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Thread: How do you divy up holidays?

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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild*Rose View Post
    the way y'all do it sounds so much easier! But I know that would piss people off unfortunately. this was kind of my "compromise" because DHs still thinks we need to travel to VA every year like he did from CA but to me that just seems like a very one sided relationship and not really fair to us. I would much rather spend the holidays at home all the time with us, the dogs and future children.
    With that in mind (that your husband isn't on the same page as you), I think your plan sounds fine as a goal between you and your husband, but I would set the expectation with the other people involved to be "We'll take it year by year and assess with our best guess for that year regarding your DH's schedule". Like...have a plan but be very, very aware it might change and everyone involved needs to be willing to be flexible and forgiving.

    Random side story but my dad is 81, and when he was 23-ish he had to spend a Christmas in Germany with the Army. He was really bothered by that and never spent another Christmas away from his family until 2009, when he came with my mom and brother to visit us in Florida. It was fun, but it's probably the last Christmas he will spend a way from his brothers and sisters because he just really likes the family traditions. I point out his age because 2 out of 81 Christmases and they still stand out in his mind, so it really is important to some people. I think it's nice you're trying to accommodate your DH's wishes along with being okay with the plan yourself. I hope whatever you figure out works and is long term. Also, just a thought but if staying home is your preference, you could do a three year rotation to include your ideal scenario (I think if I had kids I'd get particularly passionate about that idea so maybe in the future when you have littles to travel with as well). Like the third year you stay home for the entire holiday season and either everyone's invited if they choose, or no one is invited and you do just your immediate family that you create.
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    #12
    Before we did not go home for Thanksgiving and alternated Christmas between the two families.

    Now that we have two kiddos we plan to be at our home for the holidays. I want my kiddos to wake up to Santa presents under our tree on Christmas morning. Thanksgiving is pretty 'whatever' to me. We will be in SC for it this year, but not because of the holiday, just because that's when it worked out for us to go to my home to visit.
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    #13
    When I was married to my ex husband, we went "home" for the holidays every year. It is SO hard to keep up. Packing up babies, kids, pets, hiding Santa gifts, driving through bad weather....all for his small amount of leave days. I did it to keep everyone happy.

    Now, we stay home, except for Thanksgiving. Christmas is now a relaxing day when kids wake up in their own home. People can come to us, but it is too much as a family of six to make everyone else happy.
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    #14
    We don't have the money constantly be flying home. Not going to happen. Holidays are for us and we will invite people to our house who don't have families near and celebrate with them.

    Family time is when we can afford to go out there and we go out about every 4 years to hubby's side. My family liked to come visit us and they would do that twice a year sometimes (when we were with in 12 hours of driving distance.)

    Our family is our immediate family. That is who we are going to work with and celebrate with. After 5 years overseas, you just do what you need to do.
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    #15
    We haven't really discussed what we will do yet when we are married and your plan sounds good in theory but keep in mind that families are going to get really hung up on this schedule. What if he's deployed for one of those years that, for example, you guys were supposed to go to his family? Are you going to go to them the following year and your family won't get to see you for Christmas two years in a row? Both DF and I have large families and so we can't really expect parents to come to us for holidays because they both have big traditional dinner at the parents house and I don't want to ruin that for everyone else by saying "well you can come visit us if you want to see us for the holidays" know what I mean?

    To be honest, looking far ahead into the future, I wouldn't want to travel with my own kids one day every single Christmas. I would want to create my own memories and have them wake up to Santa in our own home. Those were my favorite memories as a child.

    ETA: not to mention it will cost an awful lot of money traveling every thanksgiving AND Christmas especially once you have kids.
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    #16
    I think when you do it like this, the key is to stick with the schedule, pretty much no matter what (or at least no matter what on the families' side). Otherwise, you get situations like Sabrina mentioned. One family wants you to shift X because it works better for them, but that doesn't work as well for the other family, or it makes the other family feel like when they have an issue you need to shift for them, but then that doesn't work for the first family, and it gets insane.

    Also, you have to consider siblings (if either of you have them) and what will happen when they move out and maybe get married.

    DH and I lucked out in a few ways. For a long time, our families lived only 45 minutes apart. Now, they are a roughly 4.5 hour drive, which is still pretty doable. Also, Mine is a Christmas Eve family and his does Christmas day, so the split was pretty easy. Lastly, his family is really chill and not super close, so they are good with Thanksgiving on Sunday, and in fact in the past have preferred that because DH's brother always spent every holiday with his wife's family, so celebrating together a few days later allowed us all to be together.

    Your plan involves a lot of travel, and a lot of rigidity, and cooperation. What if his family doesn't want to travel on the year it is their Christmas to visit? What will you do? Are there siblings that may not want to travel, or may have other plans? In your shoes, I think I'd tell them we are going to play it by ear, but when we do travel, we plan on alternating. So maybe we travel Christmas one year, so that's my family. The next year, no travel (but everyone is invited for either holiday if they want to come!), and the following year when we decide to travel for Thanksgiving, thats his family, and then if we travel again that year for Christmas it would be family, and so on. That might not please your DH, but he needs to think about the expense (and the complication).

