5 Ways Marriage Changed How I Celebrate the Holidays

I recently realized that there's something different about how I view Christmas these days. I'm actually excited for it. And I have been since August! You see, I'm usually one of those people who hates to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving and refuses to put up any Christmas decorations until at least Black Friday. (You can read a rant I wrote about it a couple years ago here). But this year is different.

Don't get me wrong, I have always liked Christmas, I've just never been overtly excited about it like a lot of people seem to be. It's never been my favorite holiday (that title goes to Halloween). I think this is partly because, for a while, Christmas meant a month away from college and away from all of my friends. Another reason is the fact that I hate opening presents. I know I'm weird but I am just an awkward person and don't like doing anything in front of people. So when everybody is watching me to see my reaction when I open the gift they spent so much time and energy picking out, I get a little uncomfortable. Maybe I'm not a fan because there is so much build up to Christmas then after the day is over, it's over. You know what I mean? The day after Christmas can be depressing. Especially since I usually still had like 3 more weeks before I would go back to school. Oh! And I hate winter. Maybe that has something to do with it.

But all that's changed now that I'm married to my best friend, and here's why...

ONE || I have someone to buy for that I'm really close to and can spend a decent amount on.

I love giving Christmas presents. I'm just not a huge fan of the receiving part. So of course I love to buy for my husband. I love thinking of the perfect gift. I love the challenge of keeping it a secret from the person I spend most of my time with. I love making the gift special. And I love that I will be spending "our" money on him so I can spend as much as I want. Ok so that part's not really true, but we can pretend, right?

TWO || I can decorate our home any way I want and am able to enjoy it for the whole season.

Growing up, I lived in my mom's house and she decorated how she wanted. Don't get me wrong, I loved her Christmas decorations. I loved helping her decorate. And I loved enjoying the decorations. But there is just something about having your own place to decorate. Of course, in college I had a dorm room to decorate, but I always left school to go home a week or so before Christmas so I didn't get to enjoy it so much. And besides, decorating a small bedroom or an apartment I shared with 3 other girls is still not the same as my own apartment that I only share with my husband!

But really, this perk comes with moving out on your own rather than getting married, but for me, they happened at the same time. What I do love about being married and getting to decorate our home is getting to decide things with my husband and getting to enjoy the cozy, Christmas atmosphere with my him!

My husband and I in our Santa robes // Our furchild, Pip, tolerating a Santa hat

THREE || We've made some great traditions as a couple.

I love having traditions with my husband and creating new ones every year. We have gone to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas concert every year since the year before we got married. I love this tradition because, well, I love TSO. Also, we try to go to a different venue every year and I love exploring new places with my husband!

We started a new tradition for New Years last year. My best friend, Ashley, and her husband came to Columbus to spend New Years with us. And this year, we are going to Oxford to spend New Years with them. We plan to continue this, taking turns, for as long as possible.

Last year, I had to work in the office in Georgia for a whole week in December. That meant that I would miss a week of time spent enjoying the season in my own decorated apartment with my husband. So we decided to keep our decorations up till my birthday (January 8th) and we plan to do that from now on as a new tradition.

FOUR || Corny movies are better with my love.

Rudolph, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street, It's a Wonderful Life, Muppet's Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, Jingle All the Way and the list could go on. Nobody wants to watch these by themselves. And you know they're always better when you're cuddling under a blanket by the fire!

All the kids in my husband's family at Thanksgiving last year.

FIVE || I get to spend Christmas with 2 families!

You know, having 2 families to spend the holidays with could cause problems. Maybe both families want you to spend certain days with them. But I try to look at it differently. Now I have two families to spoil with gifts and two families worth of love and joy to go around!

You're turn:

Do you celebrate Christmas differently now that you're married? How so?

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my 10 Reasons I Love Being Married During the Holidays, my Top 10 Favorite Christmas Movies, and my Christmas Season Date Ideas.