It feels like Nick and I are no longer newlyweds, especially since we are coming up on our 1-year anniversary, but this will actually be our first Christmas together. Since we’ve only been in Alaska for 3 months, we are not able to see our families quite yet. So this is a very new, different, and exciting year for us.
Since it’s just the two of us, we obviously won’t be doing the same exact things that our families traditionally do back home. However, I think that it is nice to bring some of your favorite traditions with you. Maybe pick one or two of your all time favorite Christmas traditions from your families, and try to recreate those for the two of you. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m wanting to continue on my family’s cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning tradition. It’s a no-brainer for us to do this!
So we have an old tradition we’re bringing with us, but we also want to start our own new traditions that are unique to us as a married couple. We haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do on Christmas day, but here are some great ideas of traditions you can start as a new married couple.
I list ice skating first, because it’s the one that I’m really hoping that Nick and I will do on Christmas Day. I think that it would be so fun to take a pair of ice skates out to a frozen lake around town and skate for a little bit. It gets you active (to burn off all of those Christmas treats) and out in the fresh Winter air. I know that not everyone would be able to do something like this, but it sounds like an absolute Christmas dream to me!
Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
I think that going to a candlelight service is the perfect way to remind yourselves of the “reason for the season” and focus back on Christ before the craziness of opening gifts and other Christmas festivities. If you have a home church, they are probably hosting one of these services. If not, there are so many churches that have the candlelight services. You can do a quick Google search and choose one that sounds good to you both!
Christmas Dessert with Friends
As much as I love doing everything with my husband, sometimes it’s nice to have some other company to join along! While most people will have plans or at least semi-plans for the morning, sometimes it’s hard to know what exactly to do later in the day. It’s hard cooking and baking for just two people, so have some friends over for either dinner or dessert (or both!) and share some of your favorite Christmas treats. Enjoy the sweets with some fun games, and you’re bound to have a great time.
Gingerbread House Contest
You can do this a number of ways. The most appealing to me is to buy a couple kits from Target or some other grocery store and then have a contest to see who can make the best or most creative gingerbread house. You can also use graham crackers and make it completely DIY. Invite some friends over to make it an even bigger competition!
Meals for the Homeless
There is such a large homeless population in Anchorage and everywhere in the states. Spread some Christmas cheer and look out for the people in need in the community by making plates for them. You can easily do this with just your spouse, but you can also invite some friends and double or triple your efforts.
Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie(s)
Snuggle up. Start a fire (if you have a fireplace). And watch some of those classic Christmas movies. My personal favorite is White Christmas, but I also haven’t seen A Christmas Story or Home Alone in a very long time. We might just have to watch one of them (or all of them) that evening.
I think that the first married Christmas is such an exciting one. Many couples are able to visit their families, but as a new military family, that’s not always possible. It can be sad, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Use your newlywed Christmas as a way to create traditions and memories that you want your family to have for years to come.