Deciding how to celebrate holidays with both your family and your significant other’s family can be one of the more stressful things in a new relationship. Each person wants to spend adequate time with their own family and that can be difficult to squeeze in on just one day, especially when there is an overlap between the two family celebrations.
Figuring out holiday plans often becomes a negotiation: “Ok, we’ll go to your family from noon till about 3:30 PM and then we’ll head over to my family’s party from 3:30 till about 8 PM. And then the next day, we’ll do presents between ourselves first, then go …” You get the picture.
Maria and I are very lucky when it comes to splitting the holidays between the people we love. First, both of our families are incredibly flexible and understanding. Our parents realize how difficult it is to make the holidays work (I mean, they did have to deal with these same issues once upon a time) and are totally fine with Maria and I doing whatever works best for us.
It also helps that our families’ holiday schedules do not overlap very much and we are usually able to attend all of the festivities. Maria’s family celebrates their holidays in the early afternoon, often starting around noon or 1 o’clock and having a late lunch at two. My family, on the other hand, starts celebrating around 2 o’clock and eats dinner at around 5 or 5:30 PM. So we are able to eat with Maria’s family for lunch and then go eat dinner with my family.
The first major holiday we shared together was Thanksgiving of 2013. Once we discussed how to split the day up, we spent time with Maria’s family first and visited my family later in the day. It was great to see everyone, but oh my gosh, I was so full from eating a full turkey dinner at 2 PM and then another full turkey dinner at 5:30 PM. Talk about food coma!
This Christmas Eve, we will travel across town to celebrate with both of our extended families. On Christmas Day and the following weekend, we plan to spend more laid-back time with each of our immediate families. I’m really looking forward to enjoying the holidays with my families, old and new.
How do you and your significant other handle the holidays with your families? Tell us in the comments!