Whether it’s your first holiday as a married couple or not, it’s helpful to have a plan for how you’re going to handle the holidays together. Setting healthy holiday boundaries is key.

  • Set a specific time to talk about how you want to spend the holidays. Remember that you are on the same team and your spouse is your first priority… not your family.

  • As negotiations proceed, keep in mind that it isn’t your job to please everybody. You may make some decisions that disappoint one family or the other. That’s OK. People will adjust.

  • Before making any decisions, make sure all your options are on the table.

  • Once the decision has been made, each spouse should call their family to pass along the information. Be sure to say, “We have decided that…” instead of, “We can’t be with you Christmas day because he/she wants to be with his/her family.” That will do nothing but create problems for you.

  • Avoid committing to any invitations before checking with your spouse, even if you are certain he/she will want to go.

  • Be respectful of each other as you navigate this territory.

  • Finally, entertain the idea of starting your own traditions and consider including the in-laws.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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