Okay, okay lets be honest this doesn’t really happen, right? Equity in time, spending, etc. is impossible to find between two families that are going to be different no matter what you do. One of the biggest breakthroughs we made in our family is when we stopped discussing days and hours with family. It just won’t be even…no matter what you do. Accept that and then work on what you CAN do to make the holidays work for your family.
- Agree to the holiday travel schedule in advance.
- We work to alternate Thanksgiving with one family, then Christmas with the other. When our families were within a days drive we might be able to spend some additional time at Christmas. If your families are farther apart than a days drive, trying to split one holiday is likely stressing everyone out.
- Agree in advance to what you are going to do. Make sure you have a good idea of ACTUAL times to travel based on your best possible resources. Don’t take Uncle Del’s estimation of how long it will take to get somewhere. You see, I have made this mistake before and I don’t plan to make it again.
- Think about times you want to travel. Are you better at driving in the morning or at night? Do you alternate drivers? Traffic must be considered.
- Stick to it! No matter what anyone says, how much guilt you are handed or the ‘well you know Aunt Patsy is coming in with your cousins and she would just love to see you all’. The answer is no. If relatives are coming to visit, wonderful. Here is our schedule.
While these changes may be unpopular in some cases (and Aunt Mary Jane may never forgive you) the reality is that you have to deal with your family every day. You will be surprised how much people understand you doing what you need to do. If they don’t understand, then as my Grandma used to say, “Well if they’re talking about me, its taking the pressure off of someone else”!
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…my house full of family.