Dear Harlan: Thanksgiving is becoming a problem. My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and are both in college. When we are not at school, we live two hours apart. His family wants me to come to his house for Thanksgiving. My family wants him to come to ours. Our families get along and we want them to continue to get along. How do we decide where to go? We don’t want to go our own separate ways, so please do not suggest this. I don’t see how we can make everyone happy. We think we will be celebrating holidays for many years in the future, so we want to start off on the right foot. How do we make this work?
— Thankful and Torn
Dear Thankful and Torn: How did you know I was going to suggest that you go your separate ways? Until there’s a ring on someone’s finger, I just don’t think it’s worth going through the hassle of choosing where to go, especially if everyone cares this much. Someone will always end up missing out or getting hurt feelings. The big mistake is making rules when splitting up holidays and events. Once you start making rules, there is little room for change. As you two continue on your journey together, things will come up. Make sure you are flexible and take it year by year. If you end up staying together for a long time, there could be kids, jobs and unexpected situations. This is why I like to resort to the easiest solution. Have Thanksgiving with your own respective families and spend the rest of the weekend together in one place. If you want to be together, you can do Thanksgiving in one home and Christmas in another (if that’s a holiday you celebrate). But don’t make it a rule. See how it feels and keep moving on.