Your family wants you to spend Christmas with them and your spouse's family wants you to spend the holiday with them. You can't possibly be in two places at once. When it was just you and your spouse, you would choose which family to spend Christmas with or maybe you would split the day. Now that you have kids, it's not so simple anymore.
This holiday dilemma is present in many households. Compromise is the key to solving this dilemma. However, some people don't want compromise, they just want their way. You would think that alternating where you spend the holidays every year would be a good compromise, but its not for some people. Some people have brunch or an early dinner so that they can celebrate with both families. If you have ever tried either of these then you are not alone in feeling like you can't win.
I think its important to remember that we all had a family before we got married. Our first family still loves us and wants to spend time together. When you have kids, your kids become more desirable to your family than you are. I think it's important to our kids that we can find a balance between spending time with all three families. By three families, I mean 1)your first family 2) your spouse's first family and 3) your new family with your spouse and kids. All three families need to have quality time together.
Obviously, if your in-laws live out of state, your situation is easier to deal with by visiting every other year, if your finances permit. If you live in the same area and this is a problem you are having, here are a couple of suggestions for you.
1) You could host your first family for brunch and go to your in-law's for dinner.
2) You could have dinner with your first family and go to your in-laws for dessert.
3) You could start your own family tradition and have your own dinner at home and visit the in-laws after dinner.
4) You could have dinner with your in-laws and you could visit your first family after dinner with your kids.
All of these suggestions can be alternated every year with the exception of number 3. What ever you do, don't resort to lying about your whereabouts on Christmas. Don't say that you are going to stay at home and won't make it to dinner and then go to dinner somewhere else. This will resort in hurt feelings. I heard a story about a guy who didn't come for Christmas with his family and his wife posted photos on Facebook with their location. They had to drive past his family's home to get to the location where they had Christmas dinner. Be honest about how you feel about this issue. Tell your loved ones that this is a tough position to be in and you will do your best to work something out. Good luck with your Christmas Tug-Of-War!
Thanks for reading!
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