There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays.

This Christmas will be a bittersweet one for me.

dashing-through-the-no

(via funnymemes.net)

This will be my first holiday spent with my future in-laws, not with my family. Truth be told, I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with that.

Last Christmas, I was in the kitchen with my sisters, preparing our holiday dinner, when my mother pulled me aside and informed me that this would be the last holiday that Stallion and I spent apart. “Yeah, okay,” I responded with a shrug, promptly disregarding her words. I mean, she was talking a whole year into the future—who cares?

For the past several years, Stallion had been coming to New Jersey with me and staying with my family for the holidays. He couldn’t always afford to travel to Charlotte (such is the life of a grad student), so it just made sense for us both to go to New Jersey. It was close, it was free, and I got to spend time with my family—no complaints here. I got to enjoy my favorite holiday traditions such as elastic waistbands, Jack Daniels and V8 Splash cocktails, and binge-watching the A Christmas Story marathon on TBS. What’s not to love?

This Christmas? I’ll be in Charlotte, over 600 miles from my family, eating different food, sitting with different people, and engaging in different traditions. I’m going to have a wonderful time (Stallion told me today that his mother picked up my favorite cheese at the grocery store just for me—seriously, how sweet is that?), but it won’t be the holiday that I’m used to. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll feel exactly how Stallion felt when he started spending holidays away from his family. As much as I love the Filly holiday traditions, they’re certainly not the ones that he grew up with.

It’s the whole “leave and cleave” thing in action, isn’t it? I’m not a kid anymore. I can’t expect things to remain exactly the same forever; even if I continued to spend every single holiday with my family, one of my sisters would eventually go off and celebrate with her future spouse’s family instead. And yet, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that the holiday celebrations of my childhood are in the past now. I understand in theory that it can’t be all about my family 100% of the time, but now that it’s time to put my money where my mouth is, I can’t help but feel a little sad. Change is hard, you guys. But it’s time for me to put on my big girl panties and deal with it.

Stallion and I are becoming our own family in a few short months. That means it’s high time to start establishing our own traditions instead of clinging to our families’. Maybe for now, we can rotate holidays—we can spend Christmas in Charlotte, but Thanksgiving in New Jersey, or something along those lines—and someday, we can host both of our families at our own home. We’re fortunate in that both of our families are letting us figure it out on our own. No guilt trips here!

Instead of thinking about what I’m missing out on with my family this year, I need to think about the good times I’ll have with the Stallions. They’ve done nothing but embrace me with open arms over the years; spending the holidays with them is the absolute least I can do. And as sad as I feel that I won’t be seeing my family on Christmas, knowing how much this means to Stallion makes it worth it.

How about you, hive? How do you handle sharing the holiday’s with your spouse’s family? Does this ever get any easier?

(On that note, I’ll be doing a lot of traveling over the next week and a half, so you guys may not be hearing much from me again until after the New Year’s holiday. Just in case, I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season. You’ve all been so kind to me, and I’m so excited to continue sharing my wedding planning story with you. Thanks for bearing with me!)

BLOGGER

Mrs. Filly

Location:
Boston, MA
Wedding Date:
April 2014
Add a comment

comments

  1. Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:48 am

    Navigating what time to spend where & with whom is so hard! We’ve actually already started hosting at our house (just our moms and unmarried siblings) but working out what time to spend with which people is tricky, and we have three sets because my parents are divorced. I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time though!

  2. Member
    Baker2Be 177 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:32 am

    This year is our 3rd Christmas sharing holidays. We switch off every year, this year we did Thanksgiving with DH’s family, and we are doing Christmas with my family. But since Christmas is such a big deal in both of our families we do Christmas with the other family the weekend before. So we are going to DH family this weekend for Christmas.

    We have been lucky that both of our families are suer accommodating with this, and though I don’t get to see my large outside family on the year’s we are at his house, both our immediate families do their Christmas traditions whichever weekend we are there!

    Last year was the first year I had ever spent away from my family for not only Christmas, but also my birthday (which is the 24th). It was a rough thing for me, bc even though I had a ton of fun at the ILs, it was still rough with all the new traditions!

  3. Member
    dancindavinci 689 posts, Busy bee @ 6:59 am

    This will also be my first Christmas away from my family and with the future in-laws. I know I won’t be as comfortable and I’ll be missing home, but I hope I still enjoy myself. I also feel badly for my parents since it’ll be the first time they won’t have either child home for Christmas. We are celebrating Christmas with them this weekend though, so that will be nice.

