Whether you’re empty-nesting or newly-married, Christmas for two (or for a small family) can be tough and different. Culture and tradition portrays Christmas as a big affair with a huge family and lots of friends. Maybe you’ve moved to a new state or unforeseen circumstances arose, and you’re going to be away from your family this Christmas season. Or maybe you’re newly married and aren’t sure how to create a special holiday for you and your spouse. Or maybe all of your children have moved out and it’s your first year as empty nesters. Whatever your reasons, I invite you to embrace this new season of your life and make this Christmas the best you’ve ever had.
||Clean the house.
You know what gets me excited about having a holiday party? The preparation. You get the perfect playlist, buy a new scented candle, consider snacks, add special touches of decorations and – you clean. A two-person holiday can feel un-important for the lack of preparation involved. It’s hard to feel cheery when the house is a wreck, neither of you have showered and you’re really not sure what you’ll eat for dinner. This year, pretend you’re having a huge group of people over and get the house ready. Create the atmosphere of holiday hustle and bustle. It’s totally worth it to make the season special, even if it’s just for you and your spouse. As my mother-in-love would say, “Add some ambiance.”
Don’t stress a big meal if that’s not important to you. If you don’t want a Christmas tree – don’t get one. Here’s a crazy, new, mind-blowing concept – have a relaxing Christmas. Now is your chance to give it a try!
||Be Non-Traditional with your Tradition.
There are two ways to look at your small Christmas. You can gripe and be sad, remembering Christmas past and realizing, “It just isn’t the same!”. Or you can smile at the future and new ideas, remembering Christmas past with joy but also realizing with excitement, “It won’t be the same!”. Don’t try to force Christmas past into Christmas present. Did you grow up with a huge family meal and a Secret Santa exchange? I’m sure that was wonderful, but with two people that probably won’t work so well. Change it up! Create a complex (and maybe expensive!) dish with your spouse that would be impossible to afford or pull off if there were more than two of you. Slow dance to Frank Sinatra in front of the Christmas tree – who knows where that might lead ;) Have a Christmas Day party with all of your adult friends, include cocktails and fancy-schmancy appetizers (sometimes being an adult can be fun!). Essentially – don’t force it. Let go of past traditions that don’t work for your lifestyle anymore. Instead, create and explore opportunities for new traditions and experiences.
While doing fun grown-up things can be a new Christmastime experience, don’t forget to channel your inner child as well. Build a fort around the Christmas tree and spend the night under the glowing lights. Buy matching jammies and watch a children’s Christmas movie. Play around with different hot chocolate concoctions (but since you’re actually NOT a child – peppermint vodka anyone?). Allow yourself to get excited about the Christmas parade. Have fun with this holiday!
Embrace it. Maybe for Christmas Eve, you and your spouse can go out to a nice meal, a lovely candle-light service and then finish your evening with a glass of egg-nog and the Bible, sitting in front of the Christmas tree meditating on the reason for Christ’s birth. Or Christmas morning can be celebrated at the Homeless Shelter, serving meals to families less fortunate and realizing that the world is so much bigger than ourselves. Small Christmas can truly be a wonderful thing.