This one is definitely more important than choosing where the best food is. Holiday celebrations should be full of joy and love. The last thing you want to do is bring your partner into an environment festering in toxicity. Has one of your parents or siblings made it their life’s goal to kill every bit of confidence and self-worth you ever had?
A good friend of mine grew up in a family where she had to fight just to escape. Every time something great happened in her life both her mother and sister found a way to turn it negative. If she bought a new car, they would ask her why she thought she was so much better than them. When she graduated from college, her mom showed up after she crossed the stage, drunk with her alcoholic aunt and missed the most important part. She eventually decided that even though they were family it wasn’t worth her mental health to continue inviting them into her life, so she has limited contact with them now.
This part might hurt a little. Think long and hard about how the people on your holiday visitation list make you feel. No, you don’t have to cut family who are just occasionally annoying. We are talking about something different. Are there people who just make you feel like you want to live under a rock? Do you feel worse every time you are in their presence? This requires introspection. Is this a place you are comfortable sharing with your partner? Both of you should definitely take a minute to consider those things and if you find a place on your list that meets the criteria, go ahead and cross that out. This holiday season, you don’t have time for that. The beauty of Tahoe is that we get to celebrate our friends as our family at every holiday: we hold friendsgiving, we spend Christmas Eve together and we group ski on Christmas Day and I never regret it. Keep your joy.