone on both sides of our family, Everyone wins.
Spend the holidays as one
The one thing I love about our family is that both sides love each other. It’s not too difficult to get everyone together in the same room so spending the holidays as one complete family as opposed to two separate ones is very doable for us. For Thanksgiving this year, I celebrated with Zack’s family and my dad and Jenna stopped by to visit for a bit before heading off to her parents’ house. It was so nice to have everyone together and be able to see everyone.
Celebrate in your own home
If it’s too much to divide up the holidays (or if you simply just can’t make the trip to see them), then host the holidays in your own home. This is a great time to create your own holiday traditions. Extend the invite to your family and if they come, then great! You can’t always be the one to travel to see them anyways! They need to make an effort as well.