Many people were brought up celebrating the holidays in certain ways. Particular time-honored traditions may go back to past generations for your family and you want to continue them.
The trouble is, your partner has his or her own holiday traditions that mean just as much and it seems like you two have to choose-- one of you may feel like you've lost out.
The key here is to NOT make the tradition more important than your relationship. Really listen to your partner and then share about which of the holiday traditions you have “always” done is most important to you. Together make decisions about what you will do-- be willing to create some new traditions of your own too!
#3: You “have to” give each other expensive gifts.
A lot of people have tight budgets these days but they still believe they have to spend a lot of money on holiday gifts. For some couples, the price tag on the gift erroneously gets equated with the level of love and commitment.
Don't attach this kind of meaning to a pricey (or inexpensive) gift.
Relax and focus in on what your partner might appreciate or like that fits your budget. Remember that gifts are often called an “expression” or “token” of how a person feels-- they aren't meant to be a substitute for the feeling itself. You can get creative, crafty or simple and still convey to your partner that he or she means so much to you.
Consciously agree in advance to spending limits and talk about each of your expectations.
#4: You “have to” give gifts to each other for the holidays.
You and your partner might decide not to give one another holiday gifts at all. Maybe you are saving up for a big purchase-- like a new car or a vacation next year-- and you choose to put the money you would spend on gifts for each other toward that financial goal instead.
Maybe you or your partner is difficult to buy for or pretty much already has everything he or she wants. Whatever the situation, be honest with one another and don't take it personally if your partner would prefer not to buy gifts for each other this year. Again, conscious agreements can be key.
#5: You “have to” spend the holidays together.
If you're in a long distance relationship, you might keenly feel this “have to.” You see couples on TV, billboards and walking down the street celebrating the holidays together. Of course, you want to be able to hold hands with your love and kiss under the mistletoe and this might start to feel like something you “have to” make happen even though it's not possible for financial or other reasons.
The call here is to stop blaming your partner for not being with you on the holidays and get creative. How can you two make a special holiday connection-- even if it's via Skype or the telephone? Start thinking of how you can feel a sense of togetherness even if you won't physically be together.
#6: You “have to” be happy around the holidays.