DH and I have several agreements as to holidays, due to the fact that while his family (sister, father & step-mom) live half an hour or less away, my family live half a continent away.
#1 - there shall be no decorating for holidays we will not be home for (awwww
#2 - Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas & New Year's with mine when possible (my hill-to-die-on)
We had a 4-day weekend from work for Thanksgiving. That is not
long enough to be worth a 1,000+ mile round-trip to my parents' house, and since FIL got remarried, Thanksgiving has really become SMIL's thing.
Christmas & New Years, we try to arrange for a 2 week vacation, and have the 3,000+ mile "Tour de Texas" in which we spend Christmas in Waco and New Year's in San Angelo, with stops in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and a few other places. DH has family out there too, and stops to visit them do get factored in, but the actual holidays still land us with my family.
SIL and MIL used to argue about how I was being selfish to "make Christmas all about me and my family" nevermind we lived nearby them and could see them any day of the week we chose, much less any and all other holidays if plans were mentioned.
They thought they won in 2008 & 2009, due to health problems eating the vacation-time needed. There was a royal fit thrown (by MIL) because we *gasp* were spending Christmas Day '08 with my parents when they drove from Texas to Georgia to see us for Christmas
. 2009 was just a bad year overall, and I don't really remember much about that Christmas.
Luckily, when Christmas 2010 rolled around, MIL was in jail for bad behavior, and we took Baby Hino down to Florida for a week in a condo with my parents and brother. Plans get modified when you have an 8-week old
This year, SIL has seen the light, and instead of trying to go to both her father's house (FIL) and her in-law's house for both occasions, they will also be splitting Thanksgiving & Christmas (Turkey Day with FIL, Xmas with BIL's family). No one is speaking to MIL anymore, both of her children (SIL and my DH) have given her the cut-direct, so she has become a non-issue.
Yeah, we haven't made it to see my family every year, due to extenuating circumstances. But starting out with that as the plan, that is my hill-to-die-on.