    But if what you've posted is a compromise you can both live with, it sounds like you've found a solution. Just be thoughtful about what happens when something comes up that puts a wrinkle in things (deployed for Christmas on the year you are supposed to see his family, as one example).
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    We just do whatever makes sense that year, and figure out how long it's been since we've seen each side of the family. In 5 yrs together, we've done Xmas with my family 3 times, but Thanksgiving never. Last year we did Xmas at home in our new house, alone, but the parents all came to visit us. This year we'll be in Germany, and next year in Japan, so they kinda all just gotta get used to us missing things. My family cares less than DH's. My parents are very flexible (Xmas in February for example ) but his family does the whole huge traditional get together thing. We are doing Thanksgiving with his family again this year, but promised my parents get us next year since we've never been there for it yet.
    your family very much sounds like mine haha we did xmas in January last year and Thanksgiving at our house in DC with my parents. DHs family is more like your DH's--they freak out and cry when he misses even a "small" holiday and we have already seen tears over Xmas this year and that we won't be around for Easter.
    Quote Originally Posted by idratherbehiking View Post
    Oh I would much, much prefer spending the holidays with family. But it's just difficult with us living over 2,000 miles from home. Well that and several other reasons.
    yea I grew up not doing the whole big family thing and never did it until I was 10 add to that that I have been got almost 10 years and I guess I'm just more detached from my extended family than some people.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSisterWife View Post
    I honestly just do not care. After 10 years, if they haven't figured out that we do our own thing and won't give in to their crankiness, they're never gonna get it and I'm not gonna keep trying at my family's expense. We try to visit once a year, but there are six of us and two (each side) of them... and they are all MUCH more able to afford it. I refuse to be pulled this way and that and have my favorite season destroyed by silly turf battles. Christmas at home for me, TYVM!
    can I still some of you not caring attitude? I think part of the problem is I care too much when people get upset because I'm not used to people getting upset by this kind of stuff. Its the travelling to VA all the time that is hard for me to stomach; its atleast a $1000 trip even without kids which IF my job won't transfer me I'm not sure we can justify every year.
    Quote Originally Posted by [his] lobster View Post
    With that in mind (that your husband isn't on the same page as you), I think your plan sounds fine as a goal between you and your husband, but I would set the expectation with the other people involved to be "We'll take it year by year and assess with our best guess for that year regarding your DH's schedule". Like...have a plan but be very, very aware it might change and everyone involved needs to be willing to be flexible and forgiving.

    Random side story but my dad is 81, and when he was 23-ish he had to spend a Christmas in Germany with the Army. He was really bothered by that and never spent another Christmas away from his family until 2009, when he came with my mom and brother to visit us in Florida. It was fun, but it's probably the last Christmas he will spend a way from his brothers and sisters because he just really likes the family traditions. I point out his age because 2 out of 81 Christmases and they still stand out in his mind, so it really is important to some people. I think it's nice you're trying to accommodate your DH's wishes along with being okay with the plan yourself. I hope whatever you figure out works and is long term. Also, just a thought but if staying home is your preference, you could do a three year rotation to include your ideal scenario (I think if I had kids I'd get particularly passionate about that idea so maybe in the future when you have littles to travel with as well). Like the third year you stay home for the entire holiday season and either everyone's invited if they choose, or no one is invited and you do just your immediate family that you create.
    o yes we def need to keep it flexible with the families I really just want to set a ground understanding for us because the way it has been isn't going to work with our future goals/plans so I want to nip it in the bud before hissy fits are thrown haha. Neither of our families really do the big extended family holiday thing on the holiday--his family usually has a party a week or two before Christmas but they aren't even doing that this year and my parents live in FL while they're family is in NH and they have no plans of going back in the winter anytime soon--so its just parents and siblings which atleast every few years I would love to entertain. I think it's more that than I want to be alone and just us for the holidays its that I want to host it in my home sometimes and not always have to be the guest.
    Quote Originally Posted by missinghim View Post
    Before we did not go home for Thanksgiving and alternated Christmas between the two families.

    Now that we have two kiddos we plan to be at our home for the holidays. I want my kiddos to wake up to Santa presents under our tree on Christmas morning. Thanksgiving is pretty 'whatever' to me. We will be in SC for it this year, but not because of the holiday, just because that's when it worked out for us to go to my home to visit.
    once we have kids I see us being more like this. And I agree with you about Thanksgiving its not a huge deal to me either.
    Quote Originally Posted by DakotaCowgirl View Post
    We don't have the money constantly be flying home. Not going to happen. Holidays are for us and we will invite people to our house who don't have families near and celebrate with them.

    Family time is when we can afford to go out there and we go out about every 4 years to hubby's side. My family liked to come visit us and they would do that twice a year sometimes (when we were with in 12 hours of driving distance.)

