If you’re getting married next year, this Christmas will be your last before heading into marriage.
That means next Christmas will involve shared families, a shared home/apartment, a shared bank account, and a shared Christmas experience.
So how can we make the most out of your last Christmas before marriage? Here are a few tips.
1. Discuss Gifting Limits
You’ll share a bank account next Christmas, so this year, practice talking about how much you’ll both spend on each other. If you’ll be purchasing gifts for future in-laws, take a minute to discuss limits on those as well. This can be whatever you both decide, the key is getting in agreement and talking about money ahead of time.
EXTRA: We typically set a limit of anywhere between $50 – $100 for our gifts to one another, and $25 – $50 for our in-laws. Usually, our gifts to each other are experiences rather than things.
2. Create Clear Expectations Around Traditions
Depending on your family situation and whose side you might live closer to, it’s important to create clear expectations around your traditions. For example, if her side usually meets on Christmas Day and your side prefers Christmas Eve, you need to make sure you’re both on the same page about where you’ll go and if any sacrifices or compromises need to be made.
EXTRA: While you’re getting close to marriage, you’re not there yet. In the season of engagement it’s totally fine if you have to attend a gathering without your fiancé. Until you’re married, your family still comes first. Next year, that will change.
3. Help Your Family Get to Know Your Future Spouse
All those feelings you’re experiencing about joining a new family? Your fiancé is experiencing those same feelings as well. With all of your family around at Christmas, now is a great time to start the process of welcoming your fiancé into your family. Include them in conversations, introduce them to extended family, and make sure they’re a part of any family activities you might do. It’s also important that you put yourself out there as your partner works to include you.
EXTRA: Board games were one of our favorite ways to get to know each other’s families. It provides a shared activity and removes some of the awkward tension. Plus it’s fun!
BONUS TIP: Stock Up on Holiday Decor After Christmas
After Christmas is the best time to get deals on all of your holiday needs. We purchased our Christmas tree, wrapping paper, stockings, and decor at steep discounts before we got married. Be sure to split the cost so you both take ownership. Seriously. We would Venmo each other for half of the purchase amount.