When my husband and I were new into his career and we lived about 12 hours away from family we were always torn about how we were spending our holidays. Of course, family wanted us to come see them and time would have to be split between his family and mine. Then it became a question of where are we actually going to spend Thanksgiving and where are we going to be on Christmas. We felt pulled into the web of alternating holidays between his family and mine. Let me tell you how much fun this is! It is anything but fun!! With the holidays around the corner we are planning our Thanksgiving and Christmas schedules. You may be feeling the same holidays stresses too.
If we decided not to go visit family then there was the pull over who was going to come visit during Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Every holiday was being filled with family visiting or us traveling to visit family.
This was becoming stressful and we started to not enjoy the holidays. We neglected our own family holiday traditions and did not take our own family vacations. Every vacation was being spent going to see family or having family come visit. Anyone who has traveled to go see their family knows that going to visit family is not a vacation! It is running around and seeing people and doing things that please your family.
After we had our son and he reached a certain age we reached a point where we were tired of the rat race. We saw the importance of making our own family holiday traditions, we saw this as being more important than making our family happy. We wanted to enjoy our holidays again!
At first, putting our foot down was difficult. We did not want to upset our family or make anyone unhappy but it was either us or them (in a sense). We took back our Christmas holiday and said no to traveling to see family during this time or to family coming for Christmas. We decided to create our own Christmas traditions with just the 3 of us. No one to entertain or dictate our schedules. We can do as we please. Once we dropped the news to our family it felt freeing. It was hard to say at first but once we did then it was a weight off our shoulders. At first, they were not happy but now they are use to our plans.
They still ask each year but as soon as you state your plans for one year then it gets easier and easier each following year. Without the stress of deciding our reluctant holiday plans we can enjoy the holidays! We allow who wants to come to Thanksgiving may come but we typically do not travel during Thanksgiving. One reason for this is because Thanksgiving break is usually short, and we are pressed for time.
By freeing up our Christmas break we have the ability to do as we please and take family vacation during this time if we like. Or we can have a stay cation and do things just as a family around the local area. We are able to create our own Christmas traditions and our own Christmas memories. Saying no was worth our own memories and own traditions.