If you live close to your extended family, travel during the holidays may be as simple as setting a schedule. Katy Leder-Holmes, a Wisconsin mother of one, lives only hours away from her parents. "We plan on spending Christmas Eve with one set of grandparents and Christmas Day with the other," she says. "Thanksgiving weekend will be divided up as well—this will keep all the grandparents happy."
Sometimes you can spend part of the holiday with relatives nearby and still fit in a long-distance trip to visit the other side of the family. "Last year, we spent Christmas with [my husband's] side of the family and then flew to Florida to spend five days with my parents around New Year's Eve," says Julie VanderZanden-Iris from Wisconsin, of her first holiday with her son Jordan.
You can also consider setting up an unconventional schedule—spend Thanksgiving with one family, Christmas with the other, and the following holiday season by yourselves. Elizabeth White-Jones of California, mother of 17-month-old Ella says, "I think it is best to trade off with one of the holidays and take the other one off from the family altogether."
A favorite solution for many new parents is to host their own holiday gathering. This provides the opportunity to forego travel of any kind during this busy season. Molly and Trevor Tuttle of California live hundreds of miles from their closest relative. They plan to celebrate their first holiday with their son Maxwood at home. Rather than trying to fit in several trips to visit relatives, they instead look forward to inviting family over for a small and intimate gathering.