This isn't really an etiquette issue, so I've put it here. Mods, feel free to move if appropriate.
DF and I live in CurrentCity. My HomeCity is a 4 hour flight away. DF’s HomeCity is a 5 hour drive away.
We’ve been together for six years, and have always spent Christmas Day (and the days surrounding it) separately. Normally, we have our own Christmas Dinner on about the 20th, with just the two of us, We exchange gifts, and cook a turkey, pop crackers, etc. The next day, I fly back to MyHomeCity where I spend a week or two. DF drives up to HisHomeCity to spend a few days with his family.
My family tends to place a lot of importance on Christmas. On Christmas Day, we have a celebration with my mother’s relatives with a proper lunch and games afterwards; and on Boxing Day we catch up with all my father’s relatives. I also have close friends from high school and university in MyHomeCity with whom I enjoy catching up over the Christmas break. People organise BBQs, or we all meet for dinner at a restaurant or drinks at a pub. Basically, it’s a really fun time.
By contrast, DF’s family have a very low key Christmas. It’s just his parents, brother, niece, and DF. They basically have a platter of cold turkey and salad, then DF, his brother, and father sit around all afternoon drinking beer, and watching his niece play with her toys. His mum has a nap or watches telly. For various reasons, they don’t catch up with extended family. In any case, DF reckons that his family are boring, and doesn’t want to spend long periods of time with them. Also, DF doesn’t have any friends in HisHomeCity. He normally spends Christmas Day with his family, then goes out to their nearby holiday house by himself for a few days.
This year, DF wants to stay in our Current City for the Christmas break. He also wants me to give up my usual trip to MyHomeCity, so we can spend the Christmas break together, just the two of us. This is going to sound terrible, but that doesn’t really appeal to me at all.
For one, it means I’ll miss out on seeing all my family and friends (who I only get to see once or twice a year) and on all the fun and excitement. I also know that my mum in particular would be extremely sad if I didn’t come home for Christmas.
Secondly, Current City isn’t a good place to be over the Christmas break. It has a very transplanted population, which means that most people return to their Home States, or go away to the beach. It turns into a ghost town. This means that all our friends would be out of town, so we couldn’t have people over or anything. In addition, lots of Current City’s restaurants and bars close down over the break. Basically, there’d be nothing much to do, except maybe visit the cinema or shopping mall.
Thirdly, DF and I spend most of our weekends and all other holidays together anyway (eg Easter, Australia Day, etc). We just potter around the house, maybe watch a DVD, go for a walk, etc. DF also likes just sitting around, doing nothing, and knocking back the beers. As a result, he often spends the afternoons of these holidays drinking, and then crashing into bed early. I find this quite boring, and have a suspicion that this is how Christmas Day with just the two of us would pan out. I want Christmas to be more special than just a regular public holiday at home.
I’ve suggested that he come with me to MyHomeCity, and we spend Christmas together there with my family. (My parents have said he’s welcome to come and stay). But he doesn’t want to, as he’s not the biggest fan of my parents. Inviting both our families to Current City also is not an option. (For various reasons, both our families are unwilling and unable to visit us here over Christmas).
I honestly don’t know what to do. I’d much rather spend Christmas in MyHomeCity. However, I know that DF is well… my DF, and I should be prioritising him. Part of me thinks that if it would truly make him happy, I should suck it up, and spend Christmas in Current City with “just us”. But dang, it’s going to be tough.
DF thinks I’m selfish for not wanting to spend Christmas in Current City with him. My mother thinks that DF is selfish for expecting me to stay behind and have a dull Christmas, without my family and friends, whom I hardly ever see. No matter what I choose, someone is going to be upset.
Any suggestions, please?!