Family Matters
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

torn between families

Neither my fiancé or myself are hugely religious, however he’s Jewish and I’m Catholic and both of our families have strong opinions about the holidays and their own traditions. Last week, my fiancés mother informed us that they would be getting together for Passover on Easter Sunday, and while she didn’t guilt me herself by saying she wanted us there, she said the rest of the family was looking forward to seeing us prior to the wedding... Easter holds a great deal of importance to my grandmother, who is rapidly deteriorating, and I know she would be extremely upset if we weren’t there. Attending both isn’t an option as they live 3.5 hours apart. It seems every year this occurs on a major holiday, last year with Hanukah being on Thanksgiving and the year before with Hanukah on Christmas. In years past, we’ve either gone to one family or the other, or each gone to our own respective families gathering, which doesn’t feel right.

I know my “problem” isn’t uncommon, I was simply wondering how other people have handled similar situations.

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Re: torn between families

  • Hmmm....I have a friend who is in a similar situation - she's catholic and her H is Jewish. I think they pretty much handle the holidays like anyone else when holidays fall on the same day, meaning they alternate between families. One year, they go to his, then alternate the next holiday with hers. Mind you, this happens only if and when both holidays fall on the same day, which is rare. Otherwise, they spend each holiday with the respective family. Not to stir the pot here, but do you think your FMIL is purposely celebrating Passover on Easter Sunday because of you and your family? Because Passover falls the Monday before Easter - most Jewish people that I know take that day off to be with their families and observe the holiday and I've never ever heard of a Jewish person moving the celebration to another day because the holiday falls during the week. Most Jewish people are pretty strict like this, so what your FMIL is doing just seems odd to me.

    Ultimately, you and your fiancé are going to have to come up with a plan to deal with these kinds of situations and I would say sooner rather than later because this is going to keep coming up. Remember, you guys are starting your own family unit so you need to do what's best for you. GL
  • I suppose I should clarify, FMIL isn't the one who decided to do Passover on Easter. His side of the family as a "whole" decided on a day that worked for them, without discussing it with us mind you. If this was the first time this has happened, it wouldn't be an issue but it's happened on more than one occasion, where their "rescheduling" of holidays almost seems deliberate so we have to choose where to go. I mean, most Jewish holidays seem to last 7 or 8 days, yet they've purposefully planned to celebrate on the one "set" date of whatever holiday it is. To me, it just seems like a lack of respect. All of his cousins married within their religion so extended families are included, where mine is not.

    I don't know exactly how to address the issue without being accusatory. My fiancé spoke with his dad about it and his reasoning was "it's important for our family to be together." That doesn't make sense to me because purposefully planning something puts us, as a couple, into a position where we have to choose sides. It's not like Thanksgiving where we know which turn it is and everyone is well aware of it.

    Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  • Who did you see last Thanksgiving ?
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    My take - whether iit was on purpose to cause you and DH onflict or not, they pickeed EASTER. And it sounds like you had already planned on being with your family. Honestly, if you want to set expectations, then your DH needs to just tell his family "It's Easter. We already had plans to spend it w. her family. SOrry we'll miss you." Period. They throw out the guilt? let them. Stand firm. "We won't be able to make it." DOnt throw out explanations and excuses- they'll only poke holes. Stand firm on "Its easter, we had plans".
    bethann3181
  • You DH needs to tell them that in the future if they would like you and your DH to join them, they will need to pick days other than the Christian holidays to celebrate. I don't understand at all why they don't celebrate these holidays on the actual holiday.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • emily1004emily1004 member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited March 2014
    I'm a Jew. No, we do not recognize the holiday of Easter, so I imagine it's not important to your H's family. However, different Jewish families do different things. 

    BUT, not having Passover on Passover is VERY strange to me. We all take a few days off and it's wonderful. Tell your FMIL you're sorry, but you won't be able to make it. Go to Easter Sunday and see your Grandmother.

