Your first Thanksgiving together as a couple can be daunting! It’s a coming together of two people and two lives, and maybe even two separate traditions. You have to find some way to integrate all of the different aspects and traditions without railroading each other. That can take creativity.
Here are some practical talking points to go over together as a couple before Thanksgiving day. They’re sure to make your first Thanksgiving the foundation for many more.
1. Decide where you’ll celebrate
Maybe he always goes home but you’re used to just having friends over. Perhaps you both normally go home, but each home is in the opposite direction from where you currently are.
This year, it might be too expensive to travel. Or you might not want to put each other in the middle of any family drama that usually goes down during the holidays.
When you’re planning to spend the holidays together, there is almost always a compromise to be made. Will you celebrate at one of your family’s homes? Is this the year you’ll host a Friendsgiving at your apartment? Will you celebrate just the two of you?
Whatever you want to do for Thanksgiving, decide together.
2. Plan an attainable menu together
Thanksgiving with just the two of you makes for a fairly easy meal plan. If you’re having others over, assign something for each person to bring. Thanksgiving spent with family should always include asking what you can bring or do to help prepare for the meal.
Worried that this is the year you’ll have to give up an old tradition or a favorite dish? Ask if there’s a way it can be included. This is a great first year to blend traditions together and make new ones. A relationship is about finding the balance between two people, and the holidays are a great time to feel that out.
The important thing in this step is to not go overboard. Do what you can achieve and don’t worry about not being able to go over-the-top. This is the first time you’re be making holiday traditions with your significant other, so it’s extra important neither of you bites off more than you can chew.
3. Talk out other details beforehand
Make sure to discuss travel plans, including the little details like whose care you’ll drive and how you’ll split up driving duties. Take time to talk about the sleeping arrangements if you’re traveling, too.
From what to wear to Thanksgiving dinner to how you’ll split up leftovers and dish duty, work out the seemingly boring details ahead of time. Hash out whether you’ll watch the Thanksgiving parade or if Thanksgiving football games are a big part of the day.
These details sound tiny and boring but they’re important to discuss ahead of time. When you’re on the same page, you’ll be able to spend the day enjoying each other’s company and being grateful for the gifts God has given you.\
Conversations about the little details and decisions are great practice for bigger conversations if your relationship continues to grow. Preparing in the small ways will make the eventual big decisions much easier to tackle.
4. Don’t over-think Thanksgiving
Just because it’s your first Thanksgiving together doesn’t mean that the fate of your relationship rests on its success. Whether this becomes the first of many holidays together or the first and last, the holiday is meant to draw us into something deeper than ourselves.
Thanksgiving is made especially for being grateful for what we have in life. Thank God for your family, friends, material necessities, being together, and for your significant other. Be grateful for who your significant other is and for your families.
Letting go can be difficult, but it reaps rewards. Don’t get so caught up in the detail of the day that you forget why you’re celebrating at all. Let those details pull you into the holiness of the day, let them carry you into deeper communion with God, yourself, and your significant other.
5. Have fun!
This is a holiday to enjoy. So savor the food, enjoy company, and grow in relationship with each other.
Rest. Pick leftovers off the turkey with your fingers. Eat a ton of your favorite pie. Praise God for the multitude you have. Play games, watch holiday specials, tell silly or sincere stories. Get dressed up if you want to. Find a new common interest with your significant other!
Whatever you do, live in the now. Maybe this is the only now you’ll have together or maybe it’s the first of many. But if you’re not enjoying the now, you’ll miss out. So open your heart and let the world in, especially your partner.
There’s a lot to discover and a lot to be thankful for this year!