Surviving Thanksgiving: Stick to the Plan

On Tuesday, Al and I’ll be packing up the car and heading to Upstate NY for the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We are in the unique situation of having the opportunity to spend the holiday with both families, since they live within ten minutes of each other. So, the way to succeed in what seems like an overly simple feat? Stick to the plan!

The long and the short of it is that we have both of our families in the same town and that’s not always the easiest thing to plan. With Al moving down to Alexandria in August, we’ve now had a couple practice runs of trips back to NY, and planning the appropriate time we would get with each family. Now Thanksgiving is upon us and we have a plan. You’ve got one partner throughout the entire weekend and don’t forget it, if both of you start altering the plan throughout the week it’s only going to cause you to do some pulling of your hair, followed by a frustrating drive back to your home location.

The other key is not to shy away from telling people that you both have a schedule.  

Don’t try and schedule every minute and day of your time away, or you’ll drive yourself mad. Determining where you’ll be on the days that get the most attention from family and others, are the ones to plan in advance. Thanksgiving is normally one day of celebration so it gives enough time to give both families a little time. We tried this on Easter Sunday and the downfall for us was trying to have meals with both families; in short they ended up happy and we both ended up sick.

So, make sure the plan is something that works for you and not trying to please everyone around you. Again, you’ve already made the decision to spend some of the holiday with them, do what you have to now to survive.

Our schedule this year should be simple.We decided early on that we would attempt both dinners if they were far enough apart. My family has an early celebration, Al’s family eats much later. However, plans got shifted, and we had to adjust while still sticking to our original plan. We always do our best to divide time equally, and are fortunate our families are very flexible and understanding of our situation.

So, for those of you doing the run-around this year, we wish you luck. And when you’re out of luck, there’s always TUMS.


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    1. HATE the run-arounds. And you guys are lucky in the fact they are close together – we live 5 minutes from his family, and mine is 6 hours away. Makes for some juggling, definitely!

      1. Either way, figuring out family time for the holidays is never easy. It seems in this case, the grass is greener :) Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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