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How to split holidays between 3 families?

In the past, we always spend Christmas with my husbands mom the weekend before because that is when all of the the family on that side could get together at once. Christmas we would spend with my parents because we have set traditions that have been in place since before i was born and my husbands father anytime after Christmas. Now we have to rotate between his family and my family. His parents split Christmas Eve and Day one year and the next year my parents get eve and day. This year my mother in law still insists that we come to the Christmas gathering the weekend before Christmas (when the entire family is there) AND come the day of Christmas Eve..giving her many more days around Christmas than any other side will receive. Do you think this is fair or should she have to give up her 'day' if she wants us to spend Christmas with the entire family the weekend before.

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liljen4

Asked by liljen4 at 9:39 AM on Nov. 20, 2013 in Relationships

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I would just go both to keep the peace. I don't count days when it comes to family. Some years we spend more time at my inlaws, some years more time at my parents. To me, it all evens out in the end over time.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 9:46 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • I'd tell her this year yes. Next year no.

    OR… I'd have all the grandparents to my house. No siblings, just grandparents all at once. Skip the gatherings at their homes.

    You know, the only good thing I can say about my parents and inlays having passed and my brother living hundreds of miles away is that we never worry about this. Holidays are just the there of us.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:58 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • Thanks for your reply gdiamante and i understand, but this will be an issue every single year she has 'the day'. The entire family (who she wants us to all be together) can only come the weekend before which is why we always spent that weekend with them in years past...it worked best. So this will be an issue each year she has the 'day' and my husband will still want to see his extended family which i completely understand. What i dont understand is why after we have already celebrated our Christmas with them, what is left to do other than for her to say she has 'the day'? (It will just be us with her and her husband)...other than to keep us from going to traditional Christmas gathersing with my entire family or my husbands dads family. I just see it as control and am curious if that is how you or others see this.
    liljen4

    Comment by liljen4 (original poster) at 10:10 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • That's easy. I do as I want. Christmas Eve is DH's family and Christmas Day my family. My dd's are grown and have their own families so they either join us at one of those or they have to set another time. We have Christmas now spread out over a 3 week period which is actually better for the kids as they don't get overwelmed.

    Tell her that you're keeping with the tradition that was set many years ago by her and you'll see her on the normal weekend for Christmas but have to keep the tradition for the family's as well. If she would like to stop by and visit at one of those celebrations let her know she'd be welcome.
    baconbits

    Answer by baconbits at 10:46 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • Thanks baconbits, i like how you think...drama free. We USED to have it spread out over three weekends (for FIVE years!) and now that's not good enough. They want one of the 'days' and now she still wants her usually weekend in there too. I personally feel that she should forfiet her 'day ' this year in order to have her entire family together the weekend before, rather than having her cake and eating it too. I have to give up seeing my actual family, including grandmothers every other year...yet we will always have to get together the weekend before in order to see the STEP family. Why should I have to give up my actual family and she never truly has to lose out on anything. I just think there should be compromise from everyone involved. Why should one person always get their way and everyone else have to lose out somewhere?
    liljen4

    Comment by liljen4 (original poster) at 11:26 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • It is YOUR family, why are you letting HER dictate what you do? If you want to go for the weekend and not the day then do so, if you want to do both then do both. She has no say in where you decide to go when. If she does, you are giving her way too much power in your family.
    kmath

    Answer by kmath at 11:42 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • Kmath, I agree 100% with you and if it was all up to me we would do one or the other, probably the weekend before because that is the time everyone can be together at once...problem is my husband has to be the one to stand up to HER and she is realllly good at making him feel bad when things dont go her way. I know it's unacceptable for him and he should stand up to her regardless, but that will be the issue unfortunately.
    liljen4

    Comment by liljen4 (original poster) at 11:57 AM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • IF you can make it without it being a big deal then I would go to keep the peace. If you can't then I would simply tell her she gets X amount of days around Christmas and she needs to let you know when she would prefer you to come. That being said it needs to be your DH that tells her this NOT you unless you have a good enough relationship for that.
    aeneva

    Answer by aeneva at 1:25 PM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • While I completely understand what you are saying (I have 3 Christmas celebrations and when I was married, I had 5 - sometimes 6). With 3 small children and living in WI so the roads weren't always the greatest, it wasn't easy. BUT a lot of memories were made for us and our kids. Looking back at it, it was very stressful at the time but if I could go back, I wouldn't change it. Well, maybe I would spend more time with my ex's grandmothers as they are both dead now.

    I'm not trying to be harsh here, just trying to get you to see this from a different point of view. Holidays have always been a stressful time for me and this year is going to be more so since I don't think I will be able to afford to buy any gifts. I even thought about not going to anyone's this year but then I thought "what if this is my last Christmas with my family?"
    tempsingl3mom

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 9:01 PM on Nov. 20, 2013

  • I have no advice to give as we never see either of our families. However if HE won't put his foot down then you have to. Maintain the balance and don't go the weekend unless there are other family members you want to see. Might have to hide the keys from your husband so you don't go on her day or just tell her you can't make it for the weekend. I'd just keep things fair.
    2autisticsmom

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 2:10 PM on Nov. 21, 2013

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