Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays with a decidedly family-oriented feel. If you’re single and dating, taking someone home for the holidays is often a statement of your level of commitment. If you willingly subject someone to the craziness which happens with friends and family during the holiday season, it is presumed the two of you are fairly serious.
However, the holiday that comes right after Christmas can be a bit tougher to navigate. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day signify the end of the holiday season and the beginning of the New Year. Some people put a lot of emphasis and importance on what they do on New Year’s and who they spend that day with.
There are many superstitions people may observe on New Year’s Eve or the following day. Some people prefer to ring in the New Year at church while others prefer to do it at a spirited party. Other people may cook certain foods like black eyed peas and cabbage (which are thought to bring wealth and prosperity because they are reminiscent of money either by their shape – black eyed peas – or colour – cabbage).
Another superstition suggests the person with whom you spend New Year’s Eve is the person you’ll spend the most time with in the coming year. This may or may not be true, but when you are making your New Year’s plans, you may want to tread lightly when making your plans. How long you’ve been seeing the person will affect just how intimate your New Year’s celebration should be.
Newly Dating (1 month or less)
Don’t overdo the New Year’s celebration and try to make it too romantic. If you want to spend it with the person you’re dating, that’s perfectly fine but it should be in a very casual, relaxed or group atmosphere. It’s best to go to some kind of New Year’s Eve party together. That way you have someone to kiss at midnight without it feeling like a bigger deal than it is.
Officially Dating (2-6 months)
If you are officially dating someone, you two might have exchanged Christmas gifts but not necessarily spent the holiday with each other’s families. Things could be moving towards becoming more serious but it’s not there yet. You have some options for New Year’s. You could make it a romantic night in for two or go out and celebrate at a party with others. Since you two have probably spent a lot of time together already, it won’t be awkward to do so. Enjoy the time together and treat it like any other date night.
Officially a Couple
Once you’ve become an official couple, it’s most important that you discuss your personal expectations with each other. Some people grew up in families where the holidays were very low-key small gatherings, while others grew up in ‘that house’ in the neighbourhood with all of the lights and decorations in the yard. If you don’t discuss your holiday expectations, it will lead to miscommunication and expectations not being met.
You can never assume that everyone celebrated the holidays and major milestones the way your family did. Assume they didn’t and discuss it. If you find out you and the person you’re dating have similar holiday philosophies, great. If you find out that you don’t, look for ways to meet in the middle. But the key is to have this discussion as soon as possible and not to make any assumptions.
The best thing to do when you’re planning your New Year’s celebration (or lack thereof) is to be open with what you’d like to happen and be willing to compromise. It’s not about creating the ‘perfect; night. It’s really about spending it in a way you will enjoy whether it involves sleeping through midnight or staying up and watching the sunrise on the New Year.
Happy New Year! Cheers!Header image courtesy of satit_srihin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Body image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net