Celebrate by Creating Holiday Traditions in Your Relationship

Catholic Charities

Many people consider this season the most wonderful time of the year. The celebrations in store help us recall some of our most nostalgic memories, which we often turn into our own traditions. No matter where you are in your relationship, you may each have a different perspective on how to celebrate the season. Love Letters from Kansas, a public awareness campaign sponsored by Catholic Charities of Kansas that promotes the benefits of healthy relationships, encourages couples to embrace their differences and create new traditions together over the holidays, rather than play tug-of-war over which ones will reign in the relationship.

Holiday traditions are key ingredients for joy, more so than the year’s hottest gift. According to “What Makes for a Merry Christmas” a 2002 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies that followed 117 people through the holiday season, happiness occurs more frequently when families spend quality time together with traditions like decorating the home as opposed to materialistic habits like receiving gifts and spending money. Focusing on moments together this time of year, rather than items, can help set your relationship up for greater happiness.

“During this joyful time of year it’s important for couples to focus on creating their own traditions,” said Jan Lewis, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. “Whether a new tradition is a well thought-out decision or a chance occurrence, it has the potential to turn into something that a couple looks forward to every holiday season. In the Catholic Charities of Kansas relationship education workshops we help couples develop traditions that will enrich their relationships in addition to providing numerous skill building tools for all participants.”

The process of creating new traditions as a couple doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be a fun and enlightening process. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a list of holiday traditions from your childhood together. Discuss which traditions are most important to you as individuals and decide which ones to carry on into your own family traditions.

  • If you two know your way around the kitchen, consider preparing an annual holiday recipe together. Whether it’s the world’s best sugar cookie or a Christmas ham, it’ll be something you both look forward to making.

  • Carve out time for a special date night and plan on scheduling it each year – ice skating, theater performances and Christmas tree lightings can be counted on every holiday season.

  • Consider starting a new volunteer-oriented tradition – adopt a family in need or dedicate an afternoon volunteering at a local homeless shelter or food bank.

Catholic Charities of Kansas offers free workshops and support services in communities throughout the state to help couples navigate their relationship through the holidays and all other times of the year. Relationship education and marriage enrichment workshops are open to both singles and couples, regardless of faith, who are looking for tips and tools to enrich their existing or future relationships.

Find a complete schedule of English and Spanish workshops at www.KansasLoveLetters.com.

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