Where to spend Christmas my family's house or hers?

Dear MTN,

Every single year around the holidays my girlfriend and I argue about how to split our time between our families. I feel because I am the guy that I always get the short end of the stick. I would not mind going to my girlfriend’s parent's house if they were more welcoming to me. My girlfriend does not seem to understand that I work very hard all year and on the holidays I would like to be surrounded by loved ones instead of awkwardly ignored by her family.

Her mother is very headstrong and controlling so I know my girlfriend would never stand up to her about me needing to see my family as well or about the way they treat me.

My girlfriend thinks since we go to my mother's house on Christmas Eve that I should be happy. But the rest of my family goes to my mother's house on Christmas and they go to their in-laws on Christmas Eve.

What should I do? The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, not stress. For once, I would like to do what I want to do for the holidays. She also wants to get married. I'm not sure if I want to marry her because then I feel like I'll never get to see my family for Christmas.

Please advise.

 - Charlie

Dear Charlie,

I can see how difficult this must be for you, especially since the rest of your family all get together at Christmas. I typically say in general that the man should give in at Christmas and spend Christmas with the woman's family, especially if the woman's family hosts a big event. However your case is different since they are not welcoming towards you.

You need to tell your girlfriend how their behavior makes you feel. The holidays should be a happy time spent together with family. That is not the case for you. She needs to be more understanding about your feelings.

Since your family has a big event on Christmas I suggest you alternate each year, spending Christmas Eve at her family's house, and Christmas at your mother's house. By switching it up every year it will be fair for both of you, and hopefully after your girlfriend knows how you feel, her family will be friendlier towards you.

Merry Christmas!

 - MTN