How to Negotiate Where to Spend the Holidays as a Newly Married Couple


Wondering where to spend the holidays as a newly married couple? As the song goes, “Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” The question this year is, “To which Grandmother’s house to go?”

One discussion I encourage pre-marriage and newly married couples to have, especially this time of year, is how you want to celebrate the holidays as a newly formed family.

Recognize that the holidays, like money and sex can be a hot topic. This is a time for sharing what is most important to you, listening for what your partner values, and having willingness to compromise. You may decide to trade off holidays with each family or invite both families to your home to celebrate.

Sometimes limited money or vacation time mean you won’t be able to spend the holidays with family members. If this is the case, incorporate some of your traditions into your new family. You might also want to create new traditions that represent you as a new couple.

Once you have decided how and where you want to spend the holidays, communicate with your families as soon as possible. There may be some disappointment on their end and possibly, you are disappointed as well. It is important to support your partner during this time. Remember to communicate with each other about your needs and ask for ways you can be helpful during the holiday season.

Ann Sheerin, MA
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