Growing up we didn’t really live close to family.
My dad’s parents lived in Arkansas and my mom’s lived in Pennsylvania. Our holidays were spent at our home with our little family and I loved it. I knew what to expect and I long to go home for those kind of holidays again.
Now I live in the same town as my in-laws and my parents are 5 minutes away. My sister and her cute family are just down the road from me as well. Needless to say, balance with holidays isn’t exactly easy. To top it all off, my two oldest kids aren’t with me all of the holidays either. Each year I trade Thanksgiving and Christmas with their dad.
Before I was divorced I didn’t live close to family either (Army life) so I started creating traditions for my own little family. And even once I was divorced I still continued those traditions because I always wanted my kids to know what was happening with me even if they aren’t there.
Since Scott and I have been married, I have tried really hard to make sure that the holiday the kids are home for are spent at our home. That isn’t always easy. Unfortunately with their dad’s job he doesn’t always get to take them on “his” holiday. Here is kind of the schedule we have (this is the basic gist of it, not the set in stone)
- Even Year: Thanksgiving: Our home (my family invited) Christmas: Scott’s Family
- Odd Year: Thanksgiving: Scott’s Family Christmas: Our home (my family invited)
If it is a year where the kids are with us for both holidays (like they will be this year) we will still keep the holiday with Scott’s family and my family on the other.
And of course, we do see both families on both holidays. But, the family that doesn’t “get us” will get a brief (like an hour) visit from us. That way no one is left out and it is fair for us to both see our mom on the holiday.
This hasn’t been easy for us to figure out. It has come with A LOT of tears (mine) and frustration (both Scott and I) over the last 5 years. I hope that as time goes on that it is easier and more enjoyable on the holidays. And sometimes I wish that we didn’t live near family so it wasn’t an issue. But we are learning and growing in this whole thing.