    Our family is our immediate family. That is who we are going to work with and celebrate with. After 5 years overseas, you just do what you need to do.
    the bold is kind of the same relationship we would have with our families if we don't travel to VA every year. My parents will be a lot closer and will come more often (even if they weren't closer they would come more often because that is their personality) DH's family won't ever come to us that I can honestly see which is why he feels like he needs to go home atleast once a year (usually for a holiday) but I just don't think that is realistic monetarily especially if we want to save up to start our family.
    Quote Originally Posted by twistertwin View Post
    When I was married to my ex husband, we went "home" for the holidays every year. It is SO hard to keep up. Packing up babies, kids, pets, hiding Santa gifts, driving through bad weather....all for his small amount of leave days. I did it to keep everyone happy.

    Now, we stay home, except for Thanksgiving. Christmas is now a relaxing day when kids wake up in their own home. People can come to us, but it is too much as a family of six to make everyone else happy.
    the second scenario def sounds more relaxing and how I would picture a holiday.
    Quote Originally Posted by Allybeth View Post
    We haven't really discussed what we will do yet when we are married and your plan sounds good in theory but keep in mind that families are going to get really hung up on this schedule. What if he's deployed for one of those years that, for example, you guys were supposed to go to his family? Are you going to go to them the following year and your family won't get to see you for Christmas two years in a row? Both DF and I have large families and so we can't really expect parents to come to us for holidays because they both have big traditional dinner at the parents house and I don't want to ruin that for everyone else by saying "well you can come visit us if you want to see us for the holidays" know what I mean?

    To be honest, looking far ahead into the future, I wouldn't want to travel with my own kids one day every single Christmas. I would want to create my own memories and have them wake up to Santa in our own home. Those were my favorite memories as a child.

    ETA: not to mention it will cost an awful lot of money traveling every thanksgiving AND Christmas especially once you have kids.
    the bold is something we discussed but didn't really find a solution to. I wouldn't be welcome at his family if he's not there so while he is deployed I will more than likely have my parents come to me for Christmas but I don't know how that would work with his family.
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I think when you do it like this, the key is to stick with the schedule, pretty much no matter what (or at least no matter what on the families' side). Otherwise, you get situations like Sabrina mentioned. One family wants you to shift X because it works better for them, but that doesn't work as well for the other family, or it makes the other family feel like when they have an issue you need to shift for them, but then that doesn't work for the first family, and it gets insane.

    Also, you have to consider siblings (if either of you have them) and what will happen when they move out and maybe get married.

    DH and I lucked out in a few ways. For a long time, our families lived only 45 minutes apart. Now, they are a roughly 4.5 hour drive, which is still pretty doable. Also, Mine is a Christmas Eve family and his does Christmas day, so the split was pretty easy. Lastly, his family is really chill and not super close, so they are good with Thanksgiving on Sunday, and in fact in the past have preferred that because DH's brother always spent every holiday with his wife's family, so celebrating together a few days later allowed us all to be together.

    Your plan involves a lot of travel, and a lot of rigidity, and cooperation. What if his family doesn't want to travel on the year it is their Christmas to visit? What will you do? Are there siblings that may not want to travel, or may have other plans? In your shoes, I think I'd tell them we are going to play it by ear, but when we do travel, we plan on alternating. So maybe we travel Christmas one year, so that's my family. The next year, no travel (but everyone is invited for either holiday if they want to come!), and the following year when we decide to travel for Thanksgiving, thats his family, and then if we travel again that year for Christmas it would be family, and so on. That might not please your DH, but he needs to think about the expense (and the complication).

    But if what you've posted is a compromise you can both live with, it sounds like you've found a solution. Just be thoughtful about what happens when something comes up that puts a wrinkle in things (deployed for Christmas on the year you are supposed to see his family, as one example).
    Thanks Vill. I like your idea of keeping it more open and flexible with if we will travel or not. We do both have siblings, they are all married. Mine will come unless its their holiday with their in-laws but his I have no idea.

    Honestly, and this is kind of separate from this thread, but I feel like I have just given up trying with his family and I feel like have a rigid schedule like this gives us an opportunity to put our foot down sort of (and yes I know that sounds bitchy) to me it's not unreasonable to ask them to travel every other year instead of making us do it all the time because that is how my family works. We have invited his family and individual people to DC many times and they won't come (we have a guest room so the only expense for individual families is gas)...they even complained that we didn't have our wedding in VA Beach because that would be easier for them and they wouldn't have to get hotels. A big part of me wants to stick to this and if they aren't willing to travel then honestly just say ok then you won't be seeing us this year because we aren't/can't travel.

    I'm cranky this morning and I sound like a bitch but this whole thing just frustrates me and I guess its not just holidays its visiting period. It's a one way street but we get guilt trips if we don't show up for something.
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    #18
    Thankfully our families all live in the same area. We don't usually go home for Thanksgiving, so we just figure out what to do here. Christmas Eve is spent at my grandparents and then Christmas Day we drive with DH's parents to Kansas to spend part of the day with his family and the come back around 3-4 PM and spend the rest of the day with my family. We sometimes see my other grandpa and his wife, but they're not speaking to my mom right now, so I doubt we'll see them.

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