Kate Middleton & Prince William: Split the Holidays, It's Good for You

Jeanne Sager

Kate Middleton Prince WilliamThe sizzling romance of the year just got a bucket of cold water thrown on it. Word has it British lovebirds Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't even spend Christmas together, and they might spend the new year's holidays apart too. Before you call it quits for the couple, this is good news.

If Kate can stand up and say "hey, I want to spend Christmas with my folks," she's already doing one better than her late mother-in-law in standing up to the crown. And for those of you who aren't marrying into a royal family (really, none of you?), she's setting a good example of how not to lose yourself when you get engaged.

Because we've all lost that friend forever. You know the type. She takes the all or nothing approach to engagement. She starts dating a guy, and suddenly the sun rises and sets with him, his friends and his family. If you see her once a month, you're doing good. If you see her once a year, well, that's more likely.

As much as I bristle at the term "bros before hos," more women could use the sentiment behind it in their lives. They'd lose fewer friends. And they'd lose less of themselves. What better time to practice it than during the holidays?

Christmas is about family. Your Mom, your Dad, your kid brother, they're your family. For 20, 25, 30 years you've had Christmas in the same manner -- with them. Why should one guy change that? Even if he's about to become your family, and you're about to launch into new traditions, marriage is ultimately a partnership.

In 10 years of marriage, I've learned that the best new traditions should be rooted in some that carried you through childhood in order to offer bits of both of you for an equal coupling. I brought opening one gift on Christmas Eve to the relationship. He brought National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to the mix. Together, we've come up with more traditions to be followed, and I wouldn't give any of them up.

That said, it sounds like Kate and Wills took it a bit far. He volunteered to work a shift with his helicopter search and rescue crew in North Wales, and she was with her family. Boooring! Unless you spend pieces of their engagement living far away from one another, there's no reason you can't spend half a day with one family and half with the other to offer the best of both worlds. It's a merging, people! With their money, they could have handled it. Did you cut your family out when you got engaged?


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