Talk About the Holidays Early
It is probably not the best time to sort out details for a holiday the week or night before. Beginning to have early conversations about where and how holidays will be spent can take some of the pressure of these decisions later on. The earlier that you can begin to explore the expectations and hopes about time with family, the less urgent and pressured the conversations feel. It allows you, as a couple, to discuss what is important to each of you and the best way to engage with the two families you are now both a part of.
The key is to know what is important to each of you at the holidays. Take some time to discuss and explore what traditions are extremely important and special to each of you. This creates clarity on the different pieces of holidays that each of you would like to hold on to. It can also create clarity on which things are more negotiable.
Acknowledge your and your partner’s feelings
Being married and spending certain holidays away from your family can bring with it a sadness, no matter how much you love your in-laws. It is normal to miss your traditions or family and important to acknowledge these feelings. It is also important to remember that your partner may have similar experiences when they are with your family. Being able to be open about these feelings of sadness or loss in addition to the excitement and love will create a more authentic conversation between you both.
Things will change and that’s okay.
Change is inevitable in marriage. The same applies to how you will navigate holidays together. It is okay to give yourselves the freedom to change the way that you do holidays throughout the years. What works this year may not work next year or in ten years…that’s okay. The flexibility to adjust your holiday plans throughout the years will allow for family changes and unexpected circumstances to be handled as they come.
Create your own traditions as a couple
Amidst all the beautiful traditions you and your partner may bring from your families of origin, there is also the chance to create your own traditions as a new family unit! This could include traditions from each other’s families but it also could include completely new traditions that you start together. This allows the two of you to share in special new holiday celebrations that are unique to you as a married couple!