MARRIAGE MATTERS || CREATING TRADITIONS

By: Ashton Cude

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It's the most wonderful time of the year, y'all! Can you believe there are only 12 days until Christmas? This season goes by so fast. Today I'm sharing about the importance of establishing traditions in your marriage, as well as the traditions that have made an impact in our home. As you merge two lives into one, it's important to create new norms that represent who you are and what you value as a couple. Keep reading to see what that has looked like for me as a young wife.

Decorating the tree: Even as an adult, I get so giddy thinking about decorating the Christmas tree. I can remember gingerly unwrapping the ornaments and being flooded with memories as I unveiled each one. My mom would make a feast of finger foods, with Christmas music playing in the background. After we had decorated, we would sit down and watch a Christmas movie as a family. I told Andrew about those childhood memories. We're a military couple, so we get a real tree each year. The thought of lugging a fake tree around through all our moves just doesn't put me in the Christmas spirit. The night we got our tree, I came home to a beautiful spread of the very same foods my mom used to serve! Andrew had prepared everything. That small, simple gesture meant so much to me. Remember that when incorporating traditions into your life as a married couple, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You can borrow from your childhood, and the simplest gesture can mean the most.

Honoring family: As a newlywed, I remember feeling like we were being pulled in so many different directions for the holidays. Even when your families are understanding, there are just so many people you want to please. We made an effort to spend quality time with both our families, and tried to prioritize what was most important. It's a juggling act, but ultimately you have to do what works best for you as a couple, and honor your families as best you can in the process. I treasure the memories of our first Christmas, making Christmas dinner with my mom and grandma, having all the recipes passed down to me, and having our tiny house filled with family. Keep in mind that you can take turns. This year, we are deferring more to Andrew's family because last year we deferred to mine. As a couple, you can advocate for one another and not just for your individual families.

Alone time: Our first married New Year's Eve, we spent at home, just the two of us, in our jammies. We were so exhausted from traveling, helping my parents move, and hosting family in our home. Going out was the last thing we wanted to do. I anticipate that will be a tradition we continue this year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, it's important to take a time out for your spouse. For us, that time was an opportunity for reflection and stillness that the holidays season rarely offers. 

Those are the traditions that have emerged in our year and a half of marriage. I hope this glimpse into my life will encourage you to create patterns in your home that will foster sweet memories for years to come. Happy Holidays!

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