When we were dating and then got married, at first my husband and I did Thanksgiving at both families. That didn't last long because it was just too much driving and too much eating. We decided to go to my parents for Thanksgiving and we would visit my in-laws on the weekend. At Christmas time, my immediate family celebrated on Christmas Eve and we would go to my grandma's on Christmas Day. My husband's family celebrated on Christmas Day. So again for a couple of years we did both. Then grandma went to a nursing home and we just went to my husband's family for Christmas Day. We still celebrate Christmas Eve with my family but when my in-laws passed we now do it on another day. It could be before Christmas or after, like this year we won't be celebrating until after the new year.
Besides the normal stress of getting your decorations up, buying presents, the never ending holiday commitments; the biggest one for some families is whose family are they going to celebrate with on the actual holiday. In some families this can be trouble with a capital T and very complicated.
It seems to me some envision the actual holiday like a "Norman Rockwell" painting which it seldom is. I've seen on blogs; people in such turmoil over where to spend the holidays. I have a friend when she was married and her kids were little have such a dilemma over where to go every year. Traditions are good but sometimes you and your extended family have to be flexible with them.
So what I learned through the years is it's not that important what day you celebrate the holiday with family but that you get to enjoy the day you celebrate because you are not pulled between the families.
To see what others have learned this week - head over to