First of all, you wont ruin the feelings you have for Christmas just by spending the holiday apart. This one thing is not going to “ruin” Christmas. Do you know what ruins Christmas? Having high expectations for a jolly holiday, and when something bad happens, not being able to handle it. You know what else ruins Christmas? People. People ruin Christmas with their bad attitudes and alcoholism and dying and re-gifting. When will people learn that fruitcake is not a good idea? But in all seriousness, it is the people you spend the holidays with that either make it or break it; and you, my friend, are about to take a huge gamble.
And you are going to lose.
You need to understand that no matter what you guys decide to do, someone is going to get their feelings hurt, or be unhappy, or get frustrated. This is what we call a compromise. No one is ever truly happy with a compromise. My husband and I had this dilemma with Thanksgiving this year. We spent the morning together, I made breakfast, we watched the parade, and then we went our separate ways. Were we happy with this scenario? No. But we did it.
You have three options.
1. Randomly chose whose family you spend Christmas with and go there together.
2. Spend Christmas apart and see your own families this year, respectively.
3. Spend Christmas here together without your families.
That about sums it up. You have to pick one. If it’s difficult for you to decide, you could write down these options and draw from a hat. Or, I can help you decide. Though, I am rather biased on how I would spend my holiday if faced with the same problem.
Option 1: Randomly choose one family to spend Christmas with.
That’s right, I said “randomly.” Here is what you do: put both names in a hat and pick one. Why? Because this is the first year you have been faced with this dilemma. You pick one family and then next year will be the other families turn and so and and so on. You have been in this relationship for two years and it sounds like you plan on being together for a long time; so you might as well start this tradition now. It only gets more difficult after the wedding, and then even more difficult after you have kids.
Option 2: Spend Christmas with your own families, respectively.
You want to know what is even more difficult after you get married? Spending the holidays apart. Your relationship is still relatively new, so you have the option here of still spending time apart. Don’t ask me why it gets harder after you get married; it just does. Expectations change. It may just be the last year your parents will get you all to yourselves, so it might be worth it for them, if not for you. You can pick a day to have your own Christmas together. Hell, you could even go to a fancy dinner in old town and then take a carriage ride followed by gifts and hot cocoa under the tree. You couldn’t do the dinner and carriage ride on Christmas day anyway. Spending the day apart can be turned into a positive thing!
Option 3: Don’t spend time with either of your families.
Why not have a quiet Christmas at home? Do you really want to pay an exorbitant amount of money to travel with the thousands of other people who have to be somewhere for Christmas? Stay at home, start a new tradition, and save your money for a trip home later. Or you could go somewhere together with the money you would spend on a trip home. “Sorry Mom and Dad, but we will be spending Christmas in LAS VEGAS this year!!” No one could argue with that.
You do have one more option: An altered version of option three; we’ll call it option 3.5: You could invite both of your families to your place, and everyone could have a Colorado Christmas. Not a bad idea, is it?
No matter what you decide, someone is not going to be completely happy. You can’t please everyone. What would I do? Definitely option 3. I think spending the holidays with someone you actually want to spend time with as opposed to spending them with people you are obligated to spend time with is what makes or breaks the holidays.
Chose wisely and trust your instincts. They are all going to cause some drama in some way, shape, or form. Good luck.
What did you think about Robyn’s advice? Comment below and then tune in Friday for Skippy’s advice!