With the Christmas season upon us, there are the inevitable questions of where you’re going to spend the festive days and who’s friends and families get added to the visiting schedule. What previously may have been an easy choice for you as a single person can become a little more complicated as a couple, but don’t fear, there are some great perks to be had as well. If you’re daunted about being surrounded by masses of new family members or about disappointing your own with your reduced presence, here are some tips to help you.
Just the two of you
Your first Christmas alone can be a mixture of excitement at creating new traditions and guilt about missing time usually spent with your parents or children. Whether it’s by choice or a lack of agreed alternatives, spending Christmas alone for the first time can be a huge bonding experience. Each of you will have your own idea about what to eat, when to eat, decorations and your seasonal non-negotiables. Use the time to really get to know each other and go to town with the festive spirit. Plan to make some mulled wine and mince pies from scratch, spend the day in pyjamas and have a Champagne breakfast. Remove the pressure of the season by deciding early that it’s just going to be about the two of you, having fun.
Plan for the downtime
We all want Christmas day to be as happy and as relaxing as possible and there can be a huge buzz of activity from the morning up until lunchtime, even if there are only two of you. By mid-afternoon however, as the turkey haze sets in, it’s easy to become a little bored or restless. The temptation to begin scrolling through Facebook and Instagram may prove too strong, so try to keep the intimacy going by having a backup plan or two. It could involve evening drinks at the local bar, the obligatory Christmas walk, watching favourite movies or games such as Pictionary at a friend’s house in the evening. Whatever you do, keep your plans loose so you don’t feel tied down to commitments you’ve made, especially if you end up simply wanting to lay on the sofa.
Make gifts count
It’s easy to get carried away when buying Christmas gifts for a new partner, but try not to go too crazy. There’s so much in the shops at this time that it can become overwhelming, but the key is to be thoughtful and go for quality rather than quantity. Start by focusing on what you want to express and then buy a gift or gifts that reflect this. For example, if you’re thinking about committing to this person long term, jewellery can be great, as well something more imaginative, such as beautiful box containing a set of keys to your home.
Split your time evenly
So yes, Christmas is technically only one day of the year, but we all know that it actually lasts quite a bit longer, with the amount of holiday time and prep involved. When it comes to visiting people that are important to you, ensure you make the surrounding days count just as much as December 25th. If you’ve agreed to spend Christmas day with your family, then make the effort to spend Boxing day with your partner’s. For where there are long distances involved, try spending a few days over new years with the in-laws instead. In the midst of it all, be sure to get some alone time too, but remember you have all the time in the world for cosy days and nights in with your partner.
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