If you are newly in a relationship or you are a newlywed then this might be your first Thanksgiving together. If no one has told you yet the first Thanksgiving can be a challenging one because everyone has ideas about how the holiday “should” be spent.
When the “shoulds” of you both collide the result can be chaos and disappointment.
Basically what is happening here is that you each have family traditions, rituals and experiences around Thanksgiving which help to connect you to past family generations, giving you a sense of history and feeling rooted in the family, and bonding with current and future family members. These traditions and rituals can be very different for families, for some it is watching football before eating dinner with a turkey at grandmother house while for others it is each family member saying what they are thankful for in a restaurant dinner.
Regardless of the Thanksgiving family tradition, the purpose remains the same.
When you start a new relationship as a couple you face the challenge of creating your own traditions and rituals for Thanksgiving. This may be a combination of both of your traditions or completely new traditions of your own. No matter how you decide to spend your first Thanksgiving together talking about expectations and traditions from each other’s family is very important in making the decision.
Jennifer Wilmoth, LAMFT
jwilmoth @ GROWcounseling.com