Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two Places at Once

Now that Halloween is over and November is upon us that means only one thing....The Holidays!! Yes the big family holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah are rapidly approaching and while this can be a very fun-filled time of year it can also be a very stressful time of year especially for those that are in relationships and trying to decide which family to spend those all important days with.

In one way Kristian and I are very lucky that both of our families are basically local. His parents live 20 minutes away and my family lives about an hour away up in Maryland. I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to avoid the cluster f*ck that is the airport or train station during the holiday season. We live close enough to where we can just hop in the car the morning of and be where we need to be in an hour or less.

However, with this benefit also comes the downside of both of our families expecting us to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with them or somehow be able to split our days to see each of them. The problem with this is that both families like to eat Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner around the same time and last time I checked we can't be in two places at once. Nor do I have the stomach capacity for two big dinners, though last Christmas we had lunch with my family AND dinner with his. I thought I was going to explode.

This has made things a bit tense in the past because we both obviously want to see our families on the holidays. Last year I know my mother was upset that we weren't able to spend all of Christmas day with her and had to rush through lunch to head to his parents house for dinner.

Fortunately we've already worked out our plan for this year, since my mother and oldest brother have decided to take a cruise for Thanksgiving we are spending that day with my in-laws...pretty easy decision there. We'll be spending Christmas Eve with my in-laws, exchanging gifts and eating dinner and then on Christmas Day we'll head up to MD to open gifts and have lunch with my family. Hopefully this will make everyone happy and then next year we can switch and spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas Day with his.

Ideally in the future we would love to have a house that is big enough to where we could host both of our families together for the holidays. This would especially come in handy after we have kids rather than having to lug them all over MD and VA.

How do you and your significant other split the holidays with your families?


d.a.r. said...

We are the same way since our parents are only 15 minutes apart. And Z's oldest sis and her husband are also in the same boat. So, when we make plans with Z's family, it is like three families trying to organize their schedule at once. Nightmarish.

For Thanksgiving, we do lunch with Z's family and dinner with mine. For Christmas, we celebrate on Christmas Eve with his family and Christmas Day with mine (though, it used to be Christmas Eve Day with my family, then that night with his family, Christmas morning with his family, lunch with my family, afternoon with his grandma and evening with my grandparents!!!!). Thankfully we have consolidated some and it seems to work out a-okay. I just have to wear stretchy pants on Thanksgiving. And, it helps that his mom isn't the greatest cook, so I eat just enough to be polite and then gorge myself at my parents' house, haha!

KLaw said...

When you have kiddos, you can start your own traditions! Thats what we're doing this year for shizzle.

Um, I miss you friend. Just thought you should know.

april said...

I forget when this started, but we have always had the same schedule as long as I can remember excluding the first year we were dating. That year, we did holidays as a group and it was crazy. We actually combined families. Anyway, after that, we started Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other. Our siblings have the same routine as well. We alternate Easters. The only exception was when the kid was born, we hosted Thanksgiving and had both sets of families over, but we went back to the schedule starting Christmas (and asked permission on that Thanksgiving for the exception). It worked out well and everyone knows what to expect. Even though everyone is local, it is too much to expect to do everything and then you spend all the time traveling and no time just the two of you enjoying yourselves.

Teenage Bride said...

That is certainly one source of tension with me and my husband as well. We try to split time with family evenly but it is so hard to just break tradition. We will be sl=plitting thanksgiving this year between the families but my in laws will be in Florida so we get to spend all day with my family!!!!

bananas. said...

we usually split it since our familie's each have different traditions. however this year will be different. there's some family drama so we'll be chilling with my family for the most part. very excited about that :)

Annie said...

I guess after almost 5 years of being together and celebrating all holidays together since the first year we were together, things just kind of worked themselves out. We usually do Thanksgiving lunch with my parents and spend the afternoon with them and then we go to my hubby's sisters house for dessert in the evening with his side of the famil. Then Christmas Eve with his family and Christmas day with my family. It has worked out perfec the past few years. We are lucky as well because both our families only live about 5 minutes from us :)

LiLu said...

Ours are in PA and MA, so doing a twofer isn't an option. We have to switch off every year, and I HATE it. :-(

EmilyB said...

Holidays are always a bit of a clusterf*ck for us. Now that we live in MD, that throws a whole other wrench into the equation. This year will pan out like this:

Thanksgiving Day w/ Josh's fam. Thanksgiving Night w/ my fam (we always eat dinner at traditional dinner time).
Christmas Eve w/ my fam.
Christmas Day w/ Josh's fam.

Last year? Complete and utter chaos resulting in a very sick Emily come NYE. Not happening EVER EVER again. Clearly I'm not over it lol.

Looks like you guys have a nice plan worked out for now. Once kids come I'm sure both of our plans will change...again.

Bicoastal Bride said...

This is definitely a challenge, especially since our families live out in California, in very different parts of the state. We'll be spending Thanksgiving here with Stephen's sister, and then I'll head to Cali for Christmas with my family. We still don't know whether Stephen can come due to his work schedule, which is a big bummer.

Chocolate Lover said...

This year we are spending Christmas away, just the two of us which gets rid of the hassle of trying to figure out where to be when. Not sure what we'll be doing come next year!

every little kiss said...

I feel like we will NEVER win when it comes to the holidays. My parents are divorced and live in two completely different states. His parents live 5 hours from us. We can't see all of them in one holiday. Last year, we tried to see my dad's side of the family and his family on christmas day--it was a 9 hour drive. It was AWFUL. Never again.

Sigh. We've just started trying to figure all of this out for this year and it's already a huge mess. I almost want to have kids ASAP so I have an excuse not to travel extensively during the holidays.

Kristin said...

I feel bad for my hubs in that we're always with my family. His lives in MN and they come to Florida every year around Easter, so it doesn't make sense for us to go there at Christmas. I know it must stink for him though.

Marian said...

Gosh, this was one of the discussions I was nervous for when we started talking wedding...however...its a pretty easy one, for now. My family actually travels to Maryland for Thanksgiving and we all spend it together with his family. Its actually quite nice. For Christmas, we head up to New Hampshire and spend it with my entire family. No problems yet:)

Jenni said...

Just discovered you and your blog, and I've enjoyed spending a bit of time here!! As for this post: I relate. For us, the holidays in general are a bit of cluster f*ck, as you so aptly put it. Thanksgiving we usually spend with my husband's mom in Wisconsin, but Christmas we spend running around every whichwhere all day - it's exhausting. I wish people would come to OUR house. But that probably won't happen til we're old. :)

Enjoyed reading you! :)