Your first Christmas as a couple is one of the most exciting and romantic times you’ll have. Everything is new, and with that comes plenty of opportunities to start new traditions together. But having never spent this special time of year together before, it’s important to make sure you’re on the same wavelength.
The secret to a successful first Christmas is communication. Your partner’s not a mind-reader, and neither are you, so talk about what you both want from the festive season and prevent any disappointment when the season comes around.
Together or apart?
Christmas is often considered family time, and in the early days, one or both of you may not feel ready to spend the day away from your relatives. Discuss how you would like to spend it – together or apart – in advance so you have time to make your own arrangements if necessary.
Don’t be offended if your partner is keen to stick with their family on Christmas day – for lots of people it’s a big step to spend Christmas day with their other half; many only choose to do this once they’re married or have children.
TOP TIP: Remember there are 12 days of Christmas. If you can’t spend the day itself together, why not plan your own romantic celebration on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, or do something to make New Year’s Eve particularly special instead?
For some couples, their first Christmas together is an opportunity to get involved in each other’s family lives. While this is exciting and feels like a big step towards long-term commitment, don’t forget it can be quite a daunting experience. Read our Christmas with the family guide for advice on managing your first Christmas with the in-laws.
Creating new traditions
You’ll probably find that you’re both used to doing Christmas in different ways that incorporate your own family traditions. Don’t feel you need to choose one way or the other; discuss your favorite bits about the day and come up with some new traditions that suit your life together as a couple. You might find Christmas becomes even more exciting when you’re doing things a little differently.
TOP TIP: This is your first Christmas together, so why not symbolize it with something that’ll bring back memories for Christmases to come? You could buy a special tree decoration that you’ll hang together every year, or personalize stockings that’ll be put out each Christmas Eve you spend together.
How much should you spend?
It can be difficult to know what’s appropriate to spend on a new partner at Christmas, and the best way to resolve this is to discuss gifts and set a budget. If you feel uncomfortable doing this then a good tip is to spend what you can afford, but make sure it doesn’t blow your partner’s budget out of the water. You wouldn’t want them feeling upset or guilty that they couldn’t match your extravagant gift.
Remember you can’t buy affection, and flashing the cash certainly isn’t necessary when you’re in the first throws of love, anyway. A thoughtful present that shows just how well you know and cares for your partner will be most meaningful, and the sentiment will last longer than an expensive item that’ll be used a few times and forgotten about by next year.
TOP TIP: If you’re spending Christmas with your partner’s family and worrying about buying gifts for them all, why not pick out a nice bottle of wine or box of chocolates and wrap it up as a token of your appreciation? It’ll show you’ve taken the time to consider them without going overboard or breaking the bank!