Magical tips for your first married Christmas

Ideas The end of December has much to offer for those in love! The short days and long nights give you a good excuse to bundle up and enjoy the best TV and films, and you get to wrap up a gift or two for your other half.

Unless you had a whirlwind romance, chances are this isn’t your first Christmas with your beau. However, it pays to put a little thought into what to do over your first Christmas as a married couple.

Not only is your first married Christmas a milestone worthy of celebrating, but this year can pave the way for Christmases yet to come, where those little details will become the heartwarming traditions of your future.

Here are a few ideas to make your first married Christmas merry and bright…

Take time over your card.
You’ll get to choose a ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ Christmas card this year for the first time, which is a pretty exciting event in itself. While you’re tracking down the biggest, most glittery piece of stationery on the shelves, do remember that writing the card is something you should put just as much effort into, especially this year.

Now that your big day is one huge happy memory, write about your favourite parts of the celebrations, how your partner makes you feel and what you’re looking forward to this Christmas. You could even describe what you think Christmas will look like in five years’ time.

Talk about expectations.
While anything goes at Christmas, how does being married change your expectations of the season? It could be that in the past you went your separate ways on Christmas Day, meeting up again to share liqueur chocolates and war stories in the evening.

Will these arrangements stay the same now that you’re married, or will you want to spend the day together? Even if your expectations are unchanged, your partner might have some new ones, so compare them and come to a middle-ground agreement.

Start some new traditions.
If you ever thought ‘When I grow up, I’ll do Christmas like…’ then now is the time to start up some new traditions and customs to your liking. It could be anything you like, from completing a Santa fun run together, collecting a pretty Christmas decoration every year or putting the tree up to Die Hard.

And new traditions don’t mean you have to give up those of your childhood, so incorporate those too. After all, little individual quirky details are a big part of what makes Christmas really special.

Take control.
Once you know what both of you want to do, make it happen. Changing the status quo with families and traditions isn’t easy but it’s always possible. Luckily, although everyone might want to see ‘the newlyweds’ on Christmas Day, they probably won’t be all that shocked when you tell them that things will be a little different from now on.

When you break ‘bad’ news, such as your decline of the invite to your family’s annual gingerbread man decorating contest, don’t say, ‘Pete is making me go to his family’s instead’ unless you want your family to think of your love as the Grinch-in-law! Make the decisions together and present them as such.

Make time for just the two of you.
Unless you’re planning on spending the whole of Christmas Day holed up together, possibly barricaded in to keep out random visitors, then you really need to make other times over the festive season for just the two of you.

The festive season makes huge demands on our energy levels and schedules plus some of the events require us to be on our best behaviour.

So book out a whole day to mooch around the house in your PJs with your beloved. Use it however you want: napping, zombie board games, or your 35th turkey dinner of the year.

The important bit is that you get to be yourselves and hang out together doing stuff you enjoy. It’s best to book the day somewhere during the ‘limbo’ time between the 26th and 30th December for maximum quietness.

Don’t start married life by giving yourselves a chunk of Christmas debt. Spending sensibly is a good plan in any given year, but especially if you’ve splashed out on a wedding just a few months before.

As with the previous tip, communication can ease the way so tell your families about any spending limits and invite them to do the same to avoid any guilt or resentment. It’s surprising how little you’ll miss the extra gifts, and it’s a fun challenge to see how much you can buy and still come in under budget.

Stay sane.
Sure, it’s reasonable to expect to pop to the in-laws’ place over the holiday season, but don’t feel you have to accompany your partner on trips all over the country to see every single extended family member.

After all, you’ve got your own family to get round, which results in a hectic time as it is. Be realistic when planning and give yourself some down-time, especially if you’re an introvert, to recharge your batteries.

Timely communication with relatives will help manage any unrealistic expectations, and you can always visit in the new year.

How will you be spending your first married Christmas?

Tags: marriage, relationships, christmas, budget

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