A married couple’s first Christmas together is marked by much newness and joy. It’s the perfect time to establish traditions that can be carried on throughout the years as your family of two grows.
Here are some ideas that you can start this year:
1. Share a Tradition from Your Childhood
You likely each have a childhood tradition that you want to carry into your marriage. Whether it’s ceremoniously placing the angel tree topper or watching It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, bring these old traditions into your new life together.
2. Cut Down Your Christmas Tree
If you live near a tree farm, make a day of driving out and chopping down the perfect tree to haul into your living room. Listen to Christmas carols on the way and bring a thermos of hot cocoa to share while you amble among the rows and rows of pines and firs.
If you live near a tree farm, go chop down the perfect tree to haul into your living room.
3. Decorate Your Tree with Your Very Own Ornaments
You may not have a lot of ornaments starting out, so going the homemade route can be a fun way to deck the tree. String popcorn and cranberries together, cut out paper snowflakes, and paint simple ball ornaments. You can also start the tradition of exchanging meaningful ornaments (and eventually extend this gift exchange to your children).
4. Set Up a Nativity Scene
If you don’t already have one, purchase a Nativity set and display it in your home. On Christmas morning, place the baby Jesus on his bed of hay. This tradition will become even more special when your children are old enough to perform this joyful task.
5. Turn Christmas Shopping into a Date Day
It can be easy to hurriedly purchase all of your Christmas gifts by scrolling and clicking, but it’s far more fun and meaningful to head out to local shops to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Start the day early with coffee and pastries at your favorite cafe, and then have fun playing Santa! Finish off the day by helping each other wrap all of the gifts while watching a Christmas classic.
Head out to local shops to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
6. Spend a Day Serving Others
In order to not get lost in the noise of consumerism during this season, set aside a day to spend serving others. Volunteer at your church, local soup kitchen, or even put together lunches to distribute to those in need on your own. This is a great way to put the true reason for the season at the forefront!
7. Mail Christmas Cards
Snap a snazzy photo of the two of you in holiday attire (or use one of your stunning wedding photos) and create some Christmas cards to mail to family and friends. Sit down by the fire together as you stuff, address, and stamp the envelopes. Your loved ones will appreciate receiving it, and you will treasure your cards for years to come.
8. Drive around To See Lights
Spend an evening driving around town, marveling at all of the lights and decorations. Find the houses with the tackiest, classiest, and most outlandish décor. Tune into the local Christmas music station and sing along. You can even wear your pajamas for this outing.
Find the houses with the tackiest, classiest, and most outlandish décor.
9. Build a Gingerbread House
Contrary to popular belief, this activity isn’t just for children. Buy a kit or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, make your own blueprints and bake the gingerbread pieces yourself. Use your favorite candy to decorate, and don’t be afraid to eat some spoonfuls of icing as you work. If you and your hubby are the competitive types, turn it into a competition with each of you decorating your own house. Get friends and family to vote on whose is the best!
10. Bake Christmas Cookies
Choose several cookie recipes and turn an afternoon into a marathon of baking. Eat as many as you want while they’re still warm. Make boxes of assorted cookies to distribute to neighbors and friends. Add the best recipes to the “Christmas Baking” section of your family cookbook.
11. Fill Each Other’s Stockings
No, you’re not too old to hang stockings by the fire. Get creative filling each other’s stockings with small gifts and goodies. Bonus: Include at least one homemade gift — be it a poem, homemade fudge, or a pair of knitted mittens.
Make at least one homemade gift for each other.
12. Make a Special Christmas Eve Meal
On the night before Christmas — one of the best nights of the entire year — choose a special meal that you can make every Christmas Eve from here on out. Maybe you go all out and prepare a three-course dinner, complete with a cheese board appetizer and festive cocktails. Maybe it’s something fun and simple like chocolate chip pancakes. Or maybe you order takeout from the Indian restaurant around the corner. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to finish off Santa’s milk and cookies for dessert.
This is the most wonderful time of the year! Make it even more so by beginning traditions that will grow and become more and more delightful with each passing year.