The Christmas season is such a wonderful time of year, isn’t it? There’s so much excitement, so many gatherings to attend, and so many people to see. Family traditions are lived out and it’s a wonderful opportunity to reminisce about past Christmases.
As amazing as the Christmas season is, it can also be stressful trying to visit so many friends and family. It can be difficult as a couple to discern which side of the family to be with and when. Sometimes the beloved family traditions can be difficult to blend because of in-laws, expectations, or finances.
When my husband and I were newly married, someone wisely advised us to focus on honoring our family’s traditions during the holidays, as in the two of us. Even though we didn’t have children, we could start creating our own family traditions that were important to both of us.
This advice helped us to set a great foundation because it reminded us that we were a family and that our desires and traditions were important, not just those of our families of origin. It encouraged us to both blend our family’s traditions and create our own. It empowered us to make our own decisions, even if they were different than what our family expected.
Establish Your Own Traditions
Here are a few tips that can help you to establish your own family’s traditions during the holiday season:
- You have permission: When you leave your father and mother and are joined to your spouse, you’re a family unit. Your primary responsibility is to each other and with that comes the permission and freedom to create your own traditions.
- Your traditions can include your extended families: You don’t have to exclude your extended family, but only include them as you’ve both agreed.
- Consider your personalities and preferences: If one or both of you are introverts who loathe parties and running around, then determine how many gatherings you’ll attend to protect your energy and mental health. If one or both of you are extroverts who love attending every gathering possible, then have fun! Or if you’re somewhere in the middle, decide how many events you’d like to attend and prioritize your invitations.
- Spend within your means: It’s extremely easy to overspend on gifts. As a couple, discuss your budget and create boundaries that allow you to be generous, but to spend within your means.
- Have fun! The holidays are such a special time of year. Enjoy them together and take lots of pictures so that you’ll have them to look back on in the years to come.
We’d love to know: what is a holiday tradition you’ve created with your spouse?