Whether you come from a divorced home or are in a serious relationship, the pressures of attending multiple holiday celebrations can be stressful. Deciding where to spend the holidays can get complicated—especially because the holidays are meaningful to a lot of families. As I’ve grown in my relationship, I’ve figured out a few ways to go about not hurting feelings (as much as possible) and still show face with each family.
Step 1: Figure out what’s most important
I can remember working at a restaurant in high school where we had to prioritize our holidays so that the manager could fairly give people days off. Now, I do the same with families. My boyfriend and I decide which holiday is more significant to be with each family and go from there. Christmas with my family is precious and Thanksgiving is more sentimental with his. Or maybe Christmas Eve is more meaningful to one of you versus Christmas Day. Decide which holiday makes more sense for each family or person, or even ask each family’s opinion.
Step 2: Discuss it openly
I learned this lesson with my mom when I decided to spend Thanksgiving with a boyfriend in college. I made the mistake of simply telling her I wasn’t going to be home for the holiday instead of discussing it with her. Once I told her how important it was to me to get to know my then-boyfriend’s family more and that I was excited about it, she fully understood.
Step 3: Host it yourself or invite everyone
Now that I’m older, I feel more comfortable hosting holidays. This comes in handy when splitting up families because now I can just invite BOTH to my place. This gets everyone in the same room and there’s no splitting up. In the same vein, if both families are civil—in the case of a divorce—or if your relationship is serious, ask the host if you can invite the other family. After all, that’s what the holidays are all about!
If all else fails, switch off holidays each year and rely on FaceTime when you aren’t there. No one can argue that’s not fair! :)