Bubbly Bride: Splitting up for the Holidays

Posted by Azure on October 19th, 2009
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This beautiful red christmas tree ornament shows a bride and groom kissing reflected in the ornament

Matt Andrews Images


As you and your fiancé begin to plan for the next few months of holidays, delicious food and possibly travel, the big question always arises: With which family are you going to spend your time? If you are one of the few that don't have to answer this question, consider it a blessing because I have found separating the holidays causes much stress for a lot of couples.

Everyone comes to their relationship with past traditions from their own families, and together you get to discuss each one and re-create your own memories and new traditions. Whether you keep Grandma's secret cranberry recipe, or you invent your own new favorite meal. Possibly one of you has traveled to Florida for Christmas every year and the other one can't imagine a Christmas not waking up in their own home. I urge you to embrace the opportunity to celebrate two different childhoods, instead of taking it personally that your future husband doesn't want to drive across the country to visit your family for every holiday. Find the compromise that works for both of you!

My suggestion is to plan early, set realistic expectations and don't stretch yourselves too thin. It will not only cause extra stress on the two of you if you try to hit up every big family dinner celebration, but you will be left exhausted with no energy left to spend together. I understand not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings or stray from your normal habits, this is why this is an issue that needs to be premeditated. Talk with each other about which traditions you feel are most important to participate in, and what makes most sense to travel to, while still maintaining time for you two to unwind.

It is surprising that while some families may live within the same 60 mile radius, this does not make their holiday season any less chaotic. Sometimes I see it easier for couples who are able to go to one coast for Thanksgiving and one coast for Christmas. When both families live nearby they have much higher expectations for the newlyweds to attend all of the activities since it is a drivable distance. Bottom line: Holidays are meant to be celebrated with those you love so make it a joyous time!

Are holidays a stressful topic for you and your fiancé?
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