There’s a reason engagement season stretches from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day—there’s nothing more magical than the holiday season! Twinkling lights and softly falling snow make for beautiful backdrops to that proposal you’ve been waiting for, and the winter months are full of opportunities to get together with the people you love and celebrate this major milestone. Heading into the holidays as a newly engaged couple? Here’s what to expect.
Toasts & Champagne
Since you’ll be spending time with family and friends pretty frequently during the holidays, that means you’ll have ample opportunities to share the news (and celebrate!) in person. You and your partner will definitely be the center of attention! If you’re more of the private type, make sure to schedule in quiet time between all the parties so you can unwind and regroup, and don’t be afraid to step away for a few minutes if it gets overwhelming. Practice being humble and gracious, thanking everyone for their kindness and good wishes. And make sure any other big news, like your cousin getting accepted to her top choice for college, gets acknowledged, too!
Lots of Wedding Questions
Whether you’ve been engaged for a few hours or a few weeks, the questions about your big day are going to start right away. Your loved ones will want to know when you’re getting married, where, what it will look like, and, of course, whether they’ll be invited. But don’t feel pressured to answer! If that ring has only been on your finger for a short while, you can definitely say “Right now we’re just enjoying this moment, we haven’t planned anything!” and leave it at that. If you actually have started to plan, do not feel like you have to divulge all of the details—especially if the person you’re chatting with won’t be getting an invitation. Let them know that you’re still figuring things out and want to keep the details under wraps for the time being. Talking to your family? They should already know the date and location by now, but if you’d rather focus on the holidays instead of getting into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning, say so!
Daydreaming About the Future
You’re engaged, which means all those thoughts you’ve had about your future—from where you might live to how many children you’ll have—are a little more real. The holiday traditions you and your partner start this year could be ones you continue with your own family down the road. Take notes about how your friends and relatives host throughout the season, because these tips and ideas (as well as things you’d do differently) will be invaluable when it’s your turn to play hostess.
How could you possibly be blue with so much to celebrate? Well, it happens, and it’s a lot more common than you might think. Balancing your own family’s traditions while bringing your partner (officially) into the fold can be overwhelming, and can definitely make opening gifts on Christmas morning feel stressful instead of fun. And it might hit you as you fall asleep in your childhood bed after a massive Thanksgiving feast that, next year, you’ll be falling asleep next to your spouse (!).
Splitting the holidays between both of your families can also bring up feelings of sadness—it might be the first time you’ve spent Christmas Eve away from home, and that feeling of leaving your family behind to go celebrate with your in-laws can definitely sting a little. Whatever the feelings may be, remember that you have your partner by your side, so talk it out. There’s a chance he or she is feeling many of the same things, and while navigating two families during the holidays is tough, it’s a lot easier with someone you love by your side. Be patient and give yourself the space and quiet you might need. Enjoy the celebrations, squeeze your fiancé a little tighter, and know that, even if it takes a few years, you’ll find a rhythm and balance that makes you and your families feel extra loved.