The Best Ways to Split Time Between Your Two Families During the Holidays

Tips for Staying with In Laws

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If you didn't already figure out splitting the holidays while you were dating or engaged, getting married means you'll have two families to visit and celebrate with this time around. And while that means double the people who you'd love to see, it also means performing a balancing act between families — one that has the potential to derail quickly. Our experts weigh in on how to make the process of splitting time between families as smooth as possible, so your holiday season is all about the love.

One of the easiest ways to avoid too much strife when navigating the holidays is to alternate where you celebrate every year. If you and your spouse practice different religions, this process will be a little easier. You might spend Hanukkah with one family, then Christmas with the other, and you'll avoid feeling like you've missed too much — just switch up who you visit for Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve each year to keep it even.

If you practice the same religion, spend Christmas with one family, Thanksgiving or New Year's Eve with the other, and swap every year so you never have to go too long with Dad's famous sweet potato pie.

See more: Holiday Hosting: How to Prepare for Your In-Laws' Visit

Of course, if you have the means or the space, you might consider starting your own traditions and inviting both families to join you. Get everyone together for a big Christmas dinner or plan a chic cocktail party to watch the ball drop at midnight.

When it comes to making sure no feelings are hurt, let everyone involved know what the plan is so they can expect you at the right time — and reassure them that you're hoping to keep it as fair and even as possible. If one family or the other is feeling left out, consider planning a pre-Thanksgiving visit (whether or not you eat turkey is up to you!) and set your parents up with a Skype account so you can share the love, even if you're miles apart.

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