“Are we spending Christmas with your family or mine this year?”
If you’ve made your home – and your life – miles from your family, this is a very important decision that you need to make every year.
For some, the answer is easy. You live only a few hours away from your hometown and can make the drive easily to see family and friends. Bonus if your spouse is from the same town (or area)!!
This means that spending Christmas with BOTH your families is very doable every year.
For others, home is in another state, sometimes clear across the country, so going home for Christmas is not as easy.
Living in a state where your spouse is from and having their family nearby can complicate things a little more too. You get to spend every holiday, birthday, and special event throughout the year with their side of the family so now you might want to spend Christmas with your side. I won’t even begin to talk about the stress involved in making this decision if there are kids involved!!!
Shari and I have both lived away from family for most of our adult lives. I made this decision at at the young age of 21 when I decided to move to Maui, HI – a full 5,600 miles away from home!
I have only spent a handful of holidays with my family over the last 28 years and that was mostly because my parents traveled to see me (living in Hawaii made the hardships of traveling around the holidays more appealing I guess!)
Circumstances of our lives also made the distance at the holidays easier to live with. Neither of us has ever wanted to have kids so we never felt pressure to connect with grandma and grandpa over the holidays. Our friends have always been our family so we have been surrounded with love and happiness every holiday, birthday, or other special life event. As technology has progressed it’s been easier to keep in touch by phone / text / zoom calls / etc. so we never really felt the distance as much.
Since moving back to the mainland, we have been living in the same town as Shari’s family and for the last 13 years we have been able to spend Christmas with her parents, brother, and her sister’s family. We were able to take a trip back to Boston to spend a few months during the holidays with my family and now that we are planning to live a nomadic lifestyle, we can plan our travels to coincide with holidays and birthdays and other special events to spend with them more frequently.
There is really no easy solution to this question. I know of some family members who alternate traveling for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year to allow time with each side of the family. Other family members have every holiday at one parent’s home and the in-laws join in (this works because the families live only one town apart).
If you live far from home, how do you spend the holidays? Do you have a spouse or significant other with family in another state? How do you, as a couple, work out the holiday dilemma?
Thoughts shared by Kris