New Holiday Traditions
Now is the time to build new traditions this holiday season—before the chaos hits. First, as a couple, talk about how you did things in the past, and then brainstorm how you might want to do things now. And be sure to talk to the kids about what’s most important for them.
Perhaps putting the tree in the same place is critically important to one child, or maybe it’s not a big deal at all. But unless you hear everyone’s hearts and decide what is reasonable and doable, it’s easy to hurt others without even knowing it!
Here are some things you can talk about:
- What visitation situations, school events, or church programs will affect your holiday plans? Sync your calendars carefully, and be sure to work your optional plans around those unchangeable obligations first.
- What will your holiday budget be, and for what? Which holiday events are most important to you individually and why?
- What family traditions do you want carry into your blending family, what might you want to tweak, and what new traditions do you want to form? Do the kids have some ideas? It might be best to gather everyone’s ideas, write them all down in order of importance, and then let each person choose one tradition that’s most important to him or her. But also consider finding one or two new traditions that are special and unique to your new blending family. God can use your holiday expectations to draw you closer, and you can build traditions that can bond you together.
- What new traditions might you want to start? We recently heard about a family who decided to start a new tradition of giving just three gifts, in remembrance of the Gifts of the Magi. Perhaps this year might be a good time to start such a tradition.
- What spiritual traditions do you want to continue or start? Christmas Eve service? Reading the Christmas story at breakfast on Christmas day? In today’s world, you have to be intentional about keeping Christ in Christmas.
- In the busyness of the season, how can you establish a memorable couple time? Perhaps it’s just an evening out for hot chocolate and looking at the Christmas lights, but whatever it is, make time for just the two of you.
- What about the kids visiting the grandparents and relatives of the former spouses? That’s always a challenge as well and one you should consider and plan for.
- And how do you keep from getting exhausted through the season and enjoy it instead? Sometimes you have to cut out some things just so you can have a quiet night of rest!
Because holidays can get so complicated, it’s so important to be proactive, talk a lot, and carefully prepare for the days ahead! You’ll be glad you did.
Check out The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness and Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage for more ways to strengthen your marriage and build holiday traditions. Visit www.SusanGMathis to learn more about Susan.