It’s the beginning of April…time for the panic of realizing that it’s time to decide where the holidays are going to be celebrated. For some, the decision is easy and natural, but for most, especially newlyweds, there is a lot of room for hurt feelings and resentment. If you and your spouse are on your way to happily ever after, then both of you must face the realization that with marriage comes compromise and that will become most apparent during holiday celebrations.
Whether an Easter Sunday dinner, Passover or a giant gathering around the Thanksgiving table, holidays are often the setting for the happiest and most memorable moments of childhood. So, it makes complete sense that you’ll feel sad at having to say goodbye to the ways of your childhood in order to make room for an expanding family. But like it or not, if you want your marriage to have a solid foundation, you will be making holiday compromises very soon. That isn’t to say that you have to bid farewell to the traditions of your family all together. The great thing about holidays is that there are enough to go around. Even if your parents and your in-laws live hundreds or thousands of miles apart, a plan can be made to ensure that some of the customs of your family are experienced even after marriage.
For those who are fortunate enough to have both sets of parents within a near vicinity, the decision making does not have to be so difficult. Even if dinners are scheduled for the same time on the same day, it is possible to dine with one family and share dessert with the other. This can become habit and the parts played can be rotated each year, so both families’ traditions can be welcomed and appreciated. As for those who have miles separating relatives, the decision may be more difficult, but not impossible. Perhaps your spouse favors his family’s Thanksgiving traditions and you would rather hold onto the Christmastime festivities. In this case spend the first holiday with his or her parents and the second with yours. If this is not the case, then consider cycling. Thanksgiving and Easter with your parents this year and Christmas and New Years with his or hers, but next year those occasions are switched.
The most important thing to remember is that while every couple is different, almost every newlywed makes accommodations around the holidays. Find a routine that works and stick with it so they can be times of celebration, rather than repeated times of stress each year.
What solutions have you come up with to keep both your families happy but also to keep your sanity? Do you cycle, alternate or just have everyone come over to your house? Are your parents or in-laws divorced, causing even more ways to split the holidays? We’d love for you to let us know in a comment.