How to Navigate Your First Holiday Season as a Married Couple

Don't stress!

Updated 12/24/17

Stocksy

The holiday season is always busy—you find your schedule chock full of family and social events, work happenings, shopping, cooking, and more. For couples who are newly married, there’s an added layer of excitement, but also one of obligation. Instead of navigating such a busy time solo, you now have to think, act, and RSVP for two.

Feeling overwhelmed thinking of how to navigate your first holiday season as a married couple? We’re here to help.

Communicate

As with most things in life, a little bit of communication can go a long way. Especially throughout this season, it’s best to strive for even more communication as your calendars can get jam packed and your to-do lists grow exponentially. Consider sharing a Google calendar or have fun decorating a wall calendar that hangs in your kitchen. Put your plans out there for one another to see to avoid conflicts, missed appointments, and any arguments that might arise as a result.

Plan Ahead

You’ll want to spend as much time as you can soaking in the magic of the season together as a married couple, and you can have even more quality time together if you get a head start on your holiday chores asap. Since leaving things to the last minute can cause some overwhelming stress, start early! So, shop online early, cook anything you might have to bring to parties and freeze ahead of time, get the greeting cards in the mail, and deck the halls on the earlier side. Not only will it free you both up for more fun times, but will also extend the season just a bit more.

Budget

If you're newly married, chances are you have a bunch of cash gifts stored in an account somewhere, and it may be burning a hole in your pocket. Keep in mind that the cash was a gift to you from family and friends, and you should be smart with it. While it’s tempting to perhaps gift larger ticket gifts than usual, use restraint and stay within your typical budget of what you can afford regardless of your wedding gift money.

Compromise

Are both of you accustomed to your respective Christmas Eve traditions, but have failed at trying to create time machines or split yourselves in two? Yep—the struggle is real. Navigating the holidays with two families can be one of the more difficult aspects of marriage, but its manageable with a little (or a lot of) compromise. For most couples, deciding on a plan of alternation works best such as, “this time we’ll do dinner with my family and next time with yours,” or vice versa. Or, perhaps you can settle on Thanksgiving with one family, and the first night of Hanukkah with the other.

If this doesn’t sound appealing, perhaps you can split the day between two locations, ONLY if it’s manageable and not incredibly stress inducing. Of course, the holidays are going to look and feel a little different now—you’re married! Just remember, the holidays are about family and fun. Everything else will fall into place.

Set Boundaries

You might be in high demand this season—newly married couples are typically a hot commodity. If you find yourselves being pulled in too many directions, take a step back and set some boundaries. Don’t over extend yourselves and don’t overcommit. Stay within your comfort zones to truly be able to enjoy the events you do decide to go to.

Have Fun!

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Try your best to relax and have fun! Your first holiday season as a married couple will undoubtedly be one to remember. Try to find activities that will bring out your inner child, like ice skating, tubing, watching nostalgic movies, and or wearing matching pjs! Share your family’s traditions, and learn theirs while making new ones along the way. Remember, tis the season to be jolly—so keep it lighthearted and enjoy all the holidays have to offer.

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