Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Advice for Couples

This is a post I shared last year over at
Holly's blog
I figured with the craziness approaching, it's a nice reminder!

We made through round one of the holiday season...
Another successful Thanksgiving as a married couple.
As soon as the first holiday rolled around, my then boyfriend, now husband,
and I made the decision to spend them together.
None of this, I'll go here, you go there.
He was my family, and obviously still is.
 We knew no matter who's family we were going to be spending the day with,
we'd be spending it together.
So here are some {first hand experience}
tips to make this upcoming holiday your least stressful yet!

Do not:
try to make everyone happy.
There is no way that every person in your life will be pleased about what you're doing.
{Apply this in every day life too.}
You will make family members unhappy, or at least a little miffed,
 if you can't spend that actual holiday with them.
You can't blame them though, you are fabulous, aren't you??
Well alright then, of course they want to be around you!
 It just may not be humanly possible to be everywhere, at once.
 Remember this: the only person you can truly make happy is you.
 If you're happy, then yay!
You're well on your way to an awesome holiday!!

Begin by asking, what will make you happiest on Christmas Day?
Is it waking up at your parents house?
How about his parents' home?
What about your own home, making a fire in the fire place and having a quiet, serene morning
 {sans kids yet!} and enjoying that simplicity {for now}?
 Whatever it is, talk about it with your significant other and make it happen.
 This is about your life.
**This year we are planning on just staying home.
We are not sure when baby girl will arrive, so we very well may be
celebrating Christmas in the hospital?
We will see!!**

Do not:
try to be superheroes.
We tried to eat a full Thanksgiving dinner at my parents and then his parents our first year together.
We were so full and rushed, it just was just not a great combo.
Nothing ever seems to go as planned,
so be sure that you allow extra time,
{for let's say, certain happenings, such as someone putting the turkey in the freezer,
not the fridge a few days before Turkey Day.}
Dinner took a little bit longer that day!
Christmas brunch with my dad's side ran a little late one year
and by the time we made it an hour back to our house,
 people were already waiting in the driveway for us to make Christmas dinner!

We have started alternating holidays.
 One year with his parents, one with mine.
It does make it tricky with divorced parents, or family far away.
 Simply rotate each year,
and still make time for family gatherings even if it's not "Christmas Day,"
it's still time together, which is most important.
Just host and invite everyone.
Whoever wants to show up, will!
 {We may do this next year, as I'm ready to cook my own turkey!!}

 remember that family always loves you and thinks of you no matter what.
A specific date on the calendar makes us all a little crazy.
If we can't be in several spots at once,
just stop by a day early and drop off a small gift
{bread if you can bake, a craft if you're creative, flowers, anything!}
 To me, family is more than just being related by blood.
Friends whose hearts are warm and deep,
are often times closer than any of our relatives.
 Make time for them too!

Start new traditions.
The holidays are a time for old traditions,
 but they all start form some place.
 Find what works for you, and run with it!
We invited his family and some friends over for Christmas dinner one year and I cried I was so happy.
  I finally felt like I found "Christmas" again after many years being single
and working through my parents' divorce,
I'll never forget the magic I felt with a house full of people,
a table full of food, holiday cheer, Christmas carols playing,
 and presents being unwrapped.
I won't let go of that now that I've started!!
 I love love love Christmas Day dinner!

Do not:
Remotely or completely freak out if things don't go as planned.
Life happens and it's not always perfect!
If you burn the main course or if the smashed potatoes are still cold, is it worth tears and frustration?
I'm sure you had a half a dozen other sides or snacks that most people won't hardly notice.
Don't blow minor mishaps up into negative memories.
Trust me, I want everything to run perfectly 100% of the time,
 but setting a bar like that is ridiculous.
Now, my main goal is to be sure that I'm having fun & not stressed.
 If I'm good, I've noticed others are too!
 Focusing our energy like that does wonders for one another.

Laugh it off.
 If something happens, just laugh.
It's the best reaction.
If you haven't seen the movie
 Four Christmases, I highly suggest you rent it! 

And if none of this advice works, then simply go away for the holiday.
Our first Easter together, we were so stressed out over who's house to go to,

which restaurant, who's turn, bla bla  bla.
We went to Toronto and had a ball!  That was 2008.
Since then we've spent Easter away, just the two of us.
Two years ago we were flying home from our cruise.
 Last year we flew home from Charleston, SC.
I understand Christmas is a bigger deal,
but don't lose sight of what's most important in life: spending time with loved ones.
Don't wait for the man in the big red suit
 to remind you to have a meal with people whom you love.
  Make it happen all year round.
Happy Holidays!


  1. I love when you shared this post on my blog! The holidays can get very challenging once you're married, that's for sure. Great tips!

  2. Great tips! Compromise is definitely a very important thing!

  3. Love this.. THank you so much for posting this. =)

  4. THANK YOU FOR THIS!!! My Husband and I always argue every year about the Holidays and it ends up being a stressful rushed mess. Especially because his family is about an hour away. An example of a typical Holiday? His Dad hosts Christmas Eve every year, so we end up staying there until about 8 in the evening and we get home around 9 if we're lucky, as you can obviously tell when you have a kid this doesn't make me happy, then we Wake up on Christmas morning and rush out the door to be at his moms by noon. (Little man doesn't even get to laze around and enjoy his new gifts from Santa!) and rush back home to be at my brothers to spend Christmas with my family. I HATE IT. I like to see everyone but I honestly feel that alternating would be just much better for us. We are starting this year and know that some people won't be happy but it is what it is. I'll let you know how it goes.. wish me luck!

  5. Great advice! There's so much craziness going on this time of year, and it's important to remember to nurture your relationship.

  6. Thank you for sharing. It helps to hear this often to remind me it's my decision, my time and that it is okay.


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