How To: Enjoy Your Marriage During the Holidays
by Boudoir Photographer Caley Newberry
During Christmas, my husband and I try to be everything to everyone, spending time with as much family as possible. We did it over Thanksgiving too (four Thanksgivings in four days in three cities), and not only did we feel terrible from the overindulgence, we also got caught up in pleasing everyone and forgetting to be there for each other.
So, I've put together a little strategy before we embark on our eight-day tour de South at Christmas, and I thought I'd share it with you lovely ladies in case any of you find it helpful.
PRIORITIZE YOUR HUSBAND
I don't know about you, but when I'm in Holiday Mode, I tend to be much less in Marriage Mode. When we're with my husband's family, I cling to him a little tighter, but when we're with my family, I have a tendency to let him go to bed alone and trap myself in the kitchen trying to help with all the things, spend time playing with my niece and nephew, and failing to make sure my husband is happy and comfortable. This year, I'm going to try to do better about finding little moments of time to spend with him in the midst of all the chaos.
PLAN WHAT TO DO TOGETHER
I fall in line with a lot of our society in thinking that dates and sex should be spontaneous. The truth is, in the crazy world of self-employment and traveling nonstop for the holidays, planning time together is a must. I've agreed to go see Star Wars tonight before we serve the homeless together tomorrow night on our last night in town. I'm not excited about it (the movie), but it's something I want to do for him.
Find three nights between now and New Year's that you can spend intentional time together, whether that's going to see a movie, grabbing dinner with just the two of you, or just sitting on the couch with hot chocolate and talking for 30 minutes before you go to bed. If you can do more than that, great! But try at least three days of the next 13.
TALK ABOUT IT
I have a theory that the biggest frustration in marriages is unmet expectations. Money problems, intimacy problems, taking care of kids, cleaning the house — frustrations in those areas almost always come when expectations are unmet. Let your husband know you want to spend time together and talk about what that looks like for each of you and what you can do for each other to make it happen, then gently hold each other accountable.
LET IT GO
I'm not a parent, and I already feel like I have more to do than I can possibly accomplish over the holidays. I can't imagine how much more difficult it is for you moms. All the things on our to do before Christmas list can suck the joy out of Christmas and create stress in your marriage if you let it. Make a conscious decision not to let the little things that won't matter in the long run get in the way of being a loving wife.
Yep, I said it. We're busy and tired and probably already feeling a little puffy from eating too many Christmas cookies (please say that's not just me). I know it can sometimes feel like one more task on your to-do list, but I also know that having sex regularly reduces stress levels and makes you feel great. Ditto for your husband. It will bring the two of you closer and smooth out some of the little bumps the holidays can create. So make time for it as much as you can for your unique circumstances. Try for at least one more time than you normally would.
This advice and information, especially that pertaining to sex, is intended for those in healthy, loving marriages that just need a little push. If you're dealing with difficult personal or health issues or an unhealthy or abusive marriage, I know this post won't be helpful for you. If you find yourself in one of those situations, please talk to a doctor or counselor. I'm not a professional, but if you'd like for me to pray for you, feel free to email me - email@example.com.
If you decide to try any of these things and find it helpful, please let me know!
Happy Holidays to you all!
For unto us a child is born,
unto us, a Son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace,
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over His kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.