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Holidays, In-Laws and Boundaries

The first holiday season for newlyweds can be really tricky if the in-laws expect the celebration to stay the same.  While this may seem like no big deal to some couples, deciding where to spend the holidays can create marital and family conflict.

Early on in their marriage, Ryan and Meghann committed to waking up Christmas morning in their own home.  “We both felt strongly about our decision for Christmas morning, so that was the easy part,” Ryan said.  “It got a little more interesting as we tried to figure out Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.”

After some discussion, Ryan and Meghann decided to alternate where they spend Thanksgiving, so this year they will be in Chattanooga.  Shortly after they married, Meghann’s parents moved to Chattanooga, which made things a bit easier leading up to Christmas.  Ryan’s parents live in Kingsport, so they will travel Christmas afternoon to spend a few days there.

“We definitely felt the pressure of everybody wanting us to be with them for the holidays,” said Ryan.  “But, we realized that for the sake of our own marriage we had to say no to somebody.  We have joked that it would have been easier if one of our families opened presents on Christmas Eve.  I actually think things have worked out well so far.”

Don’t wait until December 23 to discuss where and how you will celebrate your first holidays as a newly-married couple.  Here are some suggestions to help you navigate this discussion:

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