It’s that time of year again….time to talk turkeys and trees! (Or, if you prefer, how does your family celebrate ?!)
Blending family traditions can be tricky. But, believe it or not, these conversations can be SO GOOD for new couples to navigate - and really help to lay the framework for so many things in your future together! These first few holidays as a newly engaged or newly married couple can bring out ALL the emotions. Holidays bring their own level of joy (and stress) and it’s important to figure out how you will negotiate your plan. Yep…I said it… negotiate. No winner/loser - but a negotiation where you both win! Here’s my suggestions…if nothing else I hope this serves as a good conversation starter for you! 1 - make a list of holiday traditions each of your families and friends groups does. Put it all out there! Annual turkey trot? Friendsgiving? Four family Christmas’s? Cookie baking with Nana? Party bus with the old gang? Get. It. On. Paper. Whew! 2 - separate the list into mine/yours/ours. Who is actually expected to attend? Maybe one list is way longer but that person loves it all? Not a big issue! But, if your commitments become “our commitments” it is only fair to have a conversation. 3 - really take a good look at the list together…maybe you need to write them on a calendar format and add travel time. Your family has always done a full day at Christmas? The other family has always hit 3 houses on Christmas Day? One is not automatically right or wrong…but a compromise is probably needed. 4 - talk about what options you see for a compromise . Every other holiday/ every other year? Doing the one that gets you the most enjoyment for your time? (Seeing all the cousins at Thanksgiving but not making that stop at Christmas). Is one group willing to move off the “main day”? 5 - listen to your partner. Like Really Listen. They are your person. Feel like they are too much of a homebody? Work on that negotiation, but remember, you picked them because something about them was exactly what you wanted! Respect that and respect your choice! 6 - remember that after the turkey and the trees…you are working on building a life you love! Choose to do that with kindness! Your peace of mind will thank you! So, that’s my 2 cents. Honestly engagements are fun. Marriage is fun. Life is Fun!
But…you choose every day which path you take. Keep the holidays in perspective, eat an extra slice of pie, and kiss your sweetie under the mistletoe! Sara