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Coordinating XMas Visit to Parents/Inlaw



My husband and I have been married for 8 months so we really haven't worked out how to coordinate visiting our families around the holidays. While I want to visit everyone, problems arise when people are so rigid and won't compromise.

DH and I come from blended families. All our parents are remarried so it complicates things as sometimes our parents are spending holidays at their inlaws, who we are not related to.

All our parents(all 4 sets) celebrate on Christmas Day. Nobody is willing to compromise for Christmas Eve. Dad goes to see his inlaws on Christmas Eve and so does MIL, and won't even consider not going to their inlaws. My mom doesn't want to celebrate on Christmas Eve cause we've always celebrated on Christmas Day. FIL feels the same way. All 4 of our parents see Christmas Day as "theirs" and won't compromise.

I've told several of them that if that is the way they feel and if they won't compromise, we'll have to alternate every 4 years, or see them the day after Xmas or New Years. Nobody liked that idea. I don't see how we'll work out holidays with 4 families when all 4 won't compromise one little bit.

Thanksgiving was pretty easy to work out. Dad goes to see his inlaws, as well as FIL. So DH and I are both inviting our mothers and siblings over to our house. My mom and MIL get along fine.

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
The holiday thing can be tricky. There is also one way to fix it. You can stay home and start you own traditions on Christmas Day, and then arrange to visit them other times.

DH and I had to do the whole holiday thing, too. Neither of us is from a blended family, and we're both only children, which does make things a bit easier. DH's family always has an extended family dinner in December, and we attend when we can. The first year we were married, I was sick and we couldn't attend . . . and I was also sick the next year. Yes, there were some rude things said about it, but at least DH managed to speak up and say that they'd have to get over it. Now we go if it is convenient for us, and we don't when it isn't. His family also had a Christmas Eve breakfast, which we stopped attending because we live a 120 mile (country roads) round trip from their house . . . and that was too much travelling for us. He said he'd rather have Christmas Day with his parents than breakfast with the extended family. My parents and I usually did most of our Christmas get-together's on Christmas Eve, with Christmas Day being pretty much dinner and quiet time. So, we have Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with his. We have no children, so we didn't feel the need to have our own celebration at our house.

Thanksgiving worked out better. My mom likes to cook, and MIL cooks twice a year--Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since my mom cooks all the time, the special meal on Thanksgiving is what she does. MIL doesn't really care if it's on that day or not, so she cooks on Wednesday or Friday of Thanksgiving week. We tried having both sets of parents to our house on Thanksgiving . . . ONCE. Our parents don't exactly have much in common. It was awful.

Don't let them bully you, or you'll face this same issue more and more often. Good luck!


Senior Member
Your Christmas

I agree with Rubyslippers....stay home and if they want to celebrate with you they'll have to come to your house. You'll make yourself crazy trying to do things their way, especially when there are 4 "their ways". If you don't want to stay home and start your own Christmas traditions, then I would say rotate and celebrate with a different group each year.


Senior Member
Stand Firm from the Start...

I say have Christmas with your husband and then go visiting as your schedule allows...start your own Christmas traditions together (we go to the movies on Christmas Eve afternoon, then open pjs, then off off to Midnight Mass...next morning play with Santa presents/open stockings, have breakfast, get dressed up and go to Christmas Mass, then come home to open presents from each other...then off to the families...our families were not happy, but they have learned to deal with it...trust me it will only get worse when you have children if you don't settle this now. My dh and I both told each respective side that our children would wake up Christmas morning in our home and we would see you all later in the day. Over the years, my family has come to celebrate Christmas the weekend before or after, depending on everyone's schedule, but my mil is a pain and insists we are there on Christmas...we have not told her this year we are heading to our cabin for Christmas...talk about going to me upset!

Indiana Jen

Senior Member
I don't come from a blended family however my mom's side of the family is fairly large. For as long as I can remember we've celebrated the Sunday (and the random Saturday depending on when Christmas falls) before Christmas. This is a standing date that everyone knows about and plans for. It works pretty well for everyone. My dad's side of the family is smaller and not as close. We'll fit it in whenever.

My parents, sisters and I are at home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. In the past we would end up back at my mom's parents but they're getting old and it's getting rough on them for the whole crowd to show up again.


Senior Member
In the same boat

This is the first year that my boyfriend and I will be living together for the holidays. In the past, he's done his thing and I've done mine and then we see each other whenever possible.

Not sure what Christmas is going to hold this year...we're both only children as well, and don't have blended families, but, in a way, that makes it worse.

If we're not with our parents, then no one is...


Senior Member

I remember spending my first Christmas with my DH in our apartment, in a town where we knew nobody(only had been there 5 months) and my MIL. What a sucky day that was! That weekend we went to my mom's and she had an open house and all relatives were there. It was amazing! That felt like Christmas to me. It does not have to be on the actual day, but who you celebrate with makes my Christmas memories! Good Luck!