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Early Thanksgiving Dinner, A New Family Tradition

A New Thanksgiving Tradition
A New Thanksgiving Tradition

Every since I’ve been married, our Thanksgiving Dinner would consist of driving to both of our parent’s houses and stuffing ourselves twice.  While Thanksgiving dinner was always good when I was single, as a married couple, we always felt bad about leaving so soon to go to the my wife’s parents (that was usually the 2nd stop).

Another thing that really made the experience less enjoyable was the fact that we ate twice as much as we wanted to eat.  But to make both sets of our parents happy, we did so anyway.

My sister followed our footsteps, which I thought was crazy since she lived 2 hours away and her husband’s parents lived at least 4 hours away for my parent’s house!  But my sister and my brother-in-law continued to do this for the past few years, until…

Along comes Baby:

My sister’s first baby was born in February, and that has made all the difference!

Now for the baby’s sake, my sister doesn’t want to drive 2 hours and then later 4 more hours in one day, so after some discussion, the decision has been made to have Thanksgiving Dinner a week earlier at my parent’s house!

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parent’s house this past weekend, and it was great!  We all enjoyed the great meal, and since we weren’t rushed trying to hit two houses, we didn’t leave my parent’s house until 9:00pm.

Games were played, discussions were enjoyed and the baby had plenty of attention!  Nobody felt guilty since we spent the entire day there!  And instead of having 2 big meal that would later give us indigestion, we enjoy just 1 meal and felt fine after we went home!

If you find yourself in a similar situation, have you considered splitting Thanksgiving dinner up?

We did, and it was great!  This is another classic Lemons to Lemonade example.

Thanksgiving is once again an enjoyable  holiday for us!!!


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18 Responses to Early Thanksgiving Dinner, A New Family Tradition

  1. We’re doing the thanksgiving/christmas split this year.

    DH’s family for Thanksgiving, my family for Christmas. It helps that my family comes in and sees us (my sister lives a couple of hours away from us).

    Some years we do something different and my sister brings a bunch of her on-call friends Thanksgiving Friday. This year she’s going to Latin American instead.

    • I like the split idea too, and for my sister it would work.

      Unfortunately, our parents are about 20 minutes apart, so we would still be stuck going to both.

      But since my sister wanted it this way… we win too. 🙂

  2. Oh how I hated running from one place to the other when we were first married. That ended for us when we had kids too, it was great!

    I host all holidays now, and whoever wants to show up from either side of the family is welcome.

  3. Of all the things that are horrible about the holidays, the worst is the expectation of carting yourself from place to place all day long for fear of someone thinking they are not as loved if you don’t.

    It also stopped when we had kids. I now do Xmas day and Thanksgiving and visit before and after the holidays. Whoever wants to show up is welcome. Much better indeed.

  4. Great post. My husband and I actually just started the same tradition this year. We just celebrating Thanksgiving all day yesterday with my parents, so we can eat with his mom (his dad recently passed) on Thursday. It used to be, go to my parents, stay for a couple of hours, then go to his mom’s, get a guilt-trip for not staying longer, and then go to his dad’s and get another guilt trip for not coming sooner.

    • We really enjoyed it more than we thought that we would 🙂

      I think this will be our new pattern year after year!

      I think it’s a classic lemons to lemonade kind of story!

  5. Great idea! Kids throw a whole new dynamic into the mix.

    We actually switch off every other year for the main course and then we’ll go to the others for dessert.

    Thankfully my parents and in-laws live less than 1/4 mile from each other!

    • Ahh, them living so close to one another does make it easy at the holidays! Very nice!

      Yep, kids do change the equation, and the grandparents definitely want to see them, so we have to hit both houses. I’m glad it will be on different days from now on though!

  6. We flip flop Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. For example, this year we see my parents on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and my in-laws on Black Friday and Christmas Day. Next year, that switches. It’s slightly annoying but seems to make both our families happy. 🙂

    • Sounds like a great way to go about it to me!

      On Christmas, we go to my wife’s parent’s house on Christmas Eve, then to my parent’s house on Christmas Day.

      It’s busy anyway you look at it…

  7. UGH! Figuring out holiday plans is the bane of my existence. The Wife cries a bit, and then The Mom cries a bit…everyone feels slighted and then I get to clean it up.

    This year I got out of the whole mess with the upcoming baby. So now just The Wife is upset because we aren’t going down to her family at all until after the new year.

    • It’s hard, that’s for sure!

      The idea my sister had was brilliant! Previously, I dreaded Thanksgiving because of eating too much food, and the guilt associated with leaving both of our parent’s house too quickly!

      This may be the becase Thanksgiving since we’ve been married!

  8. That’s a great solution to driving a total of 6 hours in one day (of course it’s 12 if they have to drive back the other way!) Last year, my husband and I spend Thanksgiving with my parents on Veteran’s Day and it was nice beating the holiday rush.