In-laws at holidays

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2011
In-laws at holidays
Thu, 10-06-2011 - 1:47pm

just wondering if anyone has any idea's as to what to do for holidays, I work in the health care field so I am required to work every other Christmas I have a 5 month old this is the first granddaughter for everyone and I want to spend it with my family since I have to work the next Christmas and my fiance thinks its not fair even though next year him and our daughter will be spending the whole day with his family and coming to mine family at dinner. I just want to know if people think I am in the wrong for wanting to be with my family the whole day on the xmas I have off his family has never worked a holiday in their lives so they don't know how it feels please help?!?! and also my parents only have my sister and I to spend Christmas with soo...


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2004
Thu, 10-06-2011 - 2:20pm

hello!! i have been in your shoes-and they arent very comfy!! LOL but, what made things easier was my mother in law said a long time ago that she wants all her kids and grandkids together for 1 holiday out of the year. and they picked. they decided on thanksgiving. so for every thanksgiving when she was alive, we would go travel and visit her. we would have a big meal, about 50 people running around, etc. and she LOVED it. (we tried to continue that tradition after her death and managed to keep it together until my one sil moved out of state and didnt have gas money one year. now we just do our own thing on thanksgiving...but for christmas, we try to get together) then christmas was spent going to my parents house and eating dinner at home(my family doesnt do big holiday meals). but for the last few years what we had been doing for my family was everyone get together on christmas eve. we would get together at my sisters house or my house

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Thu, 10-06-2011 - 4:07pm

What about...the weekend (or set of days off) before xmas is all you guys and yoru family.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Thu, 10-06-2011 - 5:51pm

I think that the holiday will need to be divided somehow, that's just part of the territory when two people form a couple. This is the perfect time to figure out how you and your df want to spend holidays as your own family unit and how to share the days with your respective parents and extended families, and start new traditions. I like the suggestion you got about Xmas Eve with the in-laws, Xmas morning at home, and Xmas afternoon/evening with your family. If that cannot work then you probably should plan on having Xmas dinner with the in-laws this year, like your df will be doing next year.

Avatar for 3togetready
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-1999
Thu, 10-06-2011 - 9:33pm

I hated running to both set of families on a holiday so this is what we did. Whether is was Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas we would do one weekend with one family and the second weekend with the other family. We never cared if it was the real day or not. There was no rushing from one house to the next and everyone had a good time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Thu, 10-06-2011 - 10:18pm
I've been in your shoes. (when I work in the para-transit Ifield, I usually work all of the holidays, which means I don't have to see the in-laws which works out well for me :) ) I'm also MIL (3 son-in-laws & now have gkids of my own; 2 oldest sil's have both lost their parents) but my MIL thinks she's entitled to domate all of the holidays & screw my family. I've had to put my foot down w/MIL & now I really don't do holidays with dh's FOO.
~~Sam stitches well with others, runs with scissors in her pocket. Cheerful and stupid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2006
Fri, 10-07-2011 - 2:22am
HI jenlin84,

DH and I also work in healthcare, so working on holidays just happens sometimes. Some previous suggestions have been really good, especially about dividing up the holidays amongst the different sides of the family - we do this if both of us aren't working. Maybe if you try to talk to your DF about this you can work out something different that will suit you more.

If we (though it's usually DH now as I'm only a part timer) have to work, and especially now we have DD, we make everyone come to us at a time suitable for us, usually for a late lunch. That arrangement seems to work and everyone seems to do it, or at least has done it with no arguments for the past 5 years or so. Having it at our place is good since my mom and MIL help with the cooking and everyone is mostly well behaved.

It can be a bit difficult at times as FIL doesn't like my family, my mom, dad and brother don't like him either, but we sit them apart at different ends of the table, and they don't have to talk to each other. My brother, SIL and their kids live in a town about 2 and a half hours drive away, but they seem to prefer to go to someone else's place for holidays (no cleaning up), and are willing to drive to us.

BIL (DH's brother) and his wife and their DD live in another state, however they seem to be willing to fly to us most of the time (DH and I, my parents and my ILs all live in the suburbs of a large city, though the ILs live across town, about an hours drive away).

The best thing of all about everyone coming to us is that FIL (main troublemaker) has to behave himself, and it is all usually at least reasonably pleasant, unless he tries to pick a fight with DH or BIL, which has happened before.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 10-07-2011 - 10:21am

You can do what people who live far from their families do: alternate the holidays. This may sound weird since you're in the same area with both families, but it could work for you.

We spent last Christmas with DH's family. This Thanksgiving, we're going to see my family on the west coast. We'll spend Christmas at home, since we are moving into a new house. Next year, we'll probably fly to my ILs for Christmas, or offer to fly them to us.

I disagree that should you have to break up any one holiday by seeing both families, if it's possible to avoid it. But you do need to sort this out now, before you are married, because once you have a pattern in place, it will be hard to break it. Whatever you do, put your husband first and insist that he put you first. So many marriages get messed up because one partner puts their family ahead of their spouse.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Fri, 10-07-2011 - 10:54am


You've gotten some good advice - everyone handles things differently based on their circumstances as well as their relationships etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2004
Fri, 10-07-2011 - 2:08pm

I think that each year things will happen that will change your traditions - try to be a little flexible and understand that as your age, there will be a time when your kids are grown, family have passed and you will miss the times that you were all together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2011
Fri, 10-07-2011 - 3:11pm

Thanks everyone for your input,def