Couples say that planning a wedding tested their relationship in ways they never imagined. With conflicting opinions on every decision from the invitations, colours, flowers, and theme, one of the joys of the wedding day was putting all that stress behind them. And if you agree with that, brace yourself, because you and your spouse are about to embark on another challenge – getting through the holidays. Keep grounded with these tips:
Take time for two. You may have spent time with each other’s families and friends when you were dating, but now that you’re married, your presence at certain events is no longer questioned, but rather expected. Attending your spouse’s Christmas party is not optional; same with your second cousin’s potluck. To keep your sanity, be sure to schedule quality time with your spouse. The holidays are about love, peace, and joy. So celebrate your new life together.
Start your own traditions. Wake up on Christmas morning and eat candy canes for breakfast. Pick out your first ornament together and hang it on the tree. Attend a different church service every year. Knit a holiday sweater for each other and wear it on Christmas Day. You and your spouse are a family now, so start your own traditions and repeat them every year – no matter how cute or quirky.
Keep your perspective. Getting wrapped up in the frenetics of holiday shopping and materialism is not the best way to celebrate the joy of the season. Instead, practice humility. Consider serving the homeless at a soup kitchen together, singing carols at a seniors centre, or picking alternative gifts that matter through an online gift catalogue like that of the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada. You can make a difference and bring joy to a child living in poverty by purchasing items like a clean water well, mosquito net, fruit tree, or a goat for a child living in poverty. More information is available online at www.ccfcanada.ca/Gifts.