From Wedding Bells to Sleigh Bells: A Guide to Your First Newlywed Holiday.
Just as the honeymoon phase hits an all-time high, the holidays roll around and everything
seems to come to a halt. Whose family will get the newlyweds on the big holiday? Will you be
able to attend all the get-togethers? How on earth do you decide? Your partner is really
connected to special family traditions, while spending time cooking and celebrating with your
family truly brings out your holiday spirit. What’s the best approach so you can enjoy your first
holiday in wedded bliss?
For starters, you could trade off each year — his family for Thanksgiving and yours for
Christmas, then swap next year — or split the day between the two families. However, if your
family lives nearby, or one is keen on traveling, you could take control of your holiday by
spending them on your own terms. For your first married holiday, why not play the host? If
you’re game for organizing your own holiday gathering, here are a few tips to help you stress
less and enjoy more.
Hosting your own holiday for the first time means getting your house ready for the season.
Regardless of the size of your home, from a one-bedroom apartment to a new, two-story house,
making your environment merry and bright will start your new holiday off on the right foot.
Decorating together will help you and your partner own your holiday as a couple by:
● Establishing a balance between your tastes.
● Allowing you to share your favorite holiday decorations.
● Getting excited about each other’s holiday traditions.
● Baking goodies together that you can enjoy and share.
● Making each other a priority.
The holidays simply aren’t the holidays without pecan pie, eggnog and singing carols at the
park. Well, for you, at least. For your partner, Christmas Eve always starts out with church and
Christmas Day ends with a trip to the movie theater. Whatever your holiday traditions may be,
figuring out how to combine them — or at least compromise — can make your first holiday party a much more satisfying success. Here are a few ways to blend your traditions, while also
making a few of your own:
● Ask your partner which traditions are a priority and discuss how they can be a part of
your holiday plans. Don’t forget to ask yourself the same question.
● Ask your families, friends and other invitees about their favorite traditional holiday foods
so you can make a menu that touches everyone’s stomachs and hearts. Consider
making the meal a potluck where people can bring or make their own favorite dishes to
● Stock up on favorite board games or group activities that appeal to both families.
● Create a holiday music playlist that combines your favorite tunes or be sure to rent or
buy holiday movies that are a nostalgic part of both of your traditions.
● Start one new tradition, no matter how simple, that speaks to you as a couple and that
everyone can enjoy.
Eat, Drink and Don’t Forget to Breathe
Hosting your first holiday is a great way to sidestep the sometimes difficult decision on who to
spend the day with. But that also means you have a new level of stress: mixing families and
friends may feel like mixing oil and water. Here are a few ways to help you pull off your holiday
gathering without a hitch:
● When you feel overwhelmed or pressured, remember to breathe. Take a walk, listen to
music and reframe negative thoughts as positive affirmations. Remember what really
matters and let everything else roll off your back
● If you don’t have enough plates, serving dishes, chairs or knives, ask for some grown-up
holiday gifts ahead of time so you can blend elegance and coziness.
● Give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead. Creating a signature cocktail might be a lot of
fun, unless your partner’s family is uncomfortable around alcohol. You may roll out the
overnight welcome mat, but then you run out of beds. Plan several weeks in advance so
you can get ahead of the what-ifs.
Holidays can be stressful for anyone. From last-minute gifts to toys that have sold out, from
driving circles around parking lots to trying to keep the cat out of the Christmas tree, the last
thing you need is more stress. The truth is, however, it may take years of trial and error before a
newly married couple finds their holiday groove. The most important part is that you try to have fun along the way!