Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite holidays which is why I am so excited right now.
Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for everyone!
But as is the case in many homes, as soon as Thanksgiving dinner concludes, the planning and decorations for Christmas begin. And for our Jewish club members, Hanukkuh began earlier tonight.
Growing up, the holiday season was so disappointing to me. In part, because for religious reasons we never had a Christmas tree and never received gifts on Christmas.
“It’s Jesus’ birthday, not yours,” was our parent’s rationale. And although this upset me to no end when I was young, once I became an adult, I realized just how much it had shielded me from the haste and stress of the holiday season.
So even though the way I celebrate the holidays now is different from my upbringing, there are several things I still do that provides a shelter of calm during what has become, for most, the busiest and most stressful time of the year.
And for most couples, even the happiest most loving ones, the next 35 days can take a huge toll on marriage.
Since the holiday season has never been a stressful time in our household (something I hope will continue with us throughout our lifetime), I wanted to share a few of the things we do in hopes that you might find something that will also work for you.
I might not be able to help you become completely stress-free but here are 7 ways to create a stress-less marriage during the holidays.
1. Make Your Marriage a Refuge. During busy times, we have a decision to make. We can either allow the stress of the world to weigh in on our relationship or we can keep the world at bay and make our marriage a safe haven. I don’t know if the teenagers still do this but there was a time when they would raise their hand up like a stop sign to anyone they didn’t like and say, “Talk to the hand!” So let’s follow their example on this and when the stress and busyness of the world attempts to weigh in on your home and marriage, feel free to hold our your arm and tell it to, “Talk to the hand!”
2. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple). I love a beautiful Christmas tree and erecting one during this time of year is one of my husband’s greatest joys. All-white Christmas lights are one of my favorite things to look at during the holiday season. But I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not because they are always on our house. Figure out what you have the time and resources to get done this year and create your best holiday ever (minus the stress of trying to keep up with what you’ve done in year’s past). I’m not 100-percent sure but if I were to guess, this year will be a tree-free Christmas for the Weavers.
3. Divide & Conquer. A couple weeks ago, I got a new license plate that reads TEAM WVR. Oftentimes when we are RSVP for events, instead of sending in a reply that “Keith and Fawn Weaver,” we’ll RSVP under Team Weaver. This is our normal way of life but it’s even more important during the holidays. Don’t try to take everything on yourself. Write a list of what needs to get done and then ask your husband to partner with you in tackling every item on that list. Two are so much better than one.
4. Consider Giving to Those In Need. ”It is better to give than to receive,” is no cliché. There are few greater truths in life than this and if you ever want to put your life in perspective, go to your local homeless shelter and serve. Just for one day. Take the entire family and see if you don’t walk out of there wanting nothing more than to take every present you planned to put under the Christmas tree and give it to someone you had the priviledge of meeting that day.
5. Manage Expectations. Look at your bank account now. If you can’t afford to do what it is you want to do or what it is you’ve done in the past, it’s okay. Just say it. Telling someone you love that you just can’t afford to get what it is you’d like to get them or to do what it is you’d like to do may be humbling, but when it’s all over you will feel like the weight of the world has rolled off your shoulders. If from the offset, everyone knows what to expect, the pressure is decreased tremendously and you and your husband can feel great knowing that you’ve done what you can and what you can is more than enough.
6. Exercise Together. Okay, so this may seem out of place given the first five tips listed but there is truly no better time throughout the year to exercise for two reasons: 1) We usually eat way more than we should, pack on extra poundage and then stress about getting it off; and 2) Endorphins, baby! One of the best natural stress fighters is released into your body the moment you begin to exercise…and…when you have sex. That’s precisely why sexercise was invented!
7. Don’t Skimp on the Sex. Let’s keep those endorphins flowing! Two of the best ways to get them going are exercise and sex. It’s during stressful times that we tend to forget about basic things like making love regularly. But this is the time when we need it most. Not only to release stress and tension but to be joined together as one (in the most literal sense possible ). And if you need a little more convincing on this one, here are 4 benefits of making love…for you!
Part two of this series will be posted on Friday night and will come to you by way of the fabulous Kim Hall at Too Darn Happy. Looking forward to reading that one myself.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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