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Holiday Hospitality: Deciding On How And Where You’ll Be Spending Yours

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

If you’re one of the “lucky” few to have found a job and a mate local to where you live, grew up and to where your family is, then splitting the holidays may be a bit easier for you. But, for many couples who’ve had to move, whose family has since moved, or who are originally NOT from the same place, divvying up visitation over the holidays can leave everyone feeling anything but merry and bright.

Yet, according to relationship experts, there “are” ways to ensure everybody is happy this holiday season.

1. Get a jumpstart on the holidays: And, we don’t just mean shopping in advance. Professionals suggest that you have the holiday talk just as the fall begins giving yourselves enough time to negotiate with each other and your respective families and plan ahead. You may even want to discuss importance of family gatherings and traditions and options BEFORE you tie the knot, or immediately after and start thinking about putting a plan in motion.

2. Settle on an acceptable solution and schedule: Since there are several holidays and other ample reasons such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. to get together throughout the years, you’ll each want to figure out which is a priority for each of you. I know in our family, holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, et al are pivotal family times, but in my husband’s family, except for Christmas, birthdays are the “big thing”. And, then of course we each have our own favorites and personal preferences. In this case, choosing is generally a bit “easier”. We spend “major” holidays with my side, and birthdays with his. And, since Christmas is a “biggie” for both of us, we alternate each year, or do Christmas with one side and New Year’s with the other, switching every other year. But, if you still can’t decide, perhaps you want to start a NEW family tradition and invite both sides to your place or ask your respective family members what works best for them. And, remember, the sooner you come to an understanding the less stress you’ll have come the holidays, after all holidays can be “stressful” enough.

3. Keep your cool: Remember, it’s likely you both have your traditions plus some family input (pressure) that may contribute to the tension and each of you “fighting” to get your way. Keep in mind that just like mom and dad, you TWO are now a whole new team of your own and parents, siblings, and friends are simply going to have to understand and respect that…though you do want to make sure no one is left out or left alone. Start by making a list of all the pros and cons of spending each particular holiday with each of your respective families and decide and develop a schedule that will meet and suit your needs as well as theirs. Then, share your conclusions with the folks, explaining how you arrived at your conclusion and being open to suggestions and perhaps an even better alternative or compromise.

4. Remember, that united you stand, divided you fall. Do what’s best for the family, not for YOUR needs. Sure you want to spend time with mom and dad, but if you live local to your family and your spouse far from his, be willing to accommodate your mate for the holidays, at least every other year. And, if your respective families get along, why not bring mom, dad, even grandparents with you. Remember, especially around holiday time, it’s often the case of the more the merrier. Also don’t let family or friends bully or guilt you into seeing things their way, especially when you’ve explained your position, are NOT (completely) cutting them out or off, and feel you are being fair to both your wants and needs and your mate’s. Remember, your mate’s family is your family NOW too. So, you can even consider teaching your new family some of your tried and true traditions, some of which they may even bring you all closer together and that they may come to look forward to an appreciate

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Holiday Hospitality: Deciding On How And Where You’ll Be Spending Yours

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