Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or recently back on the dating scene, the festive season brings with it new things to consider as a couple. Putting aside the presents, the decorations and the office parties, there are more than enough situations where your relationship is centre stage at this time of year.
For New Couples
If you’re still in the throes of a new relationship, the biggest issue you’re going to face is what to get them for Christmas. How big/meaningful/serious should the gift be? Since it’s likely to be your first Christmas as a couple, it can set the tone for all your future holidays together (unless you do really badly with the gift, and this turns out to be your first – and last). If you’re typically last minute when it comes to Christmas shopping, then our advise is to plan ahead when it comes to your S.O – gifting between couples is like subliminal messaging; you’re making a statement about your relationship in what you give (sorry but its true).
The second quandary that you might run into is the 2 week longing you suddenly have for them in their absence. You’re probably both still crushing hard, and have one another on your minds most of the time. Since they’re likely to be spending time back home with their family, you won’t be spending much time with them over the Christmas period. Its ok though; technology today has made communication second to none – just be sure to schedule in a Skype or two while they’re away. If your pining reaches new heights during this time, try to remember the old saying, ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder.’ Then surprise them with a home-cooked meal or a fabulous date night on their return and make up for lost time.
It’s Been Over a Year
The one year anniversary has passed and you have that feeling of contentment you get from spending time with another human being who seems to absolutely know you – at least all the important stuff anyway. You’ve got the gifting situation covered, but missing them is bound to be more intense when you’re at this stage in the relationship. You’ll probably find yourself calling them in the run-up to Christmas, and might even have your own “mini” Christmas prior to them going away – which we fully condone by the way. You’ll almost certainly call them on Christmas day, even if this means having to defer your roast potato duty for a few hours. Nothing, not even the delicious crispness of a roastie can get in the way of your love!
At this stage the serious discussions begin and you’ll want to spend the entire festive season together. Now is the time to start making those plans that’ll annually become synonymous with winter. The main one being, who’s family are you staying with? You’ll have your separate traditions at this time of year, and you’re both going to have to compromise a little. In doing so, you’ll inadvertently create new festive traditions as a couple, which is always heartwarming.
If you live together, this might be your first Christmas in your new home. This is exciting. but can also (let’s face it) be very stressful. You’ve probably had grand visions of the whole family (yes, theirs and yours) coming round for the day, before realising that your first-home mini oven is futile against a 8kg turkey. Well, there’s nothing you can do about it now except shove that turkey in, baste it for all its worth and come out smiling. Hosting the family on Christmas day is one of those extreme tasks meant to test you and your relationship – work together and make the day a success. There’s always the takeaway option, and when its all over, you can drink away the sorry realisation that you’ll be the butt of a family joke for years to come.
In It for the Long-Haul
Your relationship, it might even be marriage by this point, is fully established. The two of you have had your ups and downs (the downs no doubt have something to do with Christmases past), but you are solid. The traditions of your respective families have amalgamated and become part of your own together. This lessens the chance that you’re going to run into a quandary at this point, because you officially come as a pair, which means their issues are your issues and vice versa. This is the kind of relationship we all strive to have – security, companionship and togetherness. Christmas is the perfect time of year to show them how much they mean to you. You don’t have to necessarily go all-out on gifts – you know they mean it when they say “its the thought that counts.” Just make time for each other and not let the stresses that can come with the festive season – after all, nothing else really matters when you have each other.