    Edit: Make sure you and FH have the religion conversation and how you are going to raise your family. Then make sure BOTH families are aware of your plans.

    skyhigh27
  • I agree with the others that it's strange they are celebrating on Easter and not Passover. I don't know many Jewish families but it's just strange to me. I know people of different faiths and they always observe on the actual day.

    You both (especially H) need to stand firm. You had already made a commitment to celebrate Easter on Easter Sunday.

    As for any religious Holiday (Christmas) conflicting with another or a national holiday (Thanksgiving) you need to be proactive. Decide who you spend that day with in advance. You and your H are a family unit. You do what's best for you. You decide who to spend time with and when.
  • daisy662 said:
    You DH needs to tell them that in the future if they would like you and your DH to join them, they will need to pick days other than the Christian holidays to celebrate. I don't understand at all why they don't celebrate these holidays on the actual holiday.
    Don't say that, that's disrespectful. Sometimes it's unavoidable. Jewish holidays fall over other holidays a lot of the time.

  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    erollis said:
    As for any religious Holiday (Christmas) conflicting with another or a national holiday (Thanksgiving) you need to be proactive. Decide who you spend that day with in advance. You and your H are a family unit. You do what's best for you. You decide who to spend time with and when.

    This is what it boils down to.  You need to stop responding to the efforts at guilt.  EVERY couple deals w/ this on some level.  of course their families are going to want them to spend the holidays with them.  But it's clearly not always possible.

    Stop reacting to "but we want the WHOLE FAMILY  together".  Well, of course they do.  But in your situation, if it were really THAT important, they would have made a point to pick a date that was NOT Easter to do so.  They know you're Christian.  There are other dates they could have picked. 

  • emily1004 said:
    daisy662 said:
    You DH needs to tell them that in the future if they would like you and your DH to join them, they will need to pick days other than the Christian holidays to celebrate. I don't understand at all why they don't celebrate these holidays on the actual holiday.
    Don't say that, that's disrespectful. Sometimes it's unavoidable. Jewish holidays fall over other holidays a lot of the time.

    You misunderstand my post. If the holidays do not fall on the same day, then the husbands family should respect her family's holiday and choose a different day to celebrate. I still don't understand why they don't celebrate the Jewish holiday on the actual day. If the holidays fall on the same day, then OP needs to come to a compromise with her DH.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thank you all for your advice. My fiancé and I sat down with his parents and explained our desire to be included in these decision-making conversations when it impacts both sides of the family and let them know that we will not be there for their rescheduled Passover. I understand it's going to be a balancing act and with time we'll definitely get the hang of it, it's just going to take some adjustments and probably a few reminders for all of us. Thanks again! 

    Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    skyhigh27 said:
    Thank you all for your advice. My fiancé and I sat down with his parents and explained our desire to be included in these decision-making conversations when it impacts both sides of the family and let them know that we will not be there for their rescheduled Passover. I understand it's going to be a balancing act and with time we'll definitely get the hang of it, it's just going to take some adjustments and probably a few reminders for all of us. Thanks again! 
    I'll be perfectly honest - the fact that you said yo uwon't be there is a BIG STEP in getting them to 'get it'.  And  yes, hopefully this will lead to them making a point to include you. 

    Good luck. 
    R.Wilsonny
  • VOR said:
    skyhigh27 said:
    Thank you all for your advice. My fiancé and I sat down with his parents and explained our desire to be included in these decision-making conversations when it impacts both sides of the family and let them know that we will not be there for their rescheduled Passover. I understand it's going to be a balancing act and with time we'll definitely get the hang of it, it's just going to take some adjustments and probably a few reminders for all of us. Thanks again! 
    I'll be perfectly honest - the fact that you said yo uwon't be there is a BIG STEP in getting them to 'get it'.  And  yes, hopefully this will lead to them making a point to include you. 

    Good luck. 
    Exactly. And this is something to also keep in mind when you are dealing with other situations involving get togethers outside of the holidays too. Because trust me, those will also come up and it sucks when you have people making plans with the expectation that you will be there without checking with you first to see if you are even free.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards