When my husband and I got married we thought that the most difficult parts of marriage would be communication and money; learning that both parties now own what's in the bank account and figuring out when one could spend money without permission wasn't a huge challenge for us... surprisingly. But the most difficult part of marriage was figuring out which holiday to spend with which family. I am one of seven. My side of the family is gigantic and lives in Columbus, OH. People jokingly call us the black "Seven Heaven" because my Father is a Pastor. Now, on my husbands side of the family it's just him, his younger sister, and mom. Much smaller than my side of the family but they are extremely closely knitted together.
Our first couple of years of marriage we tried visiting everyone on every holiday. But with small children and our families not living in the same city it totally became too over whelming. So now we travel up to Columbus for Thanksgiving - mainly because I could never go without my Grandmother's good cooking and for Christmas, we now travel up to Cincinnati, OH to spend with his family who I absolutely love dearly.
My favorite part of my husband's family's Christmas celebration is when the matriarch of the family aka Granny reads the yearly newsletter. It's a tradition that everyone looks forwards to and wouldn't miss for the world. She writes about everyone's accomplishments, mistakes, funny moments, people we haven't seen, deaths, and new additions to the family. We gather around her like little children and anticipate hearing our name and hearing what she has to say. The best part of it all is that it's all through her eyes.
At first it was very hard for me to be away from my family. Especially on Christmas. But I've grown to love my second family as if they were my very own.