There’s nothing like experiencing Christmas in love; somehow it just makes it feel even more magical.
The white lights, the roaring fires, and hot toddies all add up to nights that seem like you’re the only two people on the planet—but the holidays are also a reminder that you aren’t.
Now as a couple, you could always decide to take off on a tropical destination together à la “Four Christmases” where Reece Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn would rather be anywhere than with their families, but for most of us, it’s not about choosing either or but figuring out how to make the best of it together.
The thing is, though, those times are changing and while there is still a lot of traditional celebrating happening—there’s also just as much that’s not.
Giving And Receiving
When we think about our very first holiday together, we often get so caught up in the plans that we forget to talk gifts.
This is actually a really important topic as some people are bigger gifters than others, some have trouble receiving, and others grew up making crafts or food as part of celebrating instead.
Make sure to bring it up to your partner by asking what their traditions were around gift giving and then don’t be afraid to ask if there can be a money cap or to skip gifts completely if finances are tight right now.
Being a couple during the holiday season is amazing whether there’s a gift under the tree or not because your relationship is supposed to be the greatest present you both receive.
Let’s Make A Plan
As we get older, we accumulate more people we love in our lives.
Whether we’re talking about families and friends, exes, or even children, it’s important to have an honest conversation about what kind of time you each need and that you also have to give.
This also ties into whether there are important times like Christmas Eve at Mom’s or Christmas morning with your ex and kids that either person would like to attend.
As magical as the first Christmas is, it’s also a transition year and this is just magnified if a divorce or separation is part of the equation.
Even if we’re young enough and it’s the first major relationship for us both, it still might be challenging to realize you won’t be there for all the holiday festivities because now it’s about sharing and compromising.
Of course, there is also the option to keep things separate.
As we move toward more conscious relationships, we’re also releasing a lot of beliefs that we have to keep doing love the way we’ve always done it. This means that it’s also okay for you and your new love to celebrate Christmas Eve and then decide to part ways for gatherings on Christmas Day or even vice versa.
The best thing that we can do, though, is just remember there is no one way to split up time during the holidays. It’s about making sure that each person is able to continue what was always important to them while also creating space to make new memories together.
Create Your Own Traditions
This is probably one of our favorite activities to be able to share with our new partner and the best part is that it can be based on what makes us unique as a couple.
Again, remembering that being an adult in a relationship means you get to design it how you both want it to be instead of following the blueprint of someone else is the most important thing.
So, whether you’re thinking of holiday lights and hot cocoa, making cookies together, donating time to a charity, or Chinese food on Christmas Day in jammies, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re together.
The holidays are magical for couples experiencing their first Christmas together, almost in the same way that it is for kids.
Suddenly curling up on the couch watching Rudolph together sounds like the best night in and that’s because when our heart has found the one it loves, we don’t need much in order to have it feel like everything.
So, make time for the new traditions. The thing is that usually we don’t think of something as a tradition until a few years have gone by, which means that time together is really the most important thing.
Create the time and space to move through the holidays together and let the memories bloom over the years just as the best relationships do.
Stay In The Present Moment
While this next bit may be a bit more of a hetero normative female thing, it still is something to be mindful of as the holiday approaches.
I’ve heard of too many couples getting into arguments or even breaking up over the holidays because an engagement that was expected didn’t end up happening.
And okay, while Christmas Eve, after Santa has come and the house is quiet, is one of the most romantic places to ask your love to share their lives with you (thanks Hallmark Movies), it not happening shouldn’t take away from the magic of the moment.
Whether you’re hoping for a ring on Christmas morning or even any gift or announcement, try to let go of those expectations and stay in the present moment. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been together a month or a year, if you are placing expectations on the holiday in terms of your relationship then you’re sure to be disappointed.
Instead, return back to the space that this year your love is next to you. Return to the place of understanding, trust, and laughter that you share with your partner, and practice gratitude for what you do have.
Because while it’s easy to get caught up in the romance of Christmastime, the most important thing is that what you’re building will be there for years to come.
And enjoying each and every moment together.