The holidays are stressful for most everyone, but they can be even more so for newlyweds who now have to decide where and which side of the family to visit and create the standard for future holidays. This issue should be resolved with the three C's: compassion, communication and compromise. Here are some solutions to common situations:
If you live a long distance from both sides of the family. You both may have family all over and find yourselves at a total loss during the holidays. You want to visit everyone, but it may be too expensive to travel; and depending on the distance, it might even be physically impossible to get from one place to another. In this situation, many couples switch up where they go every year. So, for instance, this year, you could visit your family in California for Christmas and your spouse's family in New York next year. Or, if you enjoy having guests from out of town, you can invite both sets of parents and siblings to come to you for the holidays.
One other option: You can choose to have a romantic holiday at home with just you two. This can be a great idea if there's tension between your spouse and the in-laws or if you're saving up for the future.
If you reside in the same city or town as one side of the family, but the other is far away. This could be a situation where one side of the family controls the couple's life. If this is the case, the spouse whose family is always around should do his or her best to accommodate the other spouse's desires during the holidays. So, if your parents are at your house a lot, you should visit your in-laws to celebrate Christmas-- it's only fair.
Another option: Ask family who live far away to stay at your home as guests. And if everyone gets along, have the "in-city family" join you for dinner, and you can celebrate the holidays together.
You live close to both sides of the family. When everyone lives close to each other, deciding where to visit can be very hard. Family on both sides likely feel you should choose their side because it's convenient. If both sides are amicable, having a joint get-together is a good idea. If not, one idea is to spend Christmas morning with one side and Christmas night with the other.
Another option: If you're expecting or have a newborn, think about establishing your own traditions. For example, invite all the grandparents to come over on Christmas morning to see the baby receive his/her gifts.