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Reality Check: Hubby Hogs the Holidays

Q. We usually spend holidays with my husband's family, but now that we have a baby, my parents want to celebrate with their grandchild too. How do I get my husband to split our family holiday time?

 

A. Your husband may have assumed that holiday celebrations aren't as important to you and your family as they are to his, since you've always spent them with his folks. Now, though, he's missing the fact that a baby changes everything.

Even if your parents weren't that big on family holidays before, what they (and you) probably realize these days is that festive family gatherings are precious. Holidays are also more fun when there's a baby around to liven up the room. Your parents shouldn't have to miss out on this fun any more than the other grandparents should.

The first thing to do is explain to your husband how important it is to you, your parents, and your child's memory bank that you split the holidays between both families—and then graciously let him have the first pick this year. If Christmas is the biggie in his clan, let him have it, and you take Thanksgiving. Next year, you can switch. Or you could host a holiday dinner and have both families over (if you have the energy with a new baby at home!).

You might also see if there's a way to share the same holiday with each set of parents. My sister-in-law and her husband and kids spend Thanksgiving Day with her side of the family, and on Saturday of that weekend they have another turkey with his side. They take home plenty of leftovers, and each set of grandparents gets to celebrate with their grandchildren.

When her family grew to three kids, my friend Ali decided that they needed to spend certain holidays at home on their own, to build their own traditions. They visit their relatives a day or two later.

As your baby grows and your family expands, you may tinker with how and when you celebrate holidays with your extended family. However it works out, your children will appreciate the wonderful memories.

 

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