Most newlyweds have similar difficulties regarding the holidays. In a bad marriage, the couple argues about the issue. In a good marriage the couple argue, discuss, and compromise.
It's good that you cleared the air about what bothers you about the other's family. Your next steps are to discuss, then compromise on where to spend the holiday. Remember that you can't be at two places simultaneously.
You have options:
One option is travel together to Boston. First, Greg, assure Marnie that she is more important to you than your folks. Tell her, "We've been near your Mother all year, please, let's take turns. This year it's Boston with or without your Mother. Next year we'll stay in town." Marnie, accept his invitation that includes Mom. If Mom does not agree to join you, too bad. Remember your first loyalty is to your husband. Behave graciously and respectfully to his parents. Who knows -- maybe all of you will have fun.
Feedback from a Visitor:
Just thought I would drop a note to say that perhaps the best communication my husband and I have ever had in our nearly thirty-five-year marriage is the following: "we are not one another's enemies." If we continue to have a great relationship, we need to deal with the in-laws and the "out-laws" as a team. It really does work. It is not us against them -- it is that we are (while autonomous individuals) standing as one in compelling family matters.
Another option is to stay in town with Marnie's widowed mother. Marnie, assure Greg that your love for him is more important than for your mom. Ask him, "Please, this first year let's stay in town and include Mom. Next year, when I feel more secure we will spend Christmas with your folks."
A third option is possible because you have no children. Marne, spend the day with your Mom. Greg can fly home, and return the next day for a wonderful reunion with Marnie.
Still another option is to spend the holiday alone without any family. Explain to each side this is your decision for the first year of marriage. No one needs to be hurt; only disappointed.
Whatever the option you choose, you need to stand firm as a couple, your loyalty being to each other first and foremost.