With Christmas right around the corner, there is probably an inkling of anxiety of what the holidays will look like if you have a significant other. As someone with divorced parents, the holidays are already difficult because I have to split them in half. Add a significant other into the mix, and that adds up to at least three Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmases, and New Years. I am not one to complain about being lucky enough to have a significant other and both of my parents, but I will say that it gets difficult to spend more time driving from house to house than with your actual family. At the end of the day, holiday celebrations should be just that, a celebration! Below are some tips that I have developed over a few years to make the holiday season a bit smoother:
My dad’s side of the family is notorious for leaving plans until the last minute. This was fine when my parents were together, and we were only making plans for one family. Now? Not so much, especially when my significant other’s family plans almost a month in advance. My best piece of advice is taking time at least two weeks before the big celebration and talk to the heads or planners of each family about what the day will look like.
Your family loves you and probably wants to spend the whole day with you. However, if your situation is anything like mine, that’s not always possible. You are not obligated to spend a certain amount of time with each family, but once you decide what you are comfortable with, you are obligated to share those plans with them. Communication is key to avoiding family fallouts the day of the event. A great time to set expectations is when you talk to your family about your plans two weeks in advance. This way, they have plenty of time to digest the amount of time you will be spending with them. Additionally, make sure that you emphasize time frames instead of specific times to show up. I would give yourself at least fifteen minutes of leeway. That way, you don’t have to choose between saying goodbye to grandma or being late to your significant others.
Set Time Aside For Yourself and your S/O
Even if you have the best day and everything goes smoothly, you will probably still be exhausted when it’s all said and done. This is why it’s important to set aside time for yourself to recharge and to set aside time for your significant other. This helps you avoid running yourself ragged and feeling burnt out. It also ensures that you have some time to spend one-on-one with your significant other to celebrate the holiday, even if it’s not on the actual day. Spending time with your significant other’s family can be stressful, even if you love them, just because you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. Spending time with your significant other after the holiday can make sure that you aren’t holding any resentment or residual stress against them.
The holidays with a significant other can feel daunting, but remember that these days were meant to be celebrated. So, if you do nothing else this holiday season, make sure you have a good time!