Using The 'Celebration Formula' With Your Partner Can Help Avoid Holiday Disappointment

Holidays can bring extra tension to a relationship, especially if the partner being celebrated has particular expectations and the other partner fails to meet them. Often, this dynamic can boil down to the fact that one partner historically has put a lot of time and effort into gifts and experiences for their partner and the rest of the family. When the time finally comes for this partner to be celebrated, he or she may be expecting to receive the same type of thoughtful planning and care they provide to their loved ones.


The problem comes in when the partner who isn't experienced with handling holiday celebrations and gifts can't manage to put together an offering that meets the standards of their gift-whispering partner. Feelings are hurt and hasty assumptions can be made about how much one partner truly cares for and appreciates the other. Fortunately, a TikToker known as Kelsewhatelse has come through with a holiday hack called the celebration formula. 

Outline your expectations

The celebration formula is simple. It suggests that you provide your partner with a general outline of your expectations for an upcoming holiday. If you're planning to be celebrated on Mother's Day, for instance, the celebration formula tells you not to expect your partner to read your mind about how you want the holiday to look. Instead, let them know what you're envisioning without becoming overly detailed.


The formula is divided into three celebration categories: activity, food, and gift. For example, you might outline your expectations for your partner by telling them that on Mother's Day, you'd like to do a quiet, peaceful, indoor, self-care activity. You'd like to eat Italian food, and you'd prefer to receive a gift that aids in your pursuit of a creative outlet. Giving your partner this level of guidance helps them feel less pressure and allows you to let go of the expectation of the same disappointment you've felt in the past when your wishes weren't granted. 

Preserve the element of surprise

Many people initially balk at the idea of telling their partner how they wish to be celebrated on a particular holiday. They may feel like there's no point in being celebrated if they have to spell out exactly what they expect and ruin the spontaneous element of surprise that has come to be associated with romance. In reality, there is no one definition of romance and you can rely on the celebration formula without removing the possibility of allowing your partner to surprise you.


As long as you keep your outline generalized, your partner gets to pick the details and provide a surprise for you. If you direct your partner to a quiet, peaceful, centering activity, they may choose a yoga or meditation class, a massage, or a stroll through an art gallery. A request for Italian food could bring you to a fantastic, underrated pizzeria or an upscale trattoria. A gift that fosters creativity could run the gamut from a polymer clay set to a high-quality easel or a ukulele with lessons. Not everyone possesses the inherent ability to plan an elaborate celebration out of thin air but with a little direction, your partner is sure to surprise you in the best way.