How to Spend Your First Holiday with Your Partner

Noemi J. Mullins

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, and that includes your partner. The holiday season should be a time to enjoy with the people you love, not a stressful experience. This is especially true when it’s your first holiday with a partner. Your relationship could be strained or strengthened by stress during this time. Give yourself grace as you decide on the perfect gift for your partner or how to honor their family’s traditions and practices. Here are some ways to make your first holiday with your partner memorable, special, and free of drama.

Set rules for gift-giving

The gifts that we give and receive during the holidays are one of the most enjoyable parts. You should set some rules for gift-giving if this is your first holiday together. Casually discussing how (and if) you will give each other gifts may not feel spontaneous or romantic. Still, it can help you avoid common issues when figuring out what to give your partner and how much to spend (including that uncomfortable I-got-them-something-expensive-and-they-got-me-nothing situation or vice versa). If you don’t set out expectations and rules for gift-giving, it can easily go wrong. Your partner may have different expectations than yours.

Talk about the gifts you want to give your partner. Do you plan to exchange gifts simultaneously? Do you prefer to provide your partner with a sentimental gift or a useful, expensive one? Does your partner know how much money you have set aside? All of these questions are important to consider when you decide what and how to give your partner this holiday season.

Respect the traditions of others, and make your own.

Holiday traditions bring back fond memories of family and friends. No matter how much time you spend with your partner this season, respect each other’s rules and preferences–especially around religious and cultural holidays. Respecting and honoring holiday traditions will help you build a stronger bond with your partner. It also makes them feel valued and loved. Your partner may be used to decorating the Christmas tree or putting up the decorations after Thanksgiving. Or perhaps they prefer to celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Kwanza during the holiday season instead of Christmas.

Be sure to respect and honor your partner’s traditions, no matter how you celebrate the holidays. It’s the ability to personalize the holidays that makes them so special. Add new habits to your childhood with your partner. Allow each other to create unique holiday “rules,” whether that’s ordering in instead of cooking or combining old traditions. It’s a wonderful way to make a practice that you and your partner can share each year. Talk to your partner about how you can strike the right balance between allowing each other some space for family visits and traditions and creating new memories and traditions together.

Reconnect with your family and friends during the holidays.

The holiday season isn’t just about busy schedules. Vacations are maximized to allow for traveling, and we have more free time than at other times of the calendar year. Spend more time with your partner and spend it together. Spend some time with your partner if you can spare time away from work or other obligations. It’s a good time to set aside your usual commitments and spend time with those who are most important to you. Use the holidays to strengthen and rediscover your relationship.

Include each other’s families and friends.

Spend time with each other’s families and friends during the holidays, and let your partner know how much you value them. You can support your partner’s family traditions by supporting their gift-giving, holiday decoration, or religious practices. Encourage your partner to enjoy and embrace their childhood traditions. Be sure that your partner is a part of your holiday celebrations with family and friends and feels a part of your traditions. By incorporating the people who are most important to you, you can create a stronger bond with your partner.

Together, set goals for the New Year.

It can be fun to share goals and aspirations with your partner while celebrating the New Year. Spending time with your partner to discuss your plans and goals while also creating new ones strengthens your relationship. This will also keep your relationship at the forefront of the coming year. Have a fun, light-hearted discussion with your partner about the next year for you both individually and collectively. Set some goals for the coming year, but also make sure to include each other’s goals. Hold each other accountable. As a couple, the new year may bring new and exciting destinations. Share your hopes and dreams.

Enjoy the holiday season with lightheartedness and enjoyment.

It is important to have fun and celebrate the holidays with your partner. Relax and enjoy the holidays instead of feeling stressed by the stress of visiting family, buying gifts, or becoming more serious. Make your first holiday season relaxing and memorable by spending quality time with each other. You and your partner may want to decorate your home with Christmas decor, or you might prefer to skip the decorations and enjoy holiday movies at your favorite restaurant. Keep it fun this holiday season, no matter what you do. You and your family can spend the holidays however you like. So, make sure to enjoy each other’s presence.

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