November 24, 2014

Splitting The Holidays

With Thanksgiving in a couple of days and Christmas getting here before we know it I’m starting to stress out about where we will be spending these days and how long we’ll be there.

Thomas’ family is very close and they spend a lot of time together, including the holidays of course. For Thanksgiving there is a big gathering at his parents’ house. People bring in food and everyone watches football while eating some delicious meals. There is always a big family picture.

This has worked out the past few years. My family was never big into having Thanksgiving – it was mostly me organizing a dinner with my family. We’d have some honey ham and assorted sides. For a while we did that and looked at the Black Friday ad’s and made a list of what we wanted to get. Then I started dating Thomas and I started spending the day with his family.

But this year I feel different. We’re married now, of course. But my sister is also not here this year. Even though she might not have participated in the holidays in the past years, I feel strange leaving my parents’ home alone that day. My brother will be doing a road trip through the week and into the following week, so it will be just them. While they are invited and welcome to come to Thomas’ parents’ house (and my dad did last year), they don’t really want to. My mom is not a social person and does not like being in social situations at all.

So I’m not sure what to do. I tried talking to Thomas about it the other night and he gets offended that I don’t want to spend time with his family. But it’s not about me not wanting to be with them, it’s about me wanting to be with my family. Most likely what will happen is that I will spend the afternoon with him and his family, and then go home and spend the evening with mine (possibly enjoying Thanksgiving dinner out at a restaurant).

Then there will Christmas. Typically I have spent Christmas with my sister and her family up in the bay area. But last year and this year I cannot go because I can’t get the time off from work. Last year I went to his parents’ house for Christmas Eve for food as well as a gift exchange with the whole crowd. Then on Christmas Day we went to his aunt’s house for a Christmas dinner.

As you can see they do a lot of celebrating and there isn’t much time left for my family. My feelings of not wanting to leave my parents alone for Christmas is the same as they are for Thanksgiving. Maybe even more so since my sister did celebrate the day with them. In our family we do Christmas Eve dinner, and really Christmas is just a day to hang out.

You can see my problem. Suggestions are welcome. I want to be fair to Thomas, but I want to spend time with my family too. My parents are older (my mom is 70 and my dad is 80) and not in the best of health. I want to take advantage of every Christmas I can with them. I’m also not requesting or requiring him to come spend it at my parents’ place. I can do it on my own and he can spend time with his family.

Next year will be another story all together. Christmas will be on a Friday and I want to go to my sisters’ house to spend it with her and my nieces again. Maybe even my parents and brothers’ family will make the trip. I know Thomas will not like the idea.

Once we have kids I know that I will want to have a nice Christmas Eve at home to exchange pajama presents and then watch a movie by the fire (did I mention we have a wood burning fire place?) before setting out some cookies and carrots.


  1. There has to be some sort of compromise to be made here. Thomas can't be selfish and insist that all holidays are spent with his family. I know it's hard deviating from what you've done every year until you got married, but marriage means compromise. For Philip and I, we usually spend Thanksgiving here in MO and then go to GA for Christmas since it's a bigger deal in my family than his. That's the compromise we deicided worked best for us. But since yours and Thomas's families live so close to you, it might be easier to spend part of the day with one set and then the rest with the other set. And BOTH of you should be there.

  2. I agree with Amanda. There's always room for compromises. This year, my mother in law was going to be alone for Thanksgiving, and instead of us going to be with JUST her, we're bringing her WITH us to my moms side of the family. Maybe you could suggest your parents going with y'all and that way no one is left alone. Maybe alternate each year. My mom's and dad's side of the famlies are HUGE so one year we do dinner on mom's side then dessert on dad's side. we switch each year. talk it out and figure out what works best for everyone involved.