The holidays are a time of year where families come together, from near and far, to celebrate the festive season. While the sentiment behind family holidays is togetherness and creating memories, sometimes it has the opposite effect and instead causes stress and division in a family.
For many married couples, choosing which in-laws to spend the holidays with is a touchy subject. This is true, perhaps most often, for newlyweds who are new at attempting to juggle the holidays with both sides of the family trying to make everyone happy. However, even couples who have been married for years often still run into this issue.
If conflict arises when it comes time to choosing which in-laws to spend the holidays with, one of the best approaches is to first talk about it privately with your spouse, come to a joint decision and then simply be honest with both sets of parents about what the two of you have decided is best for your own family unit.
Staying home is an option, in this respect you remove yourself from the craziness of the day trying to make everyone happy. You can either decide to spend the day at home with your own family unit, or invite everyone over for the holidays and hold a celebration with everyone. If you have kids, they may want to spend the day quietly at home, especially on Christmas, where they have their own tree and new gifts surrounding them. Even though having a house full of people can add to the craziness in the short-term, in the long run may be the ideal solution and keep peace between both sides of the family.
Split the Holiday
It is not uncommon for a couple to try and please everyone and go to both sets of parents’ homes and share the days by splitting time, but this gets tiring for a few reasons. It might result in eating two different dinners, or spending a lot of the day traveling, which takes away from the holiday.
If a conflict arises, rather than be stressed out with family members from both sides getting upset, simply decide to alternate holidays with each family, taking turns with the different holidays during the year. Rotating, say Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other, every other year might help alleviate conflict and both families will know your plans well ahead of time.
When conflict arises over which in-laws to spend the holiday with, this can be tricky waters to navigate, however, can be resolved through communication. The most important thing to do is to talk openly with your partner, and whatever decisions are made, be sure they are joint ones and remain united. If not, then the conflict will likely expand from in-law conflict to marital conflict. Communication is key.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.