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With today being the first cold-weather day of the season, it’s starting to feel a lot like the holidays around here. There is so much to love about this time of year–shopping, comfort food, sweaters, and most of all family (among many others.) It is so hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away! I’ve always enjoyed watching the parade in the morning and meeting up with the whole family for the rest of the day. It was always so painful to smell all the good food while it finished cooking and not be able to start devouring it immediately. The noodles, turkey with brown gravy, bread, mashed potatoes.. I can practically taste it now.
Last year was the first year I didn’t spend Thanksgiving with my family. Being a newlywed (2 years is still considered that, right?) my husband and I have just begun juggling the holidays with two families to consider. So far we have swapped out each year–the first year we went to my family’s, then last year, his. Fortunately, we are lucky enough to have our immediate family live in the same town. But aunts and uncles and grandparents are all hours away so that’s where it gets tricky. I am hoping that the years that Thanksgiving is hosted at our parents’ houses, we can visit both that same day. I have heard many couples say that one side has their Thanksgiving meal in the afternoon, and the other has their meal in the evening. This would be an easy scenario to visit both families. But what about when both families have their meal in evening, or vice versa? That’s when you have to choose how you’re going to work it out for you and your husband. Many couples I’m sure may visit on days close to the holiday and I think that’s a great idea too.
I know how hard it can be to try to make everybody (yourself included) happy and without hurt feelings, especially when it comes to holidays. This is some thing that some couples struggle with their whole lives! I am so grateful to have a family that understands. I remember being nervous to tell my parents that I wasn’t going to be able to go to Thanksgiving dinner last year. They took it so well though I never once felt guilty! I guess being married themselves, they understand how this all works. 😉
What I’ve realized so far is, focus your energy on what matters, and realize that your family is still going to love you no matter what. In a perfect world, we would be able to spend equal time on Thanksgiving with both of our families, but we all know this world is far from perfect. Create a system that both you and your hubby can be happy with and stick to it. Things have worked out pretty well for us so far.
So to recap, here’s a few methods you and your spouse can try:
1.) Take turns each year.
One year go to his parents’, the next year go to yours.
2.) Take turns each holiday.
Thanksgiving with your family, Christmas Day with his, etc.
3.) Visit both families, if possible.
If your families are lucky enough to live in the same area, give both sides of the family a few hours every holiday.
4.) Visit on a day near the holiday.
If you didn’t get to see your family on Thanksgiving, for instance, visit with them the day before. You’ll still get to help with some of the food and maybe eat some of it too!
The most important thing to keep in mind is communication. Talk with your spouse and your families and see what you can work out together. Everyone wants to spend time with their family, but don’t let it become a source of strife between you and your husband (and your in-laws). Keep the holidays meaningful and joyful, and soak up as much time as you can get with your families, even if it’s not quite as long as you’re used to.
I would love to hear how you and your spouse handle the holiday get-togethers. Do you swap out every year, visit both on the same day, or something else? Comment below to share your advice with others!