Are you excited for the holidays with your significant other but stressing about how to balance celebrating with your love and your family? You’re not alone. Relationships are all about compromise and learning how to navigate and schedule two lives around one another. This can be easy for the two of you as you live your day-to-day life, but when it comes to sharing your life with your family, your significant other and their family, it can be a headache, especially if distance is a factor.
Oftentimes, it is not possible for your holidays to play out exactly the way you dream, but always remember that new experiences and celebrations are how traditions get started! If you’re looking to create a new tradition for you and your sweetie while balancing your family and your own traditions, look no further. It can be challenging, but and it’s all part of handling the holidays like an adult.
Holiday at home
If you and your significant other are parting in separate directions to head home for the holidays, spend a day celebrating together before you go. Have a date day at home to celebrate the holidays. Bake a special traditional meal using a family recipe, decorate your room, watch a holiday movie or exchange gifts. It’s a great way to share your traditions with one another while getting some alone time.
Can’t afford a big holiday extravaganza? It’s okay. Don’t break the bank for one trip to see your sweetheart just because it’s the holiday or you’ll wake up January 1st and wonder how you’re going to rebuild the savings account you just blew. Instead, celebrate your holiday virtually.
Praise Facetime, Snapchat and all our favorite video chat apps for bringing people together when they’re apart. Watch the ball drop together over Skype to ring in the new year, or light your Kwanzaa candles over live stream video. The possibilities of live video are endless.
Who says celebrating or opening presents should be a one day affair? Whether you’re opening a gift for every day of Hanukkah or having a countdown to Christmas, Advent calendar-style, send your significant other a box of gifts labeled for each day counting down. For a shipping-free alternative, send a gift card via email or create a coupon for free dinner on your next date night. Pair your gift exchange with a virtual holiday by celebrating the end of the countdown opening your last gift over video chat.
Set your own date
No one ever said the holidays have to be celebrated on their assigned date. If you love the traditions of your favorite holiday, make a plan to stage them happen on a different date that is convenient for you and your significant other. Create a New Year’s Eve countdown complete with a video of the ball drop, noise makers, and that “midnight” kiss you’re upset about missing out on.
Depending on your location and family traditions, bringing your significant other to your family holiday celebration or going to their house may work out for the two of you. Even if plans are going exactly the way you want this upcoming holiday, remember that this takes compromise. While one of you gets to be with your family, the other does not. This is where communication and balance come into play.
If Thanksgiving is your family’s “big” holiday and New Year’s Eve is the special holiday for your partner, split the holidays and let your significant other participate in your family’s traditions.
Split your time as fairly as possible for both you, your significant other and both your families. Spend certain days of Hannukah with your sweetheart’s family and the other days with your family. Ring in the New Year at your partner’s house, then spend New Year’s day at your own. It’s all about give and take and coming to a conclusion that is a win-win for both of you.
If you have the luxury of living within day-travelling distance, split your holiday with your significant other in half. Why spend all day with your significant other’s family and miss out on your own? Stop by your honey’s on the way to your family’s house, or travel together and spend the morning at one home and the evening at the other.
Sometimes this only works if your family’s dinner and celebration schedules line-up. For example, your partner’s family may eat at the same time as yours. Instead of having to choose, just make an appearance, even if it’s just to say hello, drop off a present (and maybe be lucky enough to receive some in return) or eat a couple appetizers before you head to your family dinner.
Whether it be distance, money, family rules or clashing schedules, your holiday may not go according to your ideal plan. While it may be a tough reality to accept, remember that whether or not holiday plans work out, it’s just another day of the year. The holidays don’t change how much you love and care about each other. Relationships are a continual work in progress so if you don’t make it work quite the way you wanted it to this year, there’s always next year.