Holidays and Families

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BriansAzBride Posts : 326 Registered: 12/5/08
Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 4:22 PM

I wasn't sure where to post this so here it is!

The month of May is a busy month for FH and I. We have his sisters birthday (technically April 28th but close enough), Mother's Day, my birthday, his mom's birthday, and now the wedding. My birthday is always right near mother's day so I always have taken second seat, afterall mother's day is a big deal. We do a big dinner for mom and her card and gift and at the end of the night after her celebration is over we will normally eat cake for me and then I'll get a present (we normally do one large present instead of mulitple smaller gifts). Well this year his family is involved. Which means we need two mothers days, two birthday celebrations and etc.

I realize my situation is unique, but how do all of you deal with multiple familes and holidays? Maybe I just haven't got juggling down right yet but it's a stresser!




 I feel like a kid. Pinch me. This kind of love certainly can't be real. Oh wait, it is :)


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 4:30 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

You really just have to be as fair as possible, without spreading yourselves too thin. If your parents don't live near one another (making it difficult or impossible to spend time with both every holiday), you'll just have to work out a compromise. Either celebrate with one family the following week, or rotate years.

Personally, we only have this problem with Christmas, as we don't live near enough to our families to celebrate 'smaller' holidays with them. For Christmas, we spend Xmas Eve with one family and Xmas day with the other. Sometimes that means we're driving either late on Xmas Eve or early on Xmas morning (like this past year, when DH's brother hosted Xmas instead of his parents - but it was only a 2-hour drive, so no big deal). We try to keep it as fair as possible, so that everybody gets to see us, but we don't try to kill ourselves seeing everybody, either. (Made that mistake in the past).

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 4:31 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

Dear BAB,

You just juggle.

Your two families know that you are now married, and they can't both expect to have your 100% holiday attention.

You might see one mom the night before Mother's Day, the other on Mother's Day, or alternate years, or alternate holidays. Maybe "hit" Mother's Day for one family and "hit" Father's Day for the other family.

After all, your own parents had to figure this out when they got married. If they are reasonable people, they'll know the drill.


PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 4:39 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

BAB- As PPs stated, you juggle. My brother's birthday is right around Thanksgiving, then there's Thanksgiving, then my DH and I have the same early December birthday and then there's Christmas. We live near my ILs but not near my family. And my parents are divorced.

Thanksgiving - we see my Mom's side of the family and then my Dad's side of th family does Thanksgiving the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We do a Thanksgiving/Birthday thing with the ILs. Christmas we stay put - some of my family may come down - but we do Christmas with my ILs (they dont' care if my family is down or not and for the past two years I've hosted Xmas at our house).

Sometimes I get the guilt trip from MIL but I ignore her - she's not too bad and we see them for every other IL birthday, Easter and long weekends. So far, I've been able to coordinate with my BILs FW well - her family is also up North. So we tend to be away the same holidays - this seems to help with the guilt trips.

Also, I always make sure to get on the same page with DH on our plans. That way it's a united front to anyone else. This has also worked well.





Elbelle77 Posts : 222 Registered: 1/24/08
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 4:43 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

Sounds like my schedule!! We had MIL's bday two weekends ago, SIL's bday this past weekend, then mother's day and my mom's bday 2 days after Mother's day.

We did what the PP's said, you just juggle it. We saw both MIL and SIL on their bday's, we'll see my mom for mother's day on Saturday, his on Sunday, then my mom again on Tuesday for her b-day. Makes for a busy schedule, but this way no one feels excluded.


BriansAzBride Posts : 326 Registered: 12/5/08
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 7:13 PM Go to message in response to: Elbelle77

Unfortunately both sets of families live within a 30 minute drive. I don't mean that to be mean but sometimes it would be nice if one of them was out of town for a holiday! Luckily with some holidays its easier, like Thanksgiving. My family celebrates on Sunday and his on Thursday so it works nicely. For some reason they are so much more flexible on big holidays but the smaller ones, it's like you are missing the birth of their first born child! I don't get it.




 I feel like a kid. Pinch me. This kind of love certainly can't be real. Oh wait, it is :)


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 3, 2010 10:55 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

Dear BAB,

There's no "one" good answer. You just have to juggle and try to be fair to all parties, including yourself.

I know of families who are so busy going between grandparents that they never have time just for themselves. Invent new traditions that give you your own time.


I have some friends who have three daughters, all married. Every other year all three daughters, sons-in-law and kids go to my friends' house for a big family Christmas. On the odd years, the daughters go to their respective in-laws' houses, and my friends go on a cruise over Christmas, by themselves. That's one way to work it.


myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 4, 2010 3:07 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

As the others say, you juggle. Fortunately, my family and my daughter's husband's family get along, so sometimes we celebrate together. We live about 2 hours apart from the in-laws--the kids live closer to us. The way things have worked out, Thanksgiving (with or without the other side) is always at my house (we celebrate with our best friends, have done so for 30 years, and none of the children is willing to break the tradition and go elsewhere). Hannukah is at my daughter's house (both families and friends), Passover is at the in-laws (both families), birthdays are wherever. This year, my birthday, Passover, and Easter were the same day, so we celebrated all at once. Mother's Day this year, my daughter and her husband will be with his mother (it's also her birthday) and grandparents. I've tried to instill as much guilt as possible, but they're not buying it LOL! We were together with the kids this past weekend and we'll all be together in San Francisco (wedding) next weekend, so we'll certainly see each other. I'm sure I'll get a Mother's Day call, card and/or gift. It's enough. Both his mother and I are secure enough to know that we're loved and to understand that one body cannot be in two places at the same time. So, whatever they decide is fine with us.


NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 6, 2010 11:38 AM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

Juggling and compromise and standing yout ground if need be. A little white lie here and there can also help. I'll give you the run down of my March-June.


My moms bday
My Dad's Bday

DH's bday
SIL bday (2 days after DHs)

Mother's Day
MILs Bday
My Bday (memorial day weekend)

My sister's bday
BIL's Bday
Niece's Bday

So as you can see there is basically something going on almost every weekend for 3 months. Then we have to try and find time to do what WE want and it gets crazy.

In the past we have struggled with this a lot. Fights and everything. But we finally came to terms with the fact that we can only do so much. Our parents live 90 mins from each other, and his parents are over an hour from us, so it's impossible to do 2 in one day. SO we don't. We try to rotate. We also try to visit one mom ON mother's day and one on the Saturday before if we can. Same with Easter and the other holidays.

We put OURSELVES first, which I know sounds awful. But if we had a rough week and just don't feel like taking the drive, we don't. We try not to schedule too many "optional" events around this time too. We also try to block out at least one day or night a weekend where we don't have plans. This has been helping and it doesn't feel like we are running constantly. I am sorry, but weekends are ME and US time mostly and I definitely try to adhere to that, and we stopped feeling like we have to be someplace b/c we are expected to. (that was mostly DH anyway and he has gotten totally better at this)

There is nothing wrong with telling a family "sorry we just cannot make it" to an event that isn't a major holiday. Its about you and DH now and you need to remember that! :)

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BWFrancie Posts : 70 Registered: 11/11/09
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 6, 2010 12:05 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

I totally understand the stress you feel... I also come from a big family and holidays can get crazy! In fact, I used to get physically sick every Christmas from all the "obligations". I got to the point where I finally had to stop. I learned to set boundaries. I changed some traditions. For example, instead of getting up early on Christmas morning and going to in-laws, we waited until evening. That gave us all day to relax at home. Summer is also stressful because there are family reunions, summer camps, etc. I have to say, "I'll go to this reunion, but am unable to go to this reunion." Some of my family feels disappointed but most of the time they understand. My advice is to figure out what you can and cannot do and start setting limits. If and when you have children, your time will be even more limited. Don't feel selfish... just know you are doing it for your sanity. If you can't make a birthday party, send a nice gift or flowers. :)

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 6, 2010 7:09 PM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

The first time I got married, both of our parents lived in town. I sat down with XH shortly before our first Thanksgiving, completely stressed, and we worked something out. Then WE had a chat with our parents.

One set would get Thanksgiving

One set would get CHRISTMAS EVE

Christmas DAY was ours. I planned that because I didn't want our future kids to have to get up, unwrap presents and then leave their new toys. That was going to be our tradition.

We would alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with each family.

I let his family choose which one they wanted first...they picked Christmas Even. So then his StepMom demanded that we spend Thanksgiving Supper with her daughter, as it was her first Thanksgiving that SHE was hosting... over an hour and a half away from where we live. My family has always done lunch...but Thanksgiving was their day. But XH didn't stand up to them...and I looked at him and said 'fine, but there will be a consequence." My mom was pissed. Of course, then my parents got Christmas...afterall, his parents stole thanksgiving.

My problem? Thanksgiving is one where the women all get to prepare the meal and clean the kitchen, while the men sit on their butts and watch football. And to have to clean up two of them was frustrating, especially since we had come to an agreement as to how it was going to be.

The bigger issue with it was that in some families one family tends to demand all of the attention, so the other side gets ignored. I saw what the step beast was up to, and put it back to her. She was pissed about losing Christmas. I didn't have a lot of pity.

And yes, it does sound harsh. However, I also saw that there would be two massive kitchen clean ups for me at Christmas and Thanksgiving. One where I would be treated with distain. (This is someone who once at a Thanksgiving dinner literally looked at me and said "who invited you"...and this was when I was engaged to her son.) I also knew how his stepbeast was..I knew her point was to take over, and I was not going to play.

Now...MIL lives in Vegas. My parents live in town. My parents get the lions share of visits during holidays, because of trip costs. We went to Thanksgiving in 2008 to spend with DH's family. And we're going to Vegas this year at New Years. DH works retail... Thanksgiving to Christmas travel is not an option.



Lori82 Posts : 151 Registered: 3/21/08
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: May 8, 2010 9:48 AM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

My in-laws live across the country from mid october-late May, so we don't really have a problem with sharing the holidays. That could be a big dilema, though, if you in-laws live in the area year round. I've heard of couples spending Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas day with the other. If the two sets live close enough you could spend half the day with one family and half the day with the other. My husband does have an aunt in the area, so sometimes we'll spend the afternoon at my family's house and the evening at his aunts house. Hopefully, both your families will be willing to work with you on this and come to a compromise..that definitely helps with the stress level.


swichwang34 Posts : 657 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Holidays and Families
Posted: Sep 14, 2012 12:48 AM Go to message in response to: BriansAzBride

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