Fun Ideas for a First Christmas as a Married Couple

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether you've recouped from the wedding costs and can splurge a little, or you're celebrating your first Christmas together on a budget, you can make the holiday memorable by using a little imagination and creating a new tradition or two. Just remember not to spread yourselves too thin. While you might want to make the rounds together to all your family and friends, make sure to incorporate some private time, too, so you can indulge in the holiday as a couple.

Service Opportunities

Make your first Christmas together as a married couple memorable by spending the holiday helping others. You can volunteer at a local food drive or soup kitchen, organize a toy or clothing drive for a local charity or sign up to make your first appearance as Mr. and Mrs. Claus during the Christmas season at a local children’s hospital. If you’ve recovered from the financial drain of the wedding -- and really want to spread some cheer where it's needed -- you can volunteer or organize an unforgettable community service trip for Christmas. For example, volunteer in a children’s home in Belize, help to build school facilities and libraries for children in Ghana, teach English to students in Cambodia or participate in agricultural work in Costa Rica. Regardless of where you choose to spread some joy, find out if you can bring along a video camera to record your extraordinary first Christmas together.

12 Dates of Christmas

If you sent out your RSVPs to attend more family functions than you can squeeze into Christmas day, it might not leave too much private time for just the two of you. The good news is that you can still make your first Christmas together special and make the holidays last a little longer by adding something special to the 12 days leading up to the big event. Write down six, special mini date ideas and have your partner write down six as well. Throw all of the ideas into a jar and pull out one of the ideas to enjoy on each day leading up to Christmas. Dates might include enjoying a cup of hot chocolate together at your favorite coffee shop, getting your first family Christmas portrait, picnicking in front of the fireplace in your living room and relaxing in a peppermint-scented bubble bath.

Personalize the Holiday

Make memories together on which you can build for years to come. You can handcraft ornaments to hang on your tree or have photo ornaments made instead -- and then add to your collection of personalized ornaments every year. You can also try baking some holiday treats together -- perhaps some that you both enjoyed as children, or, if you aren’t fans of old-fashioned traditions, make this Christmas one-of-a-kind with a brand new Christmas dinner. Flip through recipe books to find some exotic new dishes, or really go out on a limb and make dinner using only the ingredients you can find in your cupboards and fridge -- no shopping ahead of time. Skip the traditional Christmas tree and opt for a palm tree and tropical hibiscus decorations instead, or agree that there will be no shopping for each other at the stores this year; only handmade gifts allowed.

Family Time

If you’re having a difficult time deciding where to spend your first Christmas -- his family, yours or some combination of the two -- have everyone over to your home. Avoid the stress of preparing Christmas dinner opting for a potluck buffet and then organize a few activities that will make the get-together fun and memorable. You can goad family members outdoors for snowman- or snow fort-building competitions, divide up the group for a snowball battle in the backyard or stay indoors and play a few rounds of Christmas trivia to find out who is the ultimate holiday brainiac. If your family is musically gifted, create a new Christmas carol together or set up a karaoke machine for the bravest carolers among you. Pick up some disposable cameras and have your family help you capture as many moments of your first Christmas together as possible.