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Family holidays...times three...or four...


It's a Wonderful Life

With Thanksgiving only a week away and holiday decorations appearing behind every corner and in every store front in the city, it is hard to escape the fact that seasonal gatherings and parties are fast approaching. Many couples are faced with the need to share their precious time with family over the holidays. But what do you do when you have more than two families to accommodate?

Managing two families is a breeze. You have a number of options. Thanksgiving with your family, Christmas or Hanukkah with his. Both holidays with your family this year, both with his next year. Thanksgiving Day with your family, the day before or after with his; Christmas Eve with your family, Christmas Day with his. There are a number of options and usually all parties understand.

But what happens when you have two sets of parents and/or he does? The situation gets a little stickier. Ideally, all parties involved will understand you are being pulled in multiple directions and be able to compromise. Perhaps you have two Thanksgiving celebrations and two Christmas celebrations. Or, what if you hosted the annual holiday party and invited everyone? True, there is a reason you might have two sets of parents (irreconcilable differences?) that do not get a long, but who is to say everyone cannot be mature about it and put their differences aside for the sake of you -- their child? In instances where that is not even an option, you need to take responsibility and be the bigger person.

It is important that you take a stand and try to be as fair as possible about splitting your time. Tackle the situation as an adult and come up with a compromise to please your parents, your spouse's, and yourself. Remember that you will not be able to please everyone all the time, but as long as you make a concerted effort to be fair, who can fault you? It is the holidays, after all.

Holiday party resources:
Thanksgiving party ideas
More Thanksgiving party ideas
Holiday party games and activities
Holiday party on a budget

Split time over the holidays:
Divorce and the holidays
Adult children and divorce over the holidays
Keep the holiday spirit alive

Please leave a comment if you have other ideas on how new couples can split their time among all family members!


  • Jessica 5 years ago

    Such a timely topic to bring up. I can relate; my parents have been divorced for many years and it's difficult to make both sets of parents plus my boyfriend's parents happy.
    When we were younger, my sister and I would spend Xmas Eve with mom and stay the night, then dad would pick us up at noon on Xmas day. Thanksgiving would go every other year. Now that we're older, we basically have to choose. It's not fun. Great tips!