The situation may be complicated by a number of circumstances, such strained relationships with in-laws, family feuds, the difficulties of traveling with small children, the children's preferences, differences in family or cultural traditions, feelings of obligation or guilt, health problems, and travel expenses.
Some people get very angry about this issue, and it can lead to long-lasting resentments. That's no way to enjoy the holidays.
If you and your partner are having trouble resolving this issue, take a moment to consider some approaches that have worked for others.
- Alternate years. Visit one family this year and the other family next year.
- Alternate days. Spend Christmas Eve with one family and Christmas Day (or the day after) with the other. Switch the order next year.
- Bring everyone together. Host both families in one location.
- Escape. Schedule a vacation in a sunny, far-off place.
Some people are never satisfied unless they get everything their way all the time. If you have any family members who fit that description, remember that someone else's selfishness, passive-aggression, and tantrums are not your responsibility. Giving in to emotional blackmail simply teaches them that they can continue to control you.
Remember, you are both adults and should be making decisions together as adults, not as children still under your parents' control. Your spouse and your children should be your first priority, even if you have relatives who see it differently. Work with your spouse to come up with the solution that is the best for your marriage and for each other.