Before you tie the knot with your significant other, there’s one crucial discussion you need to have--where to spend the holidays. When you get married, your extended family immediately grows to accommodate the in-laws. And when you have in-laws, it’s only natural that they will want to share special holidays with the newlyweds. But your parents and relatives want to share holidays with you and your spouse too. So how do you decide to celebrate the the holidays when you have two different families who want you to celebrate with them? After all, it can be a bit tricky trying to balance your loyalty to your parents as well as loyalty toward your spouse and the in-laws. Read on for some handy tips about how to navigate the holiday season as newlyweds.
First of all, discuss which holidays and traditions mean the most to you. Does your future spouse love the special Hanukkah dinner his grandmother prepares each year? Maybe you can enjoy Hanukkah dinner with his family this year and spend another day with your family to enjoy Hanukkah traditions. What if you can’t imagine missing Thanksgiving dinner with your parents, and your spouse doesn’t have any strong emotions concerning the holiday? Perhaps you can make plans to spend Thanksgiving Day with your parents and the day after Thanksgiving with his family.
Whatever you decide, make your decision concerning the holidays before you get married. This is especially true if you’re planning an autumn or winter wedding. You definitely want to struggle with this issue before your parents start asking where you’ll go to spend Christmas or Kwanzaa. And remember that none of this is set in stone. You can always change your mind next year and rearrange holiday plans to accommodate different situations. Some couples switch it up each year. For example, they may celebrate Thanksgiving with one spouse’s family the first year and celebrate with the other spouse’s family the following year.
Ask for Advice
If you don’t know how to handle the holidays as a married couple, ask your parents what they used to do when they first got hitched. Not only will they provide valuable advice about navigating the holidays as a newly married couple, but they’ll also be more empathetic about your reluctance to travel long distances several times of year to celebrate with one particular set of in-laws.
It Won’t Be Perfect
Realize that no matter where you decide to celebrate the holidays, some of your family members won’t be happy. Your mom may be upset that you won’t be at her house for Thanksgiving. Or maybe your mother-in-law isn’t exactly thrilled about you and your spouse’s decision to spend Kwanzaa with your parents. No situation is ever perfect, but everyone needs to focus on being flexible as you and your spouse split the holidays between both sides of the family.
Host the Party
If you want to avoid hurt feelings among family members when they discover you won’t be coming home for Christmas or New Year’s, why not host the party at your house? Newlyweds who want to get the whole gang together for the holidays can invited everyone to their home. This way all the in-laws can enjoy the holidays with you as a married couple, and you don’t have to worry about where you’ll travel for Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or any other holiday your family celebrates.
If you’ve never hosted a holiday before, find creative ideas on places like Pinterest. It has tons of interesting tips to help you plan a successful holiday party for the family that descends on your home during the holiday season. You don’t need to spend a bunch of money either. Keep it simple to avoid too much stress. Candles, greenery and pine cones make excellent decorations for the dining table and various rooms of your home. Play festive holiday music that will get everyone in the mood to celebrate. Here’s a handy checklist from HomeAdvisor to prepare your home for the holidays.
Managing the holidays as newlyweds isn’t easy, but it can be done. Discussing where you’ll celebrate the holidays before you get hitched is imperative if you want to avoid hurt feelings and keep the peace among two different families who may lives thousands of miles from each other. Negotiation, flexibility and sacrifice are all part of splitting the holidays with your family and the in-laws.
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