The tug of war practiced in even the best of families.
Christmas time is hectic in itself, trying to sort out all the trimmings that go with it. Ticking off the various items on Santa's list takes dexterity, energy and effort. Organizing and cooking a scrumptious meal takes time even though it is enjoyable. At least no one will raise an eyebrow if you have a tipple every time you baste the goose / turkey / roast or tofu loaf. Dinner for one comes to mind!
What most couples dread at this time is the question of who to have your Christmas with. His or Her parents? Look, for us it has mostly been easy, as the parents and in-laws ( for both of us ) were hardly ever in the same place. No debate needed or even necessary. But I know that this issues does cause a lot of friction with many couples.
But it shouldn't. Why do most of us overlook the very obvious. Once you are married, you form your own family. A family that comes first. A family that should come first. Often it is us ourselves who don't get that concept. Yes it is nice to spend festive occasions with your family and maybe that is a way to relive our childhood. But, our new family ( us ) should be the place & people we want to spend occasions ( heck, every or rather most minutes of the day as well ) with.
Most families, once you lift the curtain of perfection, have similar issues.
" No, we spent the holidays with your family last year." or " If we don't go this year, I will get the cold shoulder" or " Why should I go to your family, when they make me feel unwelcome/ ignore me? ". I am certain, if you were to ask any in-law of any family, they would tell you funny, sad or hair-raising stories about their own early years of marriage and spending festive occasions with eh...in-laws. Will they get the irony of telling those stories....Of course not, otherwise there would not be a blend of curry spices named: Mother-in-law's revenge!
Christmas should be one of those times when families are there for one another. A time to bury any hatchets, a time to forgive and a time to put the other person's well being above your own.