What’s going to make this holiday special?

What do you have planned that you’re absolutely excited about during the holiday? Is your sweetie excited about it too? No? Then I asked the wrong question!

What is going to happen this holiday that the two of you will enjoy. Nothing more than cuddling in your bed? Well, maybe your tradition is getting a new set of flannel sheets for your joint holiday present!

Do you really like cookies and milk (or fill in your favorite foodstuff!) then you might want to find yourself the perfect milk glasses and cookie plates. Plates that you only use for the holiday.

It takes neither a lot of money nor a huge amount of effort to plan something sweet that slows you down and lets you enjoy one another.

Tip: plan something simple but sweet as a way to be together. Already over scheduled? I’m sure there’s something you can fit in. Get up a half hour early and snuggle. Dozing in one another’s arms is great. But then pay careful attention,or (gasp) have a conversation about what it was that was fun over the holidays. Next year. Do more of that. That’s how holiday traditions get started. There’s something that’s about celebration that’s going to draw each of you in and not step on any holiday corns. Remember, the season says life is supposed to be quiet and sweet right now.

add your sweetie beloved and youve got a holiday tradition!
add your sweetie beloved and you've got a holiday tradition!

Celebrating Holiday Memories

One trick to creating your own “new family” holiday memories is to revisit was was special and wonderful in your own holiday history. Even the most horrible childhoods had some great memories, even if sadly they they were at someone else’s house!

The fact is you’ll do better building new memories if you start from realizing what was the sweet thing at the heart of your memory. I recently heard a woman tell the story of how her parents made a big red ribbon line that she followed around the house until she discovered her present… a great big cuddly bear. She got the bear when she was 4 and has him still. Part of what made that particular bear a great gift was the build-up… (Hint: build up costs nothing and requires simply a little inventiveness and a bit of humor.) The bear represented companionship.

If you discover the heart of the memories, then the plans you make can grow out of the positive things: Rather than, let’s not spend any money on gifts because we don’t have any: Let’s not spend money on gifts because what we want are gifts from the heart. And we’ll give gift money to someone else. Or, it may be that this is the year to give one another sparkly shiny things because your love is sparkly and shiny. But whatever it is, spend some time remembering and sharing what was best for you about the holidays.

Tip: Create the holidays you want to have not the holiday everyone thinks you should have. And base your plans on what was wonderful for you when you were a child.

Start to Develop your Holiday Traditions

Here’s a great way to start figuring out what really matters to you in your life. If you do the work for the holidays, you’ll have a headstart when you start planning your wedding. What? You didn’t know you get to have your wedding be about your values? Now you do!

Before you start making a lot of holiday plans that you might get stuck in forever, why not figure out what makes each of you and both of you happy about the holidays?

  1. What do you like to do? What are your favorite holiday memories? How can you repeat them?
  2. What do you care about? From cookies, to caroling to volunteering? What do the holidays say to you?
  3. Who do you want to spend time with? Are holidays about friends? family? people in need? You get to choose!
  4. What holiday traditions would you like to establish in your own home? When you’re newly engaged or newly married, it can be easily assumed that you’ll go to other people’s houses. That may not be the only way you want to have the holidays.

Tip: Talking about these things and planning ahead will serve you in very good stead in  the years to come. It will also establish a pattern of discerning what really matters to you which will be great for the wedding and for your life. Why not have yourselves a happy little holiday season?