Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Whose House for the Holidays?

Because we live so far from my parents (nearly 3,000 miles), quite far from my father-in-law (1,500 miles) and somewhat far from my mother-in-law (about 5 hours), who we celebrate Christmas with isn't much of an issue. We just stay home. Whoever would like to come visit is welcome.

However, when I still lived in my hometown, dividing up Christmas was difficult, to say the least. Since my parents were divorced, festivities were always split up. The big question was--did we eat Christmas dinner with my mom, or with my dad's extended family? Someone usually felt cheated. (I wish people would think through the long-term consequences a bit more before getting divorced, but that's another post for another day).

This week, Dr. Laura Schlessinger dealt with this issue:
"This year, it's Dave's turn to have Christmas with his son and daughter-in-law. But they now have a one year old baby and the daughter-in-law would like to leave Dave's home early Christmas Day [10AM] so they can also be with her relatives. [Last year, they were with her parents.] Dave's wondering if it was reasonable or fair for them to leave "his" holiday celebration so early."
Personally, I can see how the in-laws would be disappointed. If last year, their son and daughter-in-law were with her parents (and didn't rush to be with his side), then this year it only seems fair that they spend the holidays with her son's parents.

Dr. Laura answered the question in this video.

Basically, she said--don't make a big deal of it, and don't be petty. Focus on having a great time on Christmas Eve (the time they do have altogether) and have a fun send-off breakfast Christmas morning before they head-out.

How do you deal with deciding who goes where, when, at the holidays?

1 comment:

  1. We deal with this because my husband's parents are divorced. Plus, we still celebrate at both my maternal grandmother's house and my parents' house. All told, my kids have 5 Christmases.

    I would suggest that everyone be flexible.

    When we were first married, we would kill ourselves trying to get to everyone's celebrations, visiting for about 2 hours at most at everyone's house because we always had somewhere to go. It was all crammed into 2 days. My side of the family is about 70 miles, or an hour and a half drive, away. During the holidays, we'd spend as much time in the car as with our family.

    The solution for us has been to change the times we get together. For example, since my husband & I want to have our own family time & since he prefers our girls to open our gifts first, we celebrate as a family of 4 on Christmas Eve morning. Then we meet early on Christmas Eve at my grandma's house, around 1 or 2. We then stay the night at my parents' house and leave around noon to spend the day with his family. His dad his pretty flexible, offering to work around the crazy schedules, and this year, we'll have an entire evening on with him the 26th.

    I have to say, that since the time frames have relaxed, it's been more enjoyable on both sides of the family. Spending time together and focusing on the reason we celebrate is nicer when we can slow down.