Post # 1
With the holidays just around the corner, I thought maybe you had a few suggestions.
I’m normally used to LARGE holidays, with lots of family, and lots of traditions. However, this year, my family will be away for Christmas, and looking down the barrel of a lonely Christmas makes me sad. As our first Christmas as newlyweds, this is supposed to be a happy time. And I hear a lot of people who would be grateful to not be required to spend time with their families. My DH’s family is not into holidays at all, and just thinks of them as another day. My family on the other hand just doesn’t believe a holiday is complete unless it’s filled with a rowdy house full of people celebrating with each others company.
Thinking of a house with just two people makes most of my families traditions pointless. And I have yet to find a way to make this holiday special and festive.
Because this is our first holiday together, I know that now is the time to start new traditions and enjoy each others company. But somehow, sitting on the couch watching movies, just the two of us isn’t enough for me.
The thought of our first holiday together should be happy, but without family, it just upsets me. I haven’t figure out how to balance the two and make it a happy day.
Do you have any suggestions? I want a traditional Christmas, but don’t know how to obtain without family around.
Did you create new traditions as newlyweds?
Post # 3
What about going with your hubby to a nursing home and caroling with the residents? They would be so happy to see you and that way you would be surrounded by people. Or maybe doing another volunteer activity, like working at a soup kitchen on Christmas eve?
Post # 4
Great suggestion snmcdowell! I was just going to say that some sort of volunteerism would get you in the spirit, like giving gifts to a child whose name is on an Angel Tree in your area. Have you guys picked out stockings, a tree, decorations for the place you’re living in together? That will certainly change the atmosphere! Maybe you could also attend a religious service the evening before, if that’s something that matters to you, so you could be surrounded by caring people for the evening. Baking cookies together, preparing holiday favorites for your lunch together, etc., etc. If it’s snowing, it’s always fun to be a kid again and go sledding or build a snowman. I’m sure you’ll end up loving it and cheerfully look forward to the next year when you can share a family Christmas as a married couple. Hope you have happy holidays!!
Post # 5
Thank you for your suggestions. We do have christmas decorations, they are all vintage pink! But my DH hates them.. oh cause they are pink 🙂 but he puts up with them.
He is not religious, so I’ve been trying to find someone to go to Christmas Eve service with, but somehow doing it with out him (which he doesn’t want to do) doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
My mom and I have a HUGE annual cookie exchange at the beginning of Christmas, so the baking has already been done by the time the holiday rolls around.
And we don’t have snow 🙁
Thanks for your suggestions. 🙂 I really do appreciate them!
Post # 6
Maybe you could have a holiday with friends?
You could plan a big party with friends and their kids or just newlyweds like yourselves.
Post # 7
Definitely decorate your home, even if it’s just the two of you who will see it. This may be a good year to start getting non-pink decorations that you both will enjoy. You can pick them out together – or you could even spend time together making ornaments. Collecting holiday musc to play will help too.
I recommend making the foods that you associate with the holidays. My then-FI and I unexpectedly ended up spending our first Thanksgiving together separated from family, and it really helped to prepare and enjoy the foods that we typically share with our families. Sounds like cookies are a good start for you, so think also about dinner and/or brunch items. Or maybe this is an opportunity to start a new favorite, perhaps steming with one of your DH’s favorite treats or meals. Try to do the cooking together.
Research holiday activities in your area, similar to what others have suggested. For example, there may be a Santa-arrival parade, The Nutcracker performaces, community or professional musical events, etc. Volunteering is a great idea, as is celebrating with friends in the area.
Don’t worry – you’ll have a good Christmas. While studying abroad many years ago, I was away during the holidays with no ability to decorate or eat traditional foods. I spent the night with other students, eating ice cream and joking around. It was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. It’s all about doing something you enjoy with people you love.
Post # 8
Maybe you could invite some friends or local college students to your home for a Christmas dinner? I’m sure you can find someone else in your area that you know (or a friend knows) that will also not be with their family on Christmas. My aunt and uncle live in a college town and always invite the students that could not go home for holidays to their home. They appreciate it and it’s much better than being alone in a dorm or going to a movie!
Post # 9
My family loves the holidays too- we live far far away from our extended family due to my father being stationed all over.
When we finally moved to where we are now- our extended family became our neighbors and friends who essentially ‘took us in’.
Start out with an excuse to get people together to meet people you might be friends with for a long time. I like the volunteering idea-. But maybe go to the library and read to kids, volunteer at the children’s hospital, have a tupperware party, a candle party, couples game night (you know- play Scene it, Wii, etc) or bowling… anything so long as you start meeting people and in turn- you will expand your social circle so you have activities to join in.
My family has always shared the mentality- ‘the more the merrier’. I am sure there are others around you who would share in the holiday festivities with you.
Post # 10
I hear you. My family has always embraced holidays and we have many traditions that send waves of nostagia and warm fuzzies through my winter clothes. As the years have passed, our family doesn’t do as much as they used to but our holidays are still spirited.
Christmas was not only "just another day" to my fiance, but a reminder of the sad passing of their younger son/my fiance’s brother. Even though they have a Christmas tree and buy presents, there isn’t much joy. They kind of open the gifts and the holiday is over. As sad as it is, it’s foreign and depressing to me.
I realized that it’s not my place to change his family, although I try to bring a little spirit with me. What I have done is ask that my fiance begin a new family tradition with me – in honor of his brother and my family who we don’t always get to see. I started simple – with holiday cookies and taking something that he lovels – travel and collecting things – and started an ornament collection. It’s been four winters together and I think – I hope – we’ve been able to bring back a little joy that was missing by doing things we love together. Now he remembers the ornaments and gets excited to pick out a tree. He loves sharing joy with our friends so we’ve had holiday cocktail parties and he gets into the daunting task of sending holiday cards.
For now, the day may be spent with your in-laws who don’t quite have the holiday spirit that your family embraces, but it is a part of you so spread your cheer! Maybe they would be open to you sharing a family tradition. Even if they don’t, you now have three times to celebrate the holidays – one with your new husband, his family and your family. Think about what family traditions you want to carry on in your house, and what new ones you want to begin. Happy holidays!
Post # 11
My family has always welcomed people who were not able to be near their relatives into our festivities, but I can understand how that might be a bit uncomfortable if it’s just the two of you. My family has also developped some odd traditions over the years which include a Christmas morning breakfast at Denny’s (Ever been stranded somewhere with no restaurants open on Christmas Day? Denny’s looks like home.) and delivering gifts to our "adopt-a-family" from a local charity organization. If your husband doesn’t want to go to a service on Christmas Eve, how about going to look at one of the many commercial Christmas light displays? The other thing I would suggest, if possible and appropriate, is a webcam for sharing Christmas with your family. My fiance was deployed last Christmas and speaker phone and webcams were the absolute best.