Establishing Holiday Traditions As A Couple

Written with love, by Karley Kiker

My family followed several holiday traditions when I was growing up. For Thanksgiving, no matter which city or state we were gathering in, mom always ordered our turkey from a company based in her hometown of Tyler, Texas. We also had a tradition of opening one Christmas present a day early, and we spent almost every Christmas Eve at an annual holiday party hosted by my parents' close friends. My mom started a collection of Barbie ornaments for me when I was very young, and continued the tradition of gifting me with the new “holiday edition” Barbie ornament all the way through college. Each of these traditions are tied to memories I hold near and dear to my heart, which is why this year, I want to be intentional about starting a new tradition (or two) with Taylor. A few ideas I'm tossing around: 


1. For the Creatives: Design your own holiday card

Taylor and I had our first go at this two years ago, and I have to admit…we weren't thrilled with how the print job turned out. And yet, it made me so happy to see the little Christmas postcard we created together ("Beachy and Bright" was our theme) on the refrigerator at my in-laws' home. Our card wasn't perfect, but it also wasn't a carbon copy of anyone else's. This year we found a new printer, and I'm hoping to send out another card that's uniquely "us." Over the years I know it will be fun to see how our style has evolved! 


2. For the Jet-Setters: Collect an ornament from every place you've traveled together

Unboxing ornaments each year is such a wonderful way to revisit the memories they're linked to. Give yourself the chance to do just that by purchasing an ornament as a souvenir during every trip or vacation the two of you take together. Whether it's a hand-carved wooden shoe from Holland or a merry-and-bright palm tree from Barbados, each ornament you place on the tree is sure to transport you back to some of your favorite times together! 


3. For the Foodies: Contribute a signature dish to family gatherings

Mom's macaroni. Grandma's chicken and dressing. Uncle Joe's green bean casserole. What will the two of you bring to the table this year (and for many years to come)? Select a holiday staple, such as potatoes, then discuss ways to put a unique spin on the dish to make it all your own. Standard mashed potatoes, meet bleu cheese infused potatoes au gratin.


4. For the Party People: Throw an annual (themed) holiday bash

Maybe it's a fancy sit-down dinner with friends. Maybe it's an Ugly Christmas Sweater party for your church home group. Either way, if you're happiest when you're hosting, get started on those invites and make your fête an annual festivity!


5. For the Homebodies: Reserve a "decorating day" and deck the halls together

If nesting is your thing, set aside a special day—perhaps the day after Thanksgiving—to turn on the Christmas music, pull out those holiday items from the attic, and start decorating. In our house we have a relatively strict "no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving" policy (although I may or may not break said policy when Taylor's not around), which makes it so special when it's time to turn on my favorite holiday playlists and start trimming the tree.