Holidays are doubly stressful when you’re in a couple. Shaun and I have to celebrate with four families in three states (since both of our parents are divorced), plus visit home friends within a very short span of time. How do we do it and still manage to enjoy our time off without spending most of it in a car?
You think holidays are stressful when you’re in a couple? Try holidays as a couple when your boyfriend is a vegetarian too. What on earth can I cook? (And don’t say tofurkey, because that is just flat-out disgusting.)
Before you guys go anywhere, sit down together and decide exactly who you are going to visit when. Be economical. You can’t possibly visit four sets of parents in one holiday without having nervous breakdowns. Decide who gets you for Thanksgiving, who gets you for Christmas, who gets you for Hanukkah. This is one of the few times you can use the fact that one of you is Christian and one of you is Jewish to your advantage. DO IT.
Then, choose your travel times wisely. Sometimes it’s better to drive on Thursday and skip the pre-Thanksgiving traffic. If you have to do two sets at once, visit the ones geographically closest. Also, come up with some ground rules for the car – music you can both enjoy, for instance. Finally, and most importantly, just decide you’re going to have fun. Have a sense of humor. The best thing to get you through crazy family time is just being able to laugh together.
Oh, and one more thing: discuss presents. Set clear expectations for each other. There is nothing worse then getting your significant other something they can’t run faster to the store with to exchange. Correction, there is nothing worse than getting your significant other something they hate that they CAN’T exchange.
Negative on the tofurkey. One of the best (and worst) parts about the holidays is the food. Actually the abundance of different kinds of food. I’m pretty sure that if Bryan doesn’t want to eat Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, he will survive and even feel just as full as the rest of us carnivores.
If you’re cooking a full meal, there’s nothing wrong with making a little Cornish hen for yourself. You don’t need to cook an entire turkey, since these little guys are individual sized. Or any other meat. Just make one steak or a few meatballs. Actually my family does holiday breakfast, which involves an egg casserole, fresh bread, and maybe some ham. But honestly, I don’t even eat the ham because I feel so full from the rest. So maybe consider changing the traditions if you can’t agree on a typical meal. My mom used to make two versions of everything, one normal dish with meat, and one mini dish without. It’s really easy to do, by just adding meat last and using two different sized serving dishes. This works with lasagna, meat pie, soup, stir fry, etc.
I think the best part of any meal is the carbs anyway. Vegetarians can still enjoy mashed potatoes, applesauce, pie, vegetables, bread, and even stuffing if it’s not made with meat. I had a stint as a vegetarian in high school and college. I never wanted anyone to fuss over the fact that I didn’t eat meat. I was totally fine eating whatever else was available. I’m sure Bryan feels the same.
Carnivore’s dilemma solved,