Written with love, by Felicia Zammit-McMann
The most wonderful time of the year just seems to get better when you’re married. Don’t get me wrong, it was great when my husband and I were dating, but celebrating the holidays as a married couple just really takes it over the top.
Two months after we got married, we celebrated our first Christmas as husband and wife. We had just moved into our new home, and, while it was far from furnished at the time, it was very important to us that we hosted Christmas. Christmas has always held a special place in our hearts, and while our house was still too new to feel like home yet, we knew that hosting our families would sort of “christen” our home and really feel like we accomplished a first major milestone as husband and wife.
Yes, our families always celebrated Christmas together, but my husband and I always had to say goodbye at the end of the day. No fun at all! I’ll never forget our first married Christmas. We had a hand-me-down tree with barely enough ornaments to fill the front of it, and we were using a makeshift table, because we hadn’t had time to purchase a real dining room set yet (we have one now, thank goodness). Picture how funny it looked for six people to be crammed around a tiny rickety table for four, with two chairs and four folding chairs to make up for the rest. We barely had enough room for our plates!! Despite our tree looking quite desperate and cramped dining quarters, it was one of the best Christmas’s we ever had.
It’s one of those memories that you cherish, because it reminds us of stories we had heard from older generations who recalled similar stories of their first years of marriage. We were just like them, which, in a humbling way, warmed our hearts. We hosted our first holiday and it felt FANTASTIC!!
What’s great about hosting your first Christmas as husband and wife is that you get to create your own traditions together. One tradition now is that Christmas will always be at our house. Our parents are getting to the point where they are tired of the “hassle” and gladly passed dinner to us. No problem here!
Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions is wrapping gifts. In our house it’s always done with a warm mug (or two) of hot chocolate and a Christmas movie playing in the background. Christmas, to us, has never really been about receiving gifts, but giving instead. Don’t get me wrong…while we would be disappointed if we had nothing under the tree, it’s always been more to give. What I love about wrapping all the gifts though, is that I’m constantly reminded, through watching my husband, how giving of a person he is. He loves doing things that make people happy and brings them joy.
He always jokes that he has two seasons…baseball and Christmas. As soon as the World Series ends, he’s in full-on Christmas mode. I love seeing how happy he is that he can provide someone something that they really like or want particularly when it comes to the Giving Tree at our church or buying food for a local food drive or buying a bunch of toys for Toys for Tots. He loves to shop for Christmas gifts, which is nice, because I don’t (the mall gets way too crowded for my taste), so it’s all him. He’ll shop and I’ll make him a nice dinner…sounds like a fair trade to me!
My other favorite tradition is decorating the tree together. While we are still using the same hand-me down tree (it’s the perfect size for our space and still looks good as new), we now have enough ornaments to fill it, and more. It certainly is a nice eclectic mix of ornaments that truly represents each of us. He has his Star Wars and New York Yankees ornaments, I have my shabby chic and country ornaments, we both have an extensive array of Disney ornaments (we’re both huge Disney fans), but my favorites are the ones we got together. We have a few that people gave us as gifts for our first Christmas, as well as ones we’ve purchased during various vacations. Each year, we purchase a new one, and it’s great to look back every year at what we’ve collected and what each one means.
This will now be our third Christmas a husband and wife, and we can’t wait to keep creating memories and traditions that we will get to pass down to the next generation.