Any other married couples out there can attest to the fact that holidays can be hard. Holidays mean making compromises and discussing who’s family you’ll spend holidays with. Holidays mean families who are used to having you around for each big day being disappointed by your absence Christmas morning. Just last year I wrote a blog post about a newlywed’s guide to splitting up holidays. But holidays as a married couple are also amazing because it means you get to create your own holiday traditions together! Dave and I moved in together a few years before getting married, so we’ve had a bit of a headstart on creating our own holiday traditions. Here are a few ways you can create some with your spouse!
Have a Friendsgiving
I’m not sure what your families are like but in ours, Thanksgiving is a bit of a second-rate holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving. I love the food, I love getting to sit around the table with the whole extended family, I love the colors and the decor, and I love the sentiment behind remembering all of your blessings and everything you’re thankful for. But my family and Dave’s would gladly give up Thanksgiving with us to have us with them on Christmas because that’s the big one. Thanksgiving is also hard because while Christmas can be celebrated over the course of several days, Thanksgiving is really just one day. Then Friday comes and it’s all about shopping and Christmas.
Because of that, I think Friendsgiving is a great idea! We still celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, but Saturday did it all over again with some good friends! If you can’t travel to see family for Thanksgiving, or don’t want to choose which family to spend it with, consider gathering some close friends and hosting your own Thanksgiving. Or do as many others do (including us) and have the best of both worlds, with Friendsgiving on a different day.
Plan a Shopping Day
Usually, every year on Black Friday we would go out to breakfast with my extended family and spend the day shopping. We aren’t serious Black Friday shoppers, we do breakfast at like 9 and definitely take our time. We mosey around the mall and Target.
As an alternative to heading out of the house, you and your significant other can spend the day in your jammies curled up on the couch with your laptop, doing some online Black Friday shopping while binge-watching Netflix!
P.S. I realize the first two tips here aren’t very timely, given that Thanksgiving has passed. This post was originally meant to be written last week, but I decided to take a week off from blogging. But mental notes for next year, yes?
One of the things Dave and I always make a note to buy on Black Friday is a few new pieces to add to our Christmas decor collection. Then, usually Saturday or Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, we spend the day decorating the house! This year is especially exciting for us because it’s our first year actually owning and living in a house as opposed to the apartment we rented before! Naturally, that meant we had to purchase quite a few new pieces, but no complaining here!
To really get into the holiday spirit, spend a day decorating with your spouse, turn up the Christmas music, and make a cup of hot cocoa (with extra marshmallows!)
Pick a Holiday Movie
I know a lot of families who have their own traditional holiday movie that they watch during the holiday season. Growing up, it was It’s a Wonderful Life. We would always have that on while we decorated the tree. For Dave and I, it’s the Die Hard series. Strange choice, I know.
Even though it’s something as simple as a movie, it’s still fun to look forward to the night where you hop into your pajamas, curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and your loved one, and have that annual viewing.
Have Your Own Christmas
Each year Dave and I go either to Milwaukee to celebrate Christmas with my family or Michigan to celebrate Christmas with his family. Someday we’ll celebrate in our own home, but we’re just not there yet. Because of this, we always have our own small Christmas celebration in our home before the big day with just the two of us. This is when we exchange gifts and either go out to dinner or cook a special dinner at home. We usually plan on doing this just a day or two before Christmas and end up doing it a week or two before when we have our gifts all wrapped and ready to go. We’re impatient and both just too excited about giving the other person their gift!
This is one small but super fun way of having our own private Christmas while still being able to celebrate Christmas Day with our families.
What holiday traditions have you incorporated into your marriage?
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