The holidays are here with us and they are times to celebrate and have fun with family and loved ones. Traditions come to life and good times are to be had by all. But what happens after you have tied the knot and now the two families are forced to become one during the holidays?
A milestone in any romantic relationship is your first holiday together and making new memories to share in the years to come. Yet each individual has their own family and friends, along with customs and traditions that are near and dear to their heart.
Now, conversations and compromises are in order. To help things go smoothly and avoid any holiday tension, here are some of the things you must do to keep the peace.
Communication is Key
It may seem like a now issue, but handling how to split the holidays can actually affect your relationship in the years to come. So if you find yourselves arguing or intentionally avoiding the uncomfortable task of planning how to spend the season, you’ll want to think again.
To start, recognize that while you each are forging a path for the future together, you both come from equally important families that may or may not have special traditions and you cant expect one another to simply leave them behind. Instead, find a balance.
A Learning Process
Whether your backgrounds are alike or similar, familiarize yourself with holiday customs, traditions, and recipes from each side. You may find that some lend themselves and this may ease in the compromises.
In most instances, people find themselves with a partner who was raised very similarly or perhaps very differently. We might have become attracted to and married someone with a very different background and initially felt eager to learn about that but when the holidays approach, we might find ourselves under more pressure from our own families and our partners for how to make this all come together.
If you have never missed Christmas Eve away from your parents’ house, but for your partner, the importance is more on the Christmas Day problem solved. If, however, you both feel strongly about a specific day, it may be time to rotate, split the day if distance allows, or forge ahead with an entirely new experience of your own.
Regardless of having to hammer out the details, the number one most important thing to keep in mind is that you should really be handling the holidays together. The worst thing that can happen is when one person decides it is all too much bother and too much work and says they will go on their own to see their own family. Doing so does not send the message to each other or to the respective families that the couple is in this together.
How to Find Solutions
What works for one couple may not work for you, but remember that there is always a solution.
Its also important to remember that whatever course of action you take this year does not dictate the future, nor does it set in stone how to proceed for every holiday season to come. Instead, view it as a trial and error experience. As a new couple, it is good to give yourselves the flexibility to borrow what works and then tweak and create brand new special traditions.
Keep in mind the reason for the season, after all when you feel that you are getting tense or stressed. Always remember that love, kindness, and gratitude should be the driving force behind the holidays.
And don’t forget about self-care. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important to take time for yourselves as a couple, too. While it’s easy to get lost in holiday plans and family gatherings, be sure to prioritize time dedicated to enjoying the new family you are creating together. This may involve going on a day trip somewhere new, going into nature, or taking a yoga class together.
It all boils down to compromise, communication, and honesty. Handling the holidays gently, firmly, kindly, and fairly for each other and in relation to each person’s family of origin goes a long way.
Practicing these skills now is also great practice for the future for example when couples may go on to have children and will juggle demands for attention from grandparents and extended family and will need to set boundaries.
Its all part of the beautiful growing process that is being a couple in love. So, do your best to embrace this holiday season with an open mind and heart.