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Handling the Holidays Together in an Interfaith Marriage

Suggestions for Interfaith Marriage Couples

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Interfaith holiday traditions, rituals, and life-cyle celebrations can create positive memories for your family.

Giving children a sense of who they are, a feeling of belonging, and an understanding of their roots, interfaith holiday celebrations can also convey positive values about life and relationships.

A study published in 2001 finds "that couples were more satisfied with their marriages when they found meaning in shared religious holiday rituals." This is especially true for interfaith couples.

Holiday Stress or Holiday Joy?

If you don't want the holiday seasons or other life-cyle event celebrations to be times of stress, place your marriage and your relationship with your spouse first by discussing the issue of interfaith holiday celebrations and by keeping an open mind.

  • Reflect on and share what is important to you.

  • Talk about why certain traditions are important to you, and why some aren't as meaningful.

  • Look for what your two faiths have in common.

  • Consider creating new ways of celebrating. This will challenge both of you to look at the holidays in a new way, possibly letting go of some old traditions, being flexible, trusting one another, sharing your memories, and respecting each other's traditions.

  • Accept that you can't have everything your own way during family celebrations.

  • Share the richness of your family heritages with your children.

  • As you communicate your thoughts and feelings with each other, be supportive of one another.

Suggested Reading for Interfaith Marriages

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