Christmas is supposed to be spent with family, but what if you have more than one family? For example, you parents divorced and each of them has invited you to spend Christmas at their house. Or you got married and now you have to decide where to spend your holidays because both yours and your spouse's parents want you to spend Christmas with them. How to share Christmas between two families? Here are some tips.
Tip 1. Don't commit until you have your plans figured out. If you don't know yet where and with whom you are going to spend Christmas, don't RSVP to any of the invitations. It's better to ask both families to wait for your answer until you decide than to say “yes” to any (or both) of them and then change your mind. So the first thing you have to do is make your choice, and only then you have the right to break the news to everyone involved. It is highly recommended that you make your plans as early as possible, because no one likes last minute cancellations.
Tip 2. Visit both families. If two families live close to each other, you can visit both of them – spend Christmas Eve with your parents and Christmas day with your spouse's family (or vice versa). However, this only works if both families live within reasonable driving distance. Long holiday road trips can be an absolute nightmare because of traffic and bad weather.
Tip 3. Alternate. A lot of couples spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other (in case of divorced parents, you can spend Thanksgiving with one of them and Christmas with the other). It's the best option when both families live too far away and it's impossible to visit both of them.
Tip 4. Host a Christmas dinner and invite everyone. If you absolutely cannot choose between the two families, you can host Christmas and invite everyone over. It's not a perfect option because hosting a holiday dinner (especially your first one as a host) is time and money consuming. There's a chance you'll be too exhausted to enjoy the holiday. Besides, if the two families don't get along well, having them at one table may be not the best idea. But hosting the holiday yourself may be a good way to begin your marriage and start new traditions.
Tip 5. Stay flexible and set your priorities straight. Even if you've chosen a strategy that works for you, it doesn't mean you have to stick to it each year after that. Some events will take precedence over your plans. For example, if your sister gave birth to a baby, you have every right to visit your niece or nephew, and the other family should respect that.
Tip 6. Choose none of the families. Sometimes it is perfectly okay to visit none of the families and spend Christmas on your own. Maybe you're on a tight budget and can't allow a plane ticket to visit either of the families. Maybe you've just gotten married and want to spend your first Christmas as a married couple together, just the two of you. Just break the news to both families gently and make sure they understand that they did nothing wrong.
- How to Become Friends With Your Parents, How to Survive Vacations With In-Laws, How to Get Along With Your Cousins, How to Bond With Your In-Laws at Thanksgiving