William and I got married last October, and it was quite the conversation in our household how we would split our time among families for the holidays. Do we keep with our old family traditions? Do we start new ones? Is it okay to dress the dogs in sweaters? So we compromised and sat down and came up with a clear vision of what our holidays would look like.
This year, we will be spending Thanksgiving apart and Christmas together. It’s a little nontraditional but practical (which is totally us!). Here’s a few tips for holidays when you’re a newlywed:
Sit down with your spouse and chat about what traditions you like, which ones you are excited for, and which ones leave you drained. This is the time to decide if you want to spend Christmas with his family, your family, or as a married couple in your new home. Our first year of marriage, we did Christmas and Thanksgiving with just the two of us. It was right after a season of two months of traveling and being away from home for me, and all I wanted for Christmas was to spend time with my husband.
Planning on doing one holiday with his family and one with yours? Communicate that with your families and coordinate what days you will be with them. Miscommunications often come from not picking up the phone and saying,”Hey this is what we have decided as a couple. This is what we would love to do.”
Once the plan is in place, be present with your new spouse. This is fun time to start new traditions and introduce each other to family members who may not have been at the wedding. Put your phones away and spend time with your new family. One of the traditions William and I started is giving each other books for Christmas. One of my favorite books that I have given to my newlywed clients is the Marriage 365 book. It has 365 open-ended, connecting questions to ask your spouse. It’s a great way to learn more about each other!
Your mom may have cooked a 23 pound turkey with exactly 2.5 liters of gravy every single year, but that does not mean you have to do the exact same thing. Last year, we went to Sprouts grocery store and had our Thanksgiving catered and went on a hike. It was perfect and it was us. Have grace with yourself that the holiday doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be together.
I hope you found a few of these tips helpful! I’d love to hear some of your favorite holiday traditions in the comments below!
Happy Thanksgiving my friends!