You’re recently married and you’ve just had the best year of your life. Now, you and your new family are capping off the year with visions of cheer for the holiday season. The holidays can be a time of great joy for you and your new family! It can be especially exciting for the newlywed’s first Christmas, although uninvited stress can sometimes find its way in.

Family at Christmas

Three Tips for the Newlywed’s First Christmas

While some things like family dynamics are out of your control, there are a few things you can do to reduce stress levels during the holiday season. These things are especially important for new couples who may be experiencing Christmas together for the first time. You’ll need to

  • communicate effectively
  • budget your spending
  • be patient with both sides of the family

Communicate Effectively

While it may seem like common relationship advice, the importance of communication cannot
be overstated. The holidays happen quickly, especially for the newlywed’s first Christmas, so you’ll need to be on the same page as your partner. Find out what the plans are as far as who’s hosting and who’s cooking what. Make sure to prepare ahead of time for both your cooking responsibilities and gift buying.

Communicating often with your spouse and family members about what gifts have been purchased can save a lot of headaches. It’s always awkward when someone opens the same gift twice. If you do a lot
of shopping on Amazon, their wishlist feature automatically accounts for purchases. So if you
buy something on someone’s wishlist it won’t show up for anyone else looking to buy gifts for
them. Just make sure everyone shares their wishlists with each other.

If you’re technologically savvy and like to be organized, create a shareable spreadsheet with
something like Google Sheets. Give family members access and have them make their own list
in a new tab to easily keep track of things. Once you make your list, make sure to resist the urge
to snoop at your own list before Christmas arrives.

Budget Your Spending

For many couples, financial issues become a significant stressor in the relationship. Prioritize,
your spending to match your goals as a couple. It is the season of giving, so give freely, but be
sure to avoid overspending. If you are newlyweds, you will likely still be recovering from
wedding expenses or looking to save to buy a house. Going overboard with Christmas gifts can
hold you back, especially if you’re spending money you don’t have.

Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of putting Christmas gifts on credit cards with the
intention of paying them off later. It can be tempting to do, especially if you have access to a
large amount per card, but this will only slow down your financial dreams in the long run. Much
of your ability to afford big-ticket items, like a house or other loans is tied to the quality of your
credit score.

As a newly married couple, you’ll want to do everything you can to plan for the
future. Avoiding unnecessary debt will help reduce your holiday stress as well as any other
future financial stressors in your marriage.

Be Patient With Both Sides of the Family

Navigating family issues can be tricky with your spouse’s side of the family. They might have a
completely different background and belief system than you do. Naturally, the topics of religion
and politics may come up in conversation, but it’s important to avoid arguments during this time
of year.

If you can, try to steer the conversation away from divisive issues and focus on topics
you all can agree on, or fill the time with board games or trivia games to keep the conversation
fun and light. While it’s important to talk about important issues, the holidays are not always the
most appropriate time for divisive topics of discussion. Avoiding these situations will help you
and your spouse experience a great first Christmas.

Newlywed’s First Christmas + Holiday Spirit = Merry Magic

First Christmas Together

To make the most out of your first Christmas as a married couple, put in the effort to
communicate effectively, budget your spending, and be patient with your family members.
These actions can help you significantly reduce any stress the season may bring, and can encourage your holiday spirit to shine. Make the strides necessary to embrace the holiday spirit and make great memories along the way.

While you’re planning for a stress free holiday, consider how you and your new spouse will celebrate privately. How about an intimate Christmas breakfast before the day’s festivities, or a calm nightcap after a full day of celebrating? However you decide to celebrate together, make sure it’s memorable! Who knows, maybe you’ll be starting a tradition that you’ll cherish forever.

Consider traveling to the Smoky Mountains during the holiday season! Many couples choose to get away and unwind during the busy season. Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are great places to shop, and the area is beautifully lit for the season. Stroll through Dollywood with a cup of hot chocolate, enjoy the lights, and make magical memories! Relax in a cabin with a mountain view. Drive the Parkway to view Christmas lights! There are unlimited ways to enjoy the Smokies during the holidays.

First Christmas Together
Photo credit:

Planning Your Wedding?

If you are soon to be married, be sure to explore this website. The Smoky Mountain Wedding Association has a variety of wedding services available to choose from along with tips and advice from local professionals. Our blog offers up-to-date information on local services, unique wedding ideas, and tips for your dream wedding. Smoky Mountain area is the wedding capital of the South, so take advantage of our expertise during the planning of your special day.

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton


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