Relationships

Kanoa Lloyd: My first Christmas since getting married

I was actually relieved as the year went on to find that there’s no real difference.

I got married a week before Christmas last year, so this has been my first year of married life. When I first got married [to Mikee Carpinter], I'd tell people it's just the same – but you've got rose-tinted glasses on. My husband just looked a bit more handsome, his jokes were funnier and he just seemed cooler.
I think after the wedding, you're coming off that high, and you're celebrating your love and your life, and all your favourite people in the world are around you, so everything's a bit rosier. But I was actually relieved as the year went on to find that there's no real difference.

It doesn't mean that you don't have stupid arguments about what you want for dinner, and it doesn't mean that anything massively changes. It's having that commitment thing that everyone talks about.
It's a really lovely, safe, warm feeling that you've got in the back of your mind, whether you're thinking about it or not. We do still crack up when we talk about each other as husband and wife. I don't know if getting married brings you closer, but it definitely brings more comedy!

I never thought I'd be the marrying kind – not at all. Marriage was never an important thing for me, because I thought if you're in a cool relationship and it's going well, then that should be enough. But I'm really glad that we did it. And I obviously wouldn't be married to anyone but him.
Because we got married so close to Christmas last year, we had an informal wedding; we went camping and got married at a little community hall. But that meant we asked a lot from our family and friends in terms of helping out. So this year, because our anniversary is so close to Christmas, we're going to do the opposite; we're going to go away on a little holiday of our own and kind of duck out of Christmas.

We've scaled back our plans. First we had a Europe trip planned, then we had a Thailand trip planned, and now we've scaled back even further and we're heading to the islands. We're just going to do that for a week and spend time with each other.
Of course we'll see our family and friends on either side of the trip, but this is just our little treat to ourselves.

I love Christmas, but we've both got really big families and it makes the day like a military operation. You've got to make sure you've got the correct code words because otherwise your brother-in-law suggests one time to meet and your sister suggests another place and the timing doesn't work out. So we're going to duck out of that part of the planning and just be around for all the fun and the drinks around New Year's.
On Christmas Day, we'll be sitting on a beach with coconuts and some fresh fish. We might get really lonely and look at each other and say, "What have we done?" But it sounds like a really nice idea at the moment.

We've always been adaptable and we kind of just go where the most people are and do what's going to make the most people smile.
Christmas is never just one day, though – it goes on for weeks. So I'll enjoy this Christmas having a rest and taking stock, and making new plans to look at what we can achieve together and independently next year.