November 11, 2009

Working Through Your Holiday Expectations

As a newly married couple, how will you spend your first Thanksgiving, your first Christmas, and perhaps, every family holiday after that? If you are a couple in your early twenties, you are somewhat fresh out of the nest. Until now, you have most likely spent Christmas and Thanksgiving with your own family, and it’s been a warm time with fond memories and traditions. Now you have two sets of parents to consider, and each may hope you spend it with them.

You’ve probably seen movies in which this scenario is played out Hollywood style, i.e. the relationship of a sweet and happy newlywed couple gets severely tested with fights, hurt feelings, and estrangement over family holidays —only to be wonderfully resolved in 1 1/2 hours! For some couples, such a scenario is reality (except for the 1 1/2 hour resolve time!)

It’s discomforting to make choices between loved ones on such occasions, and it might be this way for you until you become parents and begin to develop your own family holiday events.

Sometimes the question is not only where you spend holidays but also how you spend them. You may have different styles of doing Christmas. One, for example, may think Christmas is pagan —no trees or presents allowed! The other may get ecstatic over decorating a tree with a zillion ornaments, piling gifts to the ceiling, and leaving cookies out for Santa Claus!

Likewise, Easter can be a time of purely celebrating Christ’s resurrection or it can be a time of little or no spiritual content —a time of chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts. So, what do you do? Let’s find out!
Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter:

1. Describe your family’s (or your) style of doing:
  • Thanksgiving:
  • Christmas:
  • Easter:

3. How will you handle subsequent family holidays?

4. Do you anticipate issues or problems with your parents over your holiday choices? Explain.

5. How important is it to celebrate Christmas with a tree and all the lights, decorations, stockings, etc.?

  • Very … … … … … … Moderately … … … … … … Not at all

6. How important is gift giving at Christmas?

  • Very … … … … … … Moderately … … … … … … Not at all

7. Do you want to celebrate Christmas with a manger scene and other biblical depictions?

Santa Claus and reindeer?

8. Will you promote Santa Claus (even as pretend time) to your children?

9. What are your views on promoting the Santa Claus story to children?


9. Explain your views about Halloween.

10. Will you let your children dress in costumes and go trick-or-treating? If so, what kind of costumes will you permit?

11. What are your views about a church-sponsored event on Halloween?

Anniversaries and Birthdays:

12. How important is celebrating anniversaries?
  • Very … … … … … … Moderately … … … … … … Not at all

How important is gift giving on anniversaries?

  • Very … … … … … … Moderately … … … … … … Not at all

How important is celebrating birthdays?

  • Very … … … … … … Moderately … … … … … … Not at all

How important is gift giving on birthdays?

  • Very … … … … … … Moderately … … … … … … Not at all

13. Explain how you want to celebrate anniversaries.

14. Explain how you want to celebrate birthdays.

15. If you have differences regarding holidays and other special occasions, how are you resolving these differences?

Parting thoughts about anniversaries:

For women, more so than for men, anniversaries are very special occasions full of meaning and importance, and women want their spouses to remember their anniversary without any hints. Women look forward to special treatment on these occasions —flowers, intimate, thoughtful gifts such as jewelry or perfume (not cookware or vacuum cleaners), dinner at a nice restaurant, and other such things.

Women want to know they are deeply loved and esteemed. Anniversaries are a time when the expectation for such affirmation is at its highest. It behooves a husband to know his wife in this matter. These things are so important to women that they are easily wounded by careless neglect and forgetfulness. Moreover, the wounds and pain can stay within them a very, very long time —even years.---


Myne Whitman said...

Nice one, this will be our first christmas together so I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the tips.

Lady A said...

@Myne, Congrats! Wow, first Christmas together? Have fun and may I suggest that you guys have your very own special tradition. My hubby and I always buy the big can of holiday popcorn that you can get from Walmart. You know, the one with the 3 flavors and watch our fav traditional Christmas movie.

yankeenaijababe said...

I love this post so much, am saving a copy for personal use. You know am a newly married

Lady A said...

@YNC, no problem! Help yourself to any article. Glad it was of help!