One common source of friction for couples is whose family to spend what time with on holidays. Seems no matter what you do, someone feels cheated. (And sometimes everyone feels cheated!)
Forget about everyone else for a moment – what would you and your bride really like to do for the holidays? What would you enjoy, what would bless the two of you? Think outside the box (see below), and day dream a bit. What about your kids, what would they enjoy, and what would make the holidays great for them?
Once you have what you think is the best way, then see if/how you can work in family – without killing the time for you. One consideration is travel: the time, the cost, and time away from work. Once you have kids, travel is all the more difficult and costly. If your folks are in good shape, odds are travel is far easier for them than for you. This should be a valid concern for everyone; if it’s not, I suggest you gently point it out. Maybe get with your siblings and turn the tables, you can each invite your folks to your home for the holidays, and let them decide to whom they say yes and no! :mrgreen:
Of course if you and your bride enjoy mass family together time, go for it. But please don’t do it out of duty, especially if it results in problems between the two of you. If it comes down to being a leave and cleave issue, do what is right for your marriage.
Plenty of time to work out what you will do for Thanksgiving and Christmas – start now!
Out of the box: Last Christmas we did something different, which we all (my bride, my son and I) liked it. We spent Christmas Eve with friends, opening things with them ,and then later in the evening the three of us exchanged gifts. Then on Christmas day we drove to the Southern Oregon coast. We met friends at a buffet for Christmas dinner, and then spent several days on the coast – one with the friends, and a couple more just the three of us. It was one of the best, most enjoyable, and least hectic Christmases we have ever had – and we intend to do it again. Probably not the first choice of most folks, but it shows how different can be very nice.