Matt Baron/BEImages
Scott Huver and Sheila Cosgrove Baylis
December 08, 2013 04:35 PM

American Idol finalists Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo are eager to begin their own holiday traditions as a married couple for the first time this year.

“We’ve already been decorating, and it’s been a lot of fun because we’re creating our own traditions,” Young told PEOPLE at Sunday’s annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. “We have a blank slate. It’s kind of weird.”

The newlyweds, who have been married for six months, decided to have their Thanksgiving dinner guests decorate Christmas stockings after eating their turkey this year.

“After we had our Thanksgiving meal, we sat down, and we surprised all of our guests,” DeGarmo, 26, tells PEOPLE. “And we had them decorate their stocking, so they could have a stocking either to take home or to leave at our house.”

“And they decorated all the ornaments on our tree,” Young, 33, added. “It was a lot of fun.”

The performers, who got engaged on American Idol, admit that marriage has deepened their relationship.

“It’s like that unspoken thing that happens when you get married. It’s like the level of trust and loyalty and commitment goes up through the sky,” DeGarmo says.

“It’s almost like the urgency to return a phone call. If you think of it, before you’re married, you have to return everybody in your family’s phone call right away. After you get married, you have to return your wife’s phone call. That’s the priority. That’s your family,” Young says.

The couple will be on tour next year in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, with Young starring as Joseph and DeGarmo playing the narrator.

“We’ll be touring all next year together,” says Young, “so it’s going to be awesome.”

PHOTOS: Stars’ Throwback Holiday Photos

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