How to Split the Holidays Between Your Family and Your In-Laws

Not sure where to celebrate? Here’s how to (fairly!) split the holidays between your family and your in-laws. 

For many of us, the holidays mean spending quality time with our families. But if you’re recently engaged or married, you may be wondering which one of your families will get the present of your presence this year. 

It can be a tough decision, especially if both of you have special family traditions that you’d like to keep. Don’t stress, though! Here’s how to split the holidays between your family and your in-laws.

Divide the hours

If you think about it, most of our holiday traditions don’t take ALL day — opening presents takes a few hours in the morning, celebratory dinners take a few hours in the evening, and hanging out together can take a few hours at any time of the day! Depending on which holiday you celebrate, consider splitting time between your families. Maybe you enjoy Christmas morning with your in-laws, and Christmas dinner with your family. Both families may even be willing to alter their routines a little (like exchanging gifts in the evening!) so you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Divide the days

If you celebrate holidays that take place over multiple days (like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa), this is relatively self-explanatory. Again — your families may be willing to alter their normal routines a bit, so that both you and your spouse can be a part of each families’ special traditions. But even if they aren’t able to do so, you can spend certain days of the holiday with either family. 

You can divide the days when it comes to Christmas, too! Celebrate Christmas Eve with one family, and Christmas Day with the other. 

Alternate the years

Let’s be real — some of our families do A LOT during the holidays. It may be tough to try and split up days or hours when there are so many moments that you don’t want to miss. It may be even tougher to split time if one of your families lives far away.

If that’s the case for you, consider alternating holidays each year between your family and your in-laws. If you go this route, a popular “split” is Thanksgiving with one family, and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa with the other. 

Choose a different day to celebrate

Who says you HAVE to celebrate Christmas on December 25? You can have a delicious brunch, get in festive pajamas, and drink hot cocoa together at any time. If you’re planning on spending the holiday with your in-laws, considering choosing an alternate day to celebrate with your family.

Host and invite both families

You registered for that fancy china — now’s the time to bust it out! Bring everyone together and host the holidays at your house. This is a great opportunity to share in each other’s traditions and build a strong bond between your two families. Make it a pot luck and try some new holiday favorites!