Christmas is my most favorite holiday. Growing up my parents made sure the Christmas holiday was full of smiles, fun traditions and well-gifted presents. Honestly, I should write a book about my holiday memories as a child in Alaska.
Needless to say, I desperately wanted my first Christmas as a new bride to be spectacular. I knew our budget would be tight and our schedule even tighter since Dalton worked Christmas day (with no weekends off). I also knew that marrying someone’s son meant that my life was about to be enriched with someone else’s traditions, expectations and experiences for the holidays.
I knew that everyone wants a piece of you around the holidays.
So where’s a newlywed couple to go during the holidays? Should they split their time evenly between families? Celebrate early? Spend Christmas Eve with one set and plan Christmas day with the other? Should they hole themselves up like little Christmas rats refusing extended holiday cheer for the sake of establishing their own traditions?
#tbh, this dilemma causes unnecessary stress for newly married folk all the time.
Because I’ve been there and experienced the drama holidays can bring I’m going to share 3 ways I’ve learned to lower holiday stress and help decide where to celebrate Christmas joyfully.
Communicate with Your Spouse
A lot of frustration and stress needlessly takes place when we fail to communicate our holiday expectations and hopes with our spouse. If celebrating Christmas eve with your family is important mention that during the planning phase. If your husband secretly hopes for Christmas ham but doesn’t communicate you’ll feel sorry for baking the duck instead. It may feel ridiculous to explain that you’d enjoy Christmas day in your own home but it’s more ridiculous to be angry at your sweet hearted man because he missed the (unspoken) memo.
Communication between husband and wife — even when you feel silly — is the most important step for having a stress-free, rewarding holiday season.
Setting boundaries for what you need as a couple is vital for having a stress-free holiday.
Naturally, you’ll want to reply yes to all of the rsvps and invitations sent your way. Nobody wants to be a who Scrooge avoids extended family celebrations (humbug!). However, as a couple, you need to decide what boundaries are necessary for you to set up. You can’t say yes to everything without over extending your energy, budget and sanity.
Love Your Neighbor (and family members) as Christ Loves You
i.e: be patient, understanding and forgiving.
There will be holidays when everything does not go as planned. Especially your first away from home. Expect your mom to melt down when you can’t be home for Christmas eve and love her through her disappointment and frustration. Prepare your heart to be patient when your in-laws do things differently than you hoped. Choose to let the love of Christ reign over your heart even when you’re tired, stressed and upset over the burnt pies you were in charge of.
(Because you will burn something.) 😉
Most importantly, choose to seek you mate’s heart throughout the Christmas season. There will be moments when the Christmas season feels stress-filled but purpose to love and pursue your mate’s heart through those moments.
Because after all the dinners have been ate and presents unwrapped you’re still with your person. Let your mate know that through all the changes, stress and celebrations you’re still grateful to have their love and friendship. And that you’re so thankful to have Christmas as a newlywed.
With love, blessings and coffee,