One of the challenges that many engaged and newlywed couples don’t necessarily expect to face is navigating their way through the holiday season which can be difficult.
In theory, your first holiday seasons with the one you love should be magical. But in order for it to be a success, you really need to spend time communicating about what you expect and need so that you don’t encounter any unexpected surprises. Here are some tips to help you handle holiday visits:
Talk about the holiday traditions that are most important to you.
First things first: Before you start making plans for the holidays, sit down and discuss the traditions that are important to you. From dinner at your grandparents’ house on the Sunday before Christmas to the “second Christmas” that you celebrate with your relatives who live far away, don’t leave anything out. You need to have a good understanding of your individual holiday traditions so that you can blend them into the unique traditions you are creating as a couple.
Resist the urge to criticize your spouse’s family or family traditions.
When you start discussing your holiday family traditions, steer clear of being critical of one another. You might not think that some of your their traditions are important, but if it’s important to them, it needs to matter to you, too. You don’t have to participate in the same traditions but you will have to agree on a healthy compromise that works for both of you. You will also have to show some understanding and not be critical of your spouse’s traditions. This will help you come up with a plan that works for you.
Consider starting your own holiday traditions.
If you are having a hard time figuring out how to prioritize family visits during the holiday season, it might not be a bad idea to start a tradition or two of your own. For example, you might consider hosting a Christmas breakfast with members from both sides of your family. Or you also might consider alternating years so that you go to dinner with one side of the family one year before going to dinner with the other side the next year. Like all things involving marriage, compromise can take some getting used to, but you will find a plan that works for navigating the holidays joyfully and effectively.
Deciding what you as a couple will be doing for the holiday seasons is just one of the many things you need to talk about when preparing for marriage. Online Marriage Preparation can help by providing you with the guided conversations that will make it easy. Go to www.onlinemarriageprep.com to learn more about the different courses we offer.