  4. Member
    pinotgrigio 118 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:39 am

    I’m struggling with this too! We have to coordinate three sets of parents and his police schedule so it is a juggling act. But I have realized that having a lot of people in your life who love you and want to spend time with you at Christmas is a great thing! A stressful but great thing :)

  5. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:20 am

    This will be the first Christmas Mr. T comes to my family’s house. I’m really looking forward to him enjoying our traditions. Last year was tough for me being with my in-laws. I look forward to the day when we can have Christmas on our own!

  6. Member
    Blondie2014 259 posts, Helper bee @ 8:54 am

    I know how you feel. Really I do. However the choice of who to spend Christmas with is pretty simple for us. We have spent the last 4 Christmases with his family . The reason being is that my family lives in a different province. For the first few years, I simply could not afford to fly home no matter how badly I wanted to. Now with the wedding in 6 months and trying to pay and Book vendors now, we couldn’t justify spending the money. Hopefully next christmas we will be able to fly home. I do miss my family. I also figured that most of them were coming for the wedding anyway, but turns out that my sister may be the only one that comes. Also, with my FI’s job he usually has to be close to home incase they call him out. Which they did this year.
    Anyway, my SIL’s alternate xmas morning with each family. Last year they both had x mas morning with us, so this year they do x mas morning with them. Luckily , their inlaws live the next town over (about 20 mins) so we usually get ample time with them :)

  7. Member
    eradicatereality 197 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:19 am

    I can totally relate! I have this huge Italian family. My grandma has 4 daughters each of which is married with 2 kids (that’s 20 people!), and now that we’re getting older many of us grandchildren have SO’s that we bring for holidays. It’s insane and loud and hectic and I love it! I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else for Christmas!

    We are somewhat lucky, as we were high school sweetheart so both our families live in the the same town. His parents are divorced though, so that made for 3 houses to deal with. Fortunately this has never been a problem for Christmas, as his father is Jewish, and we usually just invite his mother and brother to Christmas at my Grandma’s house! It’s great! Everyone’s together and we don’t have to pick! I really don’t know what I’d do if I had to choose sides!! :P

    But for Thanksgiving… everyone cooks… and picking and choosing each year wasn’t an option.. so when we’d fly home from college, it was insane trying to drive around to all 3 Thanksgivings in one day! So not relaxing!! :P

  8. Member
    bracelet 1419 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:17 am

    This year will also be my first Christmas not spent at my parents house. We went back to Germany together with year, but that didn’t work out with my vacation time. And since it’s in the middle of the week, we plan on spending the weekend after Christmas with them. Thus, Christmas day will be just us!

  9. Member
    nowdontletsbesilly 1489 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:38 am

    I’m not looking forward to spending Christmas away from my family… We have a huge amount of traditions and weird stuff we do, and I would be so bummed to miss out! We’re lucky both sets of parents live fairly close, but even better – my FIL is a pastor, so he’s really busy right before and on Christmas, so it’s easier for them if we don’t celebrate with them on Christmas. SO lucky. Plus then we get two Christmases :)
    This year we did try to be more fair and spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws, but that’s never been a big deal for my family, so I feel like I’m getting away with something by getting the holidays with my family every year…

  10. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:09 pm

    Grumpy Cat FTW! ;)
    We’re spending Christmas Eve with FI’s family and Christmas with mine. I think we’ll switch off every year, to make it easier.

  11. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:55 am

    For the first three years that FI and I dated we lived in Florida and our families were both in the Northeast, so it wasn’t something we had to worry about. They usually came to visit us sometime in December and we exchanged gifts, but we got to make our own traditions (like watching Love Actually on repeat). We moved back to New Jersey this summer and our Christmas week is so hectic that we now have to exchange our own gifts Christmas Eve because we’re leaving early Christmas morning to drive to Connecticut to spend a day and a half with his family, then dinner and gifts with my mom on the 27th, then a party at my grandmother’s on the 28th. I’ve never had to schedule Christmas before.

  12. Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:46 am

    This is always a tricky situation – as I’m sure you can see with yourself and other bee’s stories! We still haven’t come up with a good “schedule” – it changes every year! It was Thanksgiving with my mom, Christmas with the in-laws, and New Year’s with my dad for a while – then we started doing a Friendsgiving in MD rather than driving back to NY, and this year we’re actually hosting Christmas.. but only for Foxy’s side of the family (we don’t have the room for mine, plus my parents are divorced and remarried, so that makes life interesting).

