Or "Christmas used to be fun!"
My MIL shared this family dilemma with me this morning.
My aunt, Lucy, and uncle Ringo have three adult sons, John, Paul and George. All of them are married and have children. In general, they have good relationships, but there are tensions just like any family.
John, the eldest, lives close to Lucy and Ringo, with his wife and daughter.
Paul used to live closeby, but recently moved about an hour's drive away with his wife and three kids.
George, the youngest, lives a two hour drive away with his wife and their two kids.
John's inlaws are local and he celebrates with his wife's family on Christmas Eve. He and his wife and kids open presents at home on Christmas morning, then join his parents at their house to exchange presents. Paul and George have moved around a few times during the last few years and have out of town inlaws, so they have sometimes come to the Christmas morning celebration over at Luicy and Ringos, and some years, they don't. It's pretty flexible.
Paul asked his mother around Thanksgiving, if she and Ringo would drive down his house, two hours away, on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas morning with him, his wife and kids. She thought it sounded like fun and she and Ringo agreed.
Two weeks ago, Lucy and John were discussing Christmas plans and she told him she and Ringo would be spending Christmas morning with Paul's family. John was... displeased. It turns out John values "tradition" more than Lucy realized, and for him, tradition means spending Christmas Eve with his inlaws and then Christmas morning with his parents. He objected to this plan, strongly, and told Lucy she needed to cancel and tell Paul to drive up to Lucy and Ringo's for Christmas morning.
Meanwhile, George, who was unaware of this development, called Lucy on the same day, and asks whether she thought the other two brothers would agree to push the family Christmas celebration to the week after Christmas, because he misses being able to see everybody open their gifts.
Lucy is at a loss. She knows that no matter what she does, she's going to make someone unhappy. She called my MIL to lament, "Christmas used to be fun!" I don't know how she could compromise without hurting someone's feelings.
All I can say is, I'm glad this isn't my problem.