May + Marie Photography
One of the very most exciting parts about getting married is experiencing life with the person you love. When the holidays arrive, the excitement is through the roof! Suddenly, things you have celebrated for years are brought to new life. Each family has its own holiday traditions, and when you celebrate your first holiday season together as newlyweds, you begin separate traditions merging into something new. As is true anytime you are entering new territory, there can be challenges and pitfalls along the way. I wanted to give y’all a few tips for navigating the holiday season as newlyweds!
Usually the first challenge faced by newlywed couples is managing expectations of both families and trying to keep everyone happy. You have had your own traditions and things to look forward to each holiday as has your spouse, and even though you are so excited to spend the holidays together, change can be hard. All of the family will be eager to have you at their holiday dinners, parties, and family celebrations. Some may unfortunately even make snide remarks or snarky comments if you cannot meet their expectations during the holidays. This can be hurtful and difficult, but something to always remember and frankly THE most important thing is: communicate with your spouse! As long as the two of you are on the same page and there for eachother, you will get through it happily!
The first few years of your marriage it is SUPER important to establish special traditions with your new spouse! It is also important to have a conversation with them before anyone else in your family about what you both envision for the holidays. If you two are on the same page before you start coordinating family plans it will help IMMENSELY! Constantly remind yourself that it could take a little while for everyone to find their new normal and that you do not have to do it the same way each year. Be sure to communicate with your families and let them know your hearts on the matter and how excited you are to see them and share some special time with them, and that you appreciate their grace as you and your new spouse navigate through your first holidays together!
Creating Your Own Traditions and Blending Family Traditions
Like I mentioned above, the single most important thing to any relationship is COMMUNICATION! It is so important that you and your spouse decide together how you want to spend the holidays and what little traditions you want to start in your own new family unit. Communicating with your spouse about what is important to them, and also with your families and then blending the two is super important. Compromise is key in this process also! Remember that there is not a right way or a wrong way – AND that you do not have to do the same thing each year the exact same way. Pick out a couple of traditions or activities for each holiday that make it special for the two of you and run with those! Examples: Run the Turkey Trot together on Thanksgiving Morning, Have a gingerbread house building contest with each other, or bake Christmas Cookies for your neighbors and decorate them together, carve pumpkins together, compare deviled egg recipes on Easter and talk about who used to make them in your family and why they are so special to you (or if it isn’t eggs, maybe your family had a special bread recipe, or coconut cake…the list goes on and on)…be CREATIVE and plan some cute activities together that will be fun traditions you can enjoy each year. The main thing to remember while doing this is: Have fun with it! You do not have to develop all of your family holiday traditions in the first few years of being married.
Decking the Halls
In my opinion, the best advice for preparing your home for your first holiday season together is to start off on a smaller scale. Lights, garlands, wreaths, ornaments, a tree are a lot of things to manage and can also get expensive if you buy them all at once! Start out by seeing what you both have together and choosing a few things you’d like to use to decorate for your first year. New couples do not start out with all of their decorations and traditions already in place. It takes years to acquire all the pieces you want for your home and holidays, and traditions aren’t formed at once, but over the span of many years spent together! So go slow, and years from now you will be overjoyed and surprised at all of the holiday treasures you have collected and the traditions you have come to hold close to your heart.
Wishlists for Newlyweds
One of the very best parts of being newlyweds during the holiday season is that gifts seem to come in great abundance from all directions during your first year! Many of these can be a great opportunity for you to fill in gaps left from your wedding registry, and help build your home. When family and friends ask about your wishlist, consider asking for practical gifts like serving platters, serving cutlery, knives, indoor plants, or a kitchen appliance you are dying to call yours! There are many things you can add to your list that will benefit you and your spouse for years to come!
The holidays are a magical time of the year, and they become even more magical when you spend them with the absolute love of your life. No matter what steps you take in your planning, make them with your spouse and remember to keep the love in everything that you do!
Photographer | www.mayandmarie.com
Bride & Groom | Valerie & Wesley Loewen