The holidays are for spending time with loved ones and celebrating traditions—and those traditions started somewhere. If you’re newly married and celebrating the holidays together for the first time as a married couple, this is your time to lean into old traditions and also start some of your own. Whether it’s cooking comfort food and staying indoors, throwing a party, or setting up a gift exchange, there’s no limit on how to celebrate the holidays as newlyweds.
This probably isn’t the first round of holidays that you’re spending together as a couple. Now that you’re married, though, you need to figure out how to either split your time between both family sides or bring everyone together in one larger celebration. There are few ways to navigate this:
You likely had to request time off from work for your wedding and maybe your honeymoon, too. So, when the holidays roll around, you need to double-check what days you can and can’t be out of the office.
Plan out which days you want to request off (to possibly match your partner’s schedule) in advance. Consider any travel time, too, and cushion your holidays with travel days as needed.
If your schedules are typically rigid during the holidays, make the appropriate changes to your holiday plans. For example, if your partner has work during/around the holidays, it might be smart to host a celebration. This cuts out travel time and won’t require more days off from work.
You got the days off, you know where you’re celebrating, now it’s time to plan your new traditions or activities.
If you’re the type to exchange gifts during the holidays, now’s a good time to establish how you want to approach gift-giving each year. Some married couples join finances, while others keep things separate. Here are some things to consider:
Sure, the holidays are about friends and family and traditions and all that. Really, though, they’re about food—a lot of it. Fortunately, there aren’t any rules around what kind of foods qualify as holiday staples so you can feel free to make whatever you want.
Whether you do a holiday cookie swap, recreate your family’s beloved recipes, order Chinese, or go completely rogue, it’s your holiday tradition to create. This can be your menu every year or you can switch up.
From stringing lights on the roof to hanging ornaments to lighting the menorah, there’s no shortage of holiday decor to brighten up your space. Setting time to add a touch of holiday spirit to your space can serve as a great tradition that you come back to every year.
Stick to what you know from growing up or strike out on your own with a new color palette. Whether you decide to incorporate elements from your upbringing or start from scratch, holiday decorating is something that can be habitual and set the tone for the following years (as you store holiday decorations for each upcoming year). Liven up the festivities with themed music, appetizers, or cocktails.
Regardless of whether or not you and your partner decide to partake in all (or one) of the traditional holiday festivities, it’s important to note that this time of year is a personal experience between the two of you. Enjoy this time, and build lasting memories that are curtailed to your preferences—and not those of others.