The first year of marriage is crucial to newlyweds as they navigate their lives together. You want to prepare for plenty of compromises and adjustment periods. The holidays are tricky as newlyweds find their footing and unify their families.
Marriage melds families together and can be a beautiful celebration on all fronts. However, when traditions coincide, appeasing family members might cause strife in your new marriage. Here are some ways to navigate the holiday season with your new spouse as harmoniously as possible.
Create Your Own Traditions
Respect the traditions that came before you, but don’t discount the opportunity to start your own traditions. Change is inevitable with marriage and you’ll need to learn how to roll with the punches.
Whether you choose to split your time between families for the holidays or gather together for one big holiday, find something that works for the two of you. Holidays can be magical, filled with joy and celebration – whatever that looks like for you.
However, opposing family traditions and expectations can damper your holiday spirit. Release the idea that the first holiday season will be everything that you want it to be. Traditions don’t have to be extravagant. Mark your first year with something you love to do together so you can continue throughout your marriage, like baking cookies on Christmas Eve or driving around to look at Christmas lights.
Discuss Gifting Options
The holidays can be stressful for many reasons as newlyweds, but the extra gift-giving can be a big one. Discuss options with your spouse that can work for your family.
Consider drawing names to decide who to buy for and setting a price limit to make it fair. Every family works differently at Christmas, so learning how each other’s families operate can strengthen your bond as a couple and meld your traditions together.
There are plenty of gift-giving options, like Secret Santa and White Elephant gift exchanges. Get creative with your families and discover new ways to celebrate the holidays with each other that don’t require over-extending your budget as newlyweds. You can gift each other appliances you need in your new home or experiences rather than tangible items.
Check in with your spouse and acknowledge how you’re both feeling. Choosing which side of the family to celebrate or gather with around the holidays can elicit strong emotions. Don’t let your families and their ideas of what the holidays should look like drive a wedge between you.
You don’t have to fall for the guilt trip your parents lay on you to appease their holiday wishes. However, you can work with your spouse to find a happy medium that will likely please both sets of parents.
Remember that this is new to your spouse as well – you’re in this together. Discuss how you are feeling with each other without letting your feelings control you. Ensure you listen to each other and find common ground. Find a compromise, like switching between families you visit each year for the holidays, and respect each other’s emotions when it isn’t your year with your side of the family.
Navigating Holidays as Newlyweds
Set healthy boundaries and act as a team during the holidays and year-round. Remain a united front and stand firm in your decisions that support and respect each other. The holidays are what you make them. Utilize these tips to have an incredible first holiday season with your new wife or husband.
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