The holiday season is thick. It’s dense. It’s full of everything – parties, family gatherings, spending money, receiving and giving, eating, drinking, sharing stories, and, always, expectations. Navigating the holiday season as a newly engaged or married couple, for the first time, is exciting! But it can also be tough at times.
Newly Engaged? Use These Tips to Navigate the Holidays
To ensure your holiday season is blissful all around, here are a few tips you may find useful:
1. Give Them The 411 on Your Family’s Traditions
Take some time to share with one another all of the familial holiday traditions. Not only will it be fun to learn more about one another, but it will also allow each of you to respect and honor the other’s family traditions more. This can also help illuminate which events to prioritize in each family.
Pro tip – While you’re sharing traditions, it’s also wise to share family dynamics. For example, are there any topics that should not be brought up? Are there are special considerations to make regarding certain family members? Avoid conflict or drama by laying all the information out!
2. Set New Traditions Together
Moving forward, you’ll be building a life together, and you can now install your own traditions! It’s important for your relationship to have its own identity, and creating traditions and upholding them can help give the two of you a sense of “us.”
3. Respect Each Other’s Holiday Wishes and Beliefs
Though you’re committed to each other for life, you do not share all of the same emotions, and that’s OK! One half of your duo may be extremely holiday enthused, and the other less so. A great way to make it through the holidays successfully is to be respectful and supportive. If you’re passionate about Christmas and he’s not, try to force him or set unrealistic expectations on him. Instead, go view holiday lights with your best friend.
When it comes to beliefs and religions, the more communication between the two of you, the better. Support each other’s beliefs but also be clear about what you do, or don’t, feel comfortable with!
4. Schedule Alone Time
This is especially relevant if you live near both families and have lots of events to attend. It can be easy to get caught up in the social side of the holidays and then lose time to reconnect alone. Spending time alone is essential to the health of your relationship! If you know you have a busy calendar, then be sure to plan evenings or special dates for just the two of you!
Pro tip – If there’s been any buildup of tension for any reason, having alone time to address it will prevent a blow-up in front of the family.
5. Be Proactive About Defending Your Partner, If Needed
Let’s be real; some families are intense. Or rather, some families have one or two intense members. If Aunt Agatha won’t stop criticizing your husband about his career, step in and find a polite way to ask her to stop and to defend your man. It’s crucial that each of you feels fully supported by the other. Plus, getting defended by your partner is a wonderful feeling and will strengthen your bond.
6. Schedule Down Time
From pre-Thanksgiving through New Year’s, there’s much to celebrate and be happy about. But, sometimes, being in a state of celebration for an extended time can also be exhausting. Know the limits of yourselves and your relationship. Schedule downtime together or even separate. Everyone fills their cup in different ways, and allowing the freedom for each partner to recharge however necessary is important!
7. Manage Expectations All Around
The holidays can be filled with expectations, and learning how to manage them will make the season much more enjoyable. First, decide which events you want to attend, how much you want to spend on gifts and those sorts of details with each other. Second, be firm when telling the respective families about your decisions. For example, if you’re spending Thanksgiving with your wife’s family, let her be the one to tell them you’re choosing to stay in a hotel this year or any other important details.
8. If You’re Hosting This Year, Relax!
Hosting your first-holiday event together is exciting and rewarding! Beforehand, though, discuss the event together and make sure you’re on the same page. Additionally, give yourself a break by not holding yourselves to impossible standards. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from one another, and if needed, the guests! If people ask what they can bring, tell them something!
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We hope these tips will help you two to navigate the holiday season successfully and joyfully! The point of the holiday season is to celebrate what’s most important – love, kindness, and compassion. As you move through the season, don’t forget to use positive or loving affirmations. Be sure to check in with each other, “how are you feeling?” or “is there anything I can do to help you today?” Setting up best-practices at the beginning of your life together will set you up for a happy, long-lasting, marriage!
Need a getaway just for the two of you? Book a romantic weekend away at Doral Arrowwood Resort in Westchester, New York! Take some time to reconnect amidst the rolling countryside of New York. Get cozy by the fireplace, dine on delicious cuisine, and bask in the joy of each other!