New This Month

The Emotional Stages of Hosting Your First Holiday as a Married Couple

From panic to pure joy.

Contributing Writer
couple walking in snow
Photography by: Ashley Sawtelle

Hosting your first holiday as a married couple may sound stressful, but it's a memory you'll always be able to look back on with a smile. From anticipation to panic to pure joy, you'll surely experience at least most—if not all—of these eight emotions.


4 Expert-Approved Tips for Making Your First Married Holiday Extra Special



A state of mild anxiety pre-party is totally normal, especially after you've recently planned a wedding. It's almost like you've conditioned yourself to getting nervous about big events now. Don't worry; you'll survive the anticipation phase by getting organized and ready for the occasion.



If it's just a few days before the holidays and you haven't picked up your decorations or gone to the grocery store yet, you're probably experiencing hosting denial. Now that you're married, look to your new spouse to help get you out of the vicious cycle and start getting already.


Organizing Frenzy

You're making lists for everything—shopping, household cleaning, and recipes to test. Getting yourself as organized as possible is a great way to get your pre-holiday hosting stress under control. Don't forget to communicate these plans with your better half and split the duties (based on each of your skill sets) to get things done in a timely manner.



With only a few hours left before your guests arrive, panic will start to settle in. You haven't finished baking and your hair's a mess. This is when you should ask your younger sibling or best friend to come over and help so you can shower while he or she finishes the prep. And if your new hubby or wife is nowhere to be found, get them off the couch and into the kitchen, too.


Here's What to Do If You Have to Spend the Holidays with an In-Law You Hate


Calming Down

As guests arrive and settle in, you'll work together as a couple to get everyone drinks, make sure there's music going, and start to relax. Once you realize everything is under control, you can calm down and enjoy the party.



You'll probably notice all the mistakes in your cooking, but you're the only one who will be able to tell you left out a spice or overcooked the casserole. Don't bother mentioning it, as it's no fun to be a guest a party where the hosts talk badly about their entertaining abilities.


Gratitude and Joy

Feeling grateful for your friends and family usually kicks in toward the end of hosting, once you've seen the joy everyone feels about being together for the holidays. You'll also feel grateful for your helpful new spouse and how comfortable he or she is at hosting a party.



Once your holiday festivities come to an end, you'll feel proud of your new spouse and excited about the new tradition you've created together. You got through your first holiday as a married couple, and everyone had a blast.