6 Reasons Married Couples Should Start Their Own Holiday Traditions

Published Oct 26, 2023
6 Reasons Married Couples Should Start Their Own Holiday Traditions

When two people marry, they leave their families of origin and come together in a marriage covenant. Genesis indicates how husbands and wives should treat each other: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." Being one flesh can become complicated when it comes to major events in life. But this can be especially daunting with the holidays near. Husbands and wives must negotiate new traditions regarding the holiday season. Both families of origin want to see their son or daughter, and it can be tricky for couples to navigate which holiday to give to which family. When a couple becomes married, it is easy to want to revert to the ways they've seen modeled for the holidays, including the traditions. But it's important for each partner to let go of those preconceived notions of what a holiday is and instead consider the other person. Here are five reasons why married couples should start new holiday traditions:

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Christmas family dinner

1. It Puts the Other Partner First

If one spouse adamantly wants to use their own traditions, it sends a message to the other partner that their traditions don't matter. Although it may be good to keep some traditions, it's best if each couple starts their own so that one person in the relationship doesn't feel their traditions are more important than everyone else's.

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Woman decorating her Christmas tree

2. It Puts the New Relationship First

Observing your family of origin's traditions sends a message to the other spouse that your marriage is less important than the time-honored traditions your spouse grew up with. It also conveys that whatever tradition you create together isn't the correct way to celebrate. In other words, the holiday isn't worth celebrating if the traditions your partner observed in the past are not a part of the holiday season. This can set a wrong precedent in your marriage. Doing away with all former traditions leaves room for each to make exciting traditions that can be practiced for years to come.

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3. It Honors the Importance of Your Marriage Covenant

3. It Honors the Importance of Your Marriage Covenant

A marriage takes place when two people are united in holy matrimony. During the vows, each partner vows to love, honor, and cherish the other. Although honor is a much more significant concept than simply observing new traditions, it honors the relationship when both partners decide to forsake all past traditions and instead create new traditions of their own. Both partners get to have the ability to create new practices and feel like their voices can be heard. Merely observing the other partner's traditions without having any say in your own may make one partner resent the other. When both parties agree to get rid of the past traditions, it gives a sense of equality within the relationship. Both husband and wife can learn new ones and will be bonded together as a family if they are able to establish new traditions together.

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Senior couple happy laughing cooking together for Thanksgiving in kitchen

4. It Replaces Nostalgia with Adventure

Observing past traditions makes it normal for each spouse to reminisce about their holiday experiences as a child or teenager. But nostalgia sometimes leads to grief and sadness as they mourn the loss of those carefree childhood days. When we shift our perspective from one of looking at the past and replace it with looking to the future for new adventures, there could be some great new traditions the couple creates that make the holidays even more fun and exciting than they were when they were a kid. Although it is normal to want to look back to the past, the holidays can be a time for new and exciting adventures. This shift in perspective will help both partners be more willing to give up their past traditions and replace them with new and exciting ones.

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Happy family baking cookies around Christmas in the kitchen

5. It Is a Legacy Passed Down to Children

Everyone wants to leave a piece of their history with their children when they pass away. While it's great to pass down traditions from your parents and even your grandparents, it's better when you get to be the originator of the traditions. If you are married with children, it is a great way to bond as a family if you create new divisions together.

For example, growing up, my parents and I went to my grandmother's house, and we would have Christmas Eve dinner, open presents from her, and then go to mass. On Christmas morning, we would open the presents from Santa Claus or the presents my parents bought. However, when I got married, my husband said his parents allowed him to open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning. Because we both honored our parents' traditions, we found it difficult to figure out which way we wanted to do it. We decided to open them on Christmas morning and, recently, one gift on Christmas Eve.

But we also started a new tradition. Before we begin opening gifts on Christmas morning, we read the story of Christ of Jesus's birth in Luke 2, then sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. Then, my husband hides the baby Jesus from the nativity scene somewhere in the room. My children scramble to find the figurine. When it's found, that person gets to play Santa Claus and distribute the gifts as they decide. My kids look forward to this every year, and they want to be the ones to play Santa. We merged both traditions together and created a new one as well. This is something I hope my kids will pass on to their children. Because we are the originators of that tradition, it'll be something we will pass down to our children, which then will get passed on to their children.

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Happy family at christmas girl putting star on christmas tree

6. Makes the Holidays Jesus-Centered

Some traditions honor Jesus, yet others center more around making the holidays fun. Because of creating new traditions, both partners make room for the holidays to become even more centered around the Savior. For example, families can gather around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, allow one person to open one gift at a time, reflect on God's goodness for his provision, and even sing worship songs or have worship music playing in the background. Families can also pray together before they open gifts and thank God for his mighty provision during the holiday season. Couples can get even wilder in their zeal to create fun traditions by buying gifts for people who don't have money, paying for someone's Christmas gifts, or being generous in some other way. Traditions can be even more Jesus-centered than a family is used to. By doing so, it helps everyone to keep Jesus as the true reason for the season.

Holidays can be tricky as there's a lot of pressure to make the traditions perfect each year. Yet, many people struggle with trials that don't stop for the holidays. Observing past traditions lends itself to both partners to look with sadness upon days gone by. By creating new traditions, each partner values the other equally, allowing them to create new and exciting ones that make the holidays even more fun than they remember and leave a legacy for their children to pass down to their children.

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Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.

Originally published Thursday, 26 October 2023.