I know it's a little early for a Christmas story, but I wanted to share this in case it helps someone else this season. When my husband and I were first married, we had to travel five to six hundred miles to visit both families and all the sub-families resulting from our parents' divorces. By the end of Christmas Day, I was usually in tears from the stress and strain. That's when my husband vowed that I would never again cry on Christmas.
One year, I was heavily pregnant at Christmas time (our son was born in January), and later that year, my husband put his foot down. We were no longer traveling those long distances. If families wanted to see us on Christmas, they had to come to our house and get along with each other. We didn't hear a lot of complaining about this, although the visits were few and far between. That was okay, because that enabled us to start our OWN traditions that we continue to this day. Our son is now in college, and we look forward to having him home for Christmas and it suits us just fine that it's a small gathering. Obviously, I married a MAN who put the protection and support of HIS family above the wishes of our relatives. I hope others think about doing this as well, so the season isn't full of undue family stress.