How did you celebrate New Year’s Eve when you were a kid?
Fireworks and kisses? Or, did you fall asleep at 9pm and wake up fresh on New Year’s Day? Did your parents have friends over? Did you go to a prayer vigil at church? Maybe you enjoyed pizza and watching the ball drop?
New Year’s Eve, like other holidays, is celebrated in a number of different ways.
Heather’s New Year’s Eve
When I was old enough, I did start staying up to see the clock strike twelve, but I was not interested in watching the ball drop (and especially not interested in all the entertainment leading up to it). If I was not at church ringing in the New Year, I was probably at home with my parents who rarely ever make it to midnight awake. Consequently, New Year’s Eve was never a big deal… for me.
Eric’s New Year’s Eve
Then, along comes Eric. As an extravert, he loves to celebrate! He loves birthdays. He loves game nights. He loves a reason to stay up late and fellowship with people. So, almost every New Year’s Eve we have spent together has involved fellowship and fun of some kind. Being the homebody that I am, it was a bit of a struggle at first because I was quite content with my quiet evening at home on New Year’s Eve, but since celebrating with friends and family was (and is) such a big deal for him, I pretty much expect to spend each New Year’s Eve hanging out somewhere with someone (and I have yet to leave a New Year’s Eve get-together thinking, “Well, that was a huge inconvenience to my life.” ~smile~).
Most people look forward to holidays, but combining your ideal holiday celebration with your significant other or new spouse can be a challenge. If you are both traditionalists and you wait all year for your family celebrations, it can be a kick in the stomach when your sweetie says, “Ummm, no, we’re going to my parent’s house for New Year’s Eve.” Trust me. It is a good idea to talk about your holiday traditions now so you are not blindsided later! ~smile~
You have probably discovered by now that I am all about making lists! Whether you want to make a written list (which I recommend) or talk it out verbally, sit down with your honey and talk about all of the holidays you celebrate. Tell each other about which traditions are a big deal (e.g., the pig pickin’ at Uncle Frank’s every Arbor Day, etc.), and which celebrations you could do without (e.g., Grandma Sally’s annual watermelon picnic, etc.). Let each other know which traditions you hold most dear, when they take place, and what preparations need to be made for them (e.g., cooking, travel, etc.).
After you have talked through your celebration list with each other, pinpoint the holidays where your traditions collide. This is where compromise begins. It is not fun, but you may be surprised at how much you enjoy new traditions.
A few years ago, Eric and I traveled to Boise, Idaho for Christmas to visit his Dad and step-Mom. It was the first Christmas I had ever spent away from my family and I was a bit sad to miss my traditional Christmas at home (I am a traditionalist extraordinaire!). But as it turned out, I had a blast celebrating with Eric’s family! We had foods I was not accustomed to eating at Christmas. We played games I did not usually play at Christmas. It was not my normal Christmas, but it was still a blast and that visit holds a special place in my heart.
Compromise is the name of the game once you are married, but I encourage you to give new traditions a chance. You may love them! And out of love for your honey, try to be cognizant of how much he or she is giving (i.e., compromising) for you and try to keep your plans as fair as possible. ~smile~
How will you be spending New Year’s Eve this year?