First holiday seasons with a new beau can be tricky to navigate. Between attempting to balance spending quality time with both families to finding a gift that’s not “too expensive” or “too vague,” there is a lot to consider – especially if your relationship is long distance. Whether you’re near or far, you can make it your own. Here’s how.

Make a Joint Holiday Wish List

Make the most of the season (or time off from work or school) by spending fun quality time together. Try coming up with fun holiday-themed things you both want to do, like going ice-skating or buying silly holiday hats. Don’t wait until you’re too busy to make plans. Get that list going now!

Agree On a Budget
In order to avoid being handed a $20 iTunes gift card after you’ve just given’ your beau designer shoes, agree on a gift budget instead. That way, you’ll both be on the same page from the start.

Give the Gifts That Matter Most
Get creative with your gift giving. Think of the things you want most in your relationship, like better communication, a standard date night or more backrubs,  and add them to your holiday wish list. They’ll be the gifts that keep on giving.

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Have Your Own Holiday Dinner
The holiday season is a time for sharing and preparing meals for the ones we love. Carve out your own holiday dinner night in between your family dinner plans. Be as traditional or nontraditional as you want; the point is to make memories in the kitchen together.

Share Handwritten Cards
Take a break from Hallmark and Instagram dedications and give your significant other custom words from the heart. The best part? It’s free!

Open Gifts Together

Don’t just exchange gifts; put aside time to open them together. Even if it’s before or after the actual holiday. Separated by too many miles? Mail your gifts and then steal away for a few minutes to open them together via Skype.

Dont Avoid Each Other’s Families

If you both agree its time to meet the family, be sure to set aside time to really get to know them. If both your family’s want you home for Christmas dinner, try going over your boo’s house for dessert. You can also join in on other family holiday traditions that don’t take place on Christmas day such as trimming the Christmas tree or attending church service. Jumping right in with his family is a great way to show that you want to be a part of each other’s lives.