This year has absolutely flown by, and we are somehow already embarking on the holiday season! For some of you, this may even be you and your husband’s very first holiday season as a married couple! As exciting, new, and joyful as that is, the holidays can also lead to stress and conflict if we allow them to do so. It is with that in mind that I want to share with you newly married ladies a few tips to aid you in your endeavor to make holiday memories this year that will last a lifetime!
Remember who you are.
On the day you got married, you and your husband became one flesh (see Genesis 2:23-24). From that moment on, you are on the same team and have become a new family unit. With that in mind, remember as you approach the holidays that you have the freedom to craft this season they way you and your husband want it to be. You don’t have to automatically go along with anything and everything your in-laws or your friends or anyone else wants you to do this season. You get to decide what the holidays will look like for your new family! You get to make new traditions and enjoy the freedom which comes with being married now.
One thing you do want to make sure is that you don’t exercise your freedom as your own family unit in a way that will hurt the feelings of your extending family members! Do not unnecessarily rain on their parade or come down hard on their wishes because of differing plans. You are to still show your parents (and your husband’s parents!) honor even as you perhaps disagree on what the holidays should look like this year.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to show consideration for your new husband’s wishes, as well! Your husband grew up with his own unique childhood and has his own history – there are likely various holiday traditions from his growing-up years that mean a lot to your husband. Take those into consideration as you make your plans for the months ahead.
Just as your husband has particular traditions and things he likes to do to celebrate the holidays, you probably do, as well! Don’t keep these to yourself. Don’t expect your husband to know your entire history or to be able to read your mind and assume your expectations as you approach the holidays. Be open and honest – exercise good communication as you share with your husband what would make the holiday season special for you.
Make it yours.
After you have heard from your husband what would make the holidays special for him and once you have shared with him your hopes and dreams for the approaching season, make a list of those traditions, recipes, and events you talked about. Combine what your husband likes, what means a lot to you, and also something new that you want to begin in your own new family, and see what it all looks like on paper.
What all do you have on that list? Consider what recipes you need to gather, what events or parties need to be scheduled and planned for, ponder which extended family members you will visit when, and plug it all into the calendar for November and December (and January, if need be!).
Make time for everything you can, but plan ahead in this way so that you can see what is practical and truly feasible for the time you have available. Being intentional in this way to plan out things ahead of time as much as you can will enable you to do all the things you want to do without feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. And it will ensure that you don’t inadvertently allow your very first holiday season to fly by lately uncelebrated.
Make It a Holiday Season to Remember!
With humility, grace, a listening ear, and a heart that desires to learn, you and your husband can, together, fashion a holiday season you will look back on with fondness and joy. This is the only first holiday season you will ever have together, and you won’t be able to get it back. Sit down with your husband, practice good communication and a healthy dose of consideration, and you will be on the fast track to a beautiful, memorable, festive, and fun holiday season!