Setting up your first home together is an exciting proposition for newlywed holidays. Whether you are in your twenties or fifties, first marriage or second, starting a home together is a fun project, and one your friends and family will want to help you with.
Beginning this process at the end of the year may seem daunting, but you can have a delightful and stress-free holiday season if you follow these guidelines.
Newlywed Holidays – Whose family?
One of the classic quandaries for newlywed holidays is whether you will travel to his parents or hers for the holidays. How to decide which family to spend the holidays with and sharing holidays with in-laws is a delicate matter. Perhaps it would be advisable idea sharing holidays with both families to not show favoritism. Holiday traditions for newlyweds are important. It’s a good idea to establish these rituals early, and stick to them.
Many new couples agree to spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas day with the other if travel is involved in either home. If you are lucky enough to live near both families, divide your time between them.
Take an inventory of both of your families’ traditions and decide what you want your newlywed traditions to be. If Christmas Eve is especially important for the bride’s family and Kwanzaa morning is an important tradition for the groom, attend both. Both families will be looking closely for any signs of favoritism. If you divide your time between them fairly and try to accommodate the most important traditions, they will come to accept that.
That said, be sure you reserve some holiday time for yourselves. New Year’s Eve and Day could be set aside for you as a couple. This could be one of your newly married Christmas traditions that you will come to cherish for a lifetime. Communicate your need for “us time” to your families, and be gracious but firm about it.
Your first winter newlywed holidays together might not be the best time to try for elaborate Christmas decorations. If you are juggling jobs, families, and a post-wedding cash flow problem, there is no reason you have to go all out.
Pick one or two Christmas traditions to observe without killing yourselves. Maybe it’s really important to have a symbolic string of lights outside the house. Maybe it’s really important to decorate a tree together. Just don’t feel like you have to do everything you did with your parents and siblings. Agree to keep the holiday to-do list short so that you have quality time together.
There are wonderful alternatives to killing a tree for Christmas. Artificial trees will last the entire length of your marriage, they don’t shed, and they don’t represent a disposal problem.
If a real tree is terribly important, consider buying a live cypress or other evergreen trees, and be sure to keep it hydrated to avoid a fire hazard. You can decorate it and, when the season is over, plant it in your yard or donate it to an outdoor classroom or one of your treeless neighbors. In the end, it’s still less work than cutting down a tree, cleaning up dead needles, and disposing of it in compliance with local codes.
Make your wish list known
Newlyweds often need a lot of things to get them started as married homeowners. There’s no reason in the world not to let people know what you got for your wedding and what you still need.
There are a number of ways to do this. If you registered at a store for your wedding, you can keep that registry open for one year after the wedding. That gives friends and family an opportunity to dip back in and give you another place setting for your dinner table.
You can create a wish list on Amazon.com and share it with gift givers. You can do the same on Facebook or Instagram. There’s also no harm in dropping hints, like, “I really could use a casserole pot. Maybe I will get one for Christmas.”
Here are some good things to put on the wishlist:
- Forty-piece dinner setting–You may have registered to receive wedding gifts of bone china and good flatware so that you can entertain in style. Suggest that gift givers buy a single place setting, which typically includes eating utensils, a dinner plate, a salad plate, and a dessert plate for one.
- Practical knives–If you intend to cook nice dinners, even just for yourselves, you need decent knives.
- Indoor plants – You can achieve the look of a well-decorated home with a few beautiful and well-placed houseplants. Hanging plants add drama and can’t be knocked over easily.
Everyone envies newlyweds, despite the challenges of starting a new marriage. You’re at the beginning of an amazing adventure, often the best and most exciting one in your life. With some care and respect for each other’s families and thoughtful decor, you will have a wonderful first holiday season together.