    I have no wise words of advice, other than be sure to soak it all in and still enjoy yourself! It’s definitely a milestone in your life, but one that almost every family deals with. Something I find helpful is Skyping with my family on Christmas day – it’s like I’m with them even when I’m not. :)

  13. Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:46 am

    PS. Literally LOL’d at the angry cat meme. =D

  14. Member
    msfilly 827 posts, Busy bee @ 7:42 am

    @Miss Clover: Hosting at your house is the perfect solution! Not for us yet though, since we’re still in a teeny apartment, but someday for sure.

    @Baker2Be: That’s so nice that your families do your traditions whenever you can be there. I feel like ultimately, especially once my sisters get married and we have to incorporate even more families into the mix, we’ll end up doing something like that. And I’m totally with you – as nice as a time as I’ll have at the ILs, it just won’t be the same. It’s hard having so many people that love you/want to spend time with you, lol.

    @dancindavinci: In the same boat. Hope you have a great time! Hugs!

    @pinotgrigio: I agree – in the grand scheme of things, it’s a great problem to have :)

    @Mrs. Treasure: ME TOO. I think doing it on our own and having everyone come to us is the best compromise.

    @brooke25: That was exactly how Stallion justified spending the holidays with my family – he couldn’t afford to fly to his family, no matter how badly he wanted to go. It’s hard. I hope you get to spend the holidays with your family next year. Hugs!

    @Eradicatereality: Not relaxing at all! But at least with everybody in the same town, you get to see everyone for a little bit! Sounds chaotic but fun.

    @Mrs. Bracelet: That sounds lovely, just you and Mr. B! I hope you guys have a great holiday!

    @NowDontLetsBeSilly: Haha, I feel the same way! My family’s traditions may be silly and weird, but I love them nevertheless. I’m so glad Christmas works out in your favor every year!

    @Miss Wellies: Love Grumpy Cat! I’m always a little Grinchy this time of year so it fits me perfectly :)

    @luluvohn: That sounds even more chaotic than my holiday – I’m flying to Charlotte, then on the 27th, Stallion and I are driving up to NJ, staying through the new year, and then driving to Boston on the 1st. I think we’re going to need a vacation from our vacation.

    @Mrs. Fox: It’s definitely one of those things that everybody goes through, yet there’s no perfect solution! Unless you’re marrying an orphan, I guess. Friendsgiving sounds WAY more appealing than driving all over creation – maybe we’ll do that next year. Thanks for the advice!

  15. Member
    pyramid 95 posts, Worker bee @ 8:54 am

    Going back and forth between families for the holidays is one of the hardest things for me – and ours live in the same city!
    I just hate leaving right after dinner and presents and missing out on the hanging out time. We’ve learned to manage a bit better, but sometimes I wish we were long distance so we could fully dedicate a holiday to one or the other, although I recognize that it’s not easy either like you’ve said! I’m sure you’ll have a great time with Stallion’s family!

  16. Member
    daniellekira 573 posts, Busy bee @ 9:06 am

    It is really hard to split the times up without feeling guilty. But we kind of do what you suggested. We spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other and switch the next year. Then we do a day later or a few with the other family. That way we can see both families at the holidays. But our families live 45 minutes apart.

  17. Member
    blACKbride14 1 posts, Wannabee @ 7:30 pm

    This was my first Christmas with my future in-laws too and I was a bundle of nerves! Plus I’ve never been away from my mom at Christmas. So I taught her how to use FaceTime and we were set! His family welcomed me with open arms and it all worked out and we had a blast. Hope you had the same enjoyable experience.

  18. Member
    msmeow 1944 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:51 am

    Things like your post always make me super grateful that Mr.Meow and both our sets of parents live in the same city – and even if we didn’t, it wouldn’t be a problem because driving from one end of this country to the other takes a few hours, not a few days. I know what you mean by missing the family Christmases of your childhood though. Mine haven’t been the same for over 10 years, ever since when my brothers moved away and started their own families. You’re right, change is hard.
    Mr. Meow on the other hand doesn’t like Christmas because it reminds him of all those times his (now divorced) parents were fighting – he’s been a Grumpy Cat lately! lol (we’re huuuge fans of the grumpy kitty, btw – I want a t-shirt!) That’s why I’m kind of looking forward to starting our own Christmas traditions – I love the holidays and would like nothing better than to convert my own personal Grinch! :)
    I hope you spent a great Christmas with the Stallions. And (((hugs))) from one change-hater to another – it gets easier, I promise.

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors