Thanksgiving to Christmas is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Or is it a time to overwhelm ourselves with celebrating what should be a joyous time that gets diluted with the pressure of finding the right gift, rushing around, balancing all the various family commitments…..oh….that that really obnoxious, inappropriate relative that will be joining the…umm…celebration. It is enough to test even the strongest of marriages.
How can you and your wife achieve peace on earth instead of having silent nights?
Be a Team!
Talk about expectations. When you are constantly on the go, you get more tired, and the more you tend to expect your spouse to pick up the slack or anticipate what you need. When unfair expectations don’t get met, it’s easy for both of you to feel resentful. So desires should be stated, and negotiated. “Stating” means discussing roles and responsibilities of each partner. “Negotiating” is working together to find solutions and resolve differences. It’s about honoring your relationship in all your actions.
Make decisions and discuss specific plans together, such as for Christmas activities, parties, decorations and gifts- Who’ll do what and when? How much should we spend? Which parties will we attend, etc? Be a team!
Put your marriage and children first. It’s hard to take care of each other when you’re worried about disappointing others. But if both sets of parents plan simultaneous celebrations, someone’s got to be disappointed. Don’t sacrifice your spouse’s needs or feelings for your relatives needs or feelings. Decide together what you want to happen for Christmas. You don’t have to go to a party just because you were invited to it. Pace yourself and find the balance.
Let me emphasize this again…..put your marriage and children first. Be a team!
Enjoy the fun of joint accomplishment. When holiday preparations fall on one person’s shoulders, it isn’t good for either spouse. The one with the heavy workload feels resentful; the other partner feels useless and disconnected. Seek a balance of duties and agree on priorities before the rush begins. Don’t let your spouse spend all their time in the kitchen while you spend all your time with relatives. Be a team!
Discuss your budget and respect it. It’s always easy to find ourselves extended beyond our budget. Especially when money is tight, it’s not fair to overspend and then expect your spouse to support your purchases. Be conscientious and control your spending. Be a team!
Set a date night in December. Too many commitments and events leave no time for you as a couple. So plan couple time to celebrate the season. If you can’t schedule one, then maybe you’re over-committed. Be a team!
Keep in mind the best gift you can give. Love expressed through caring actions to meet your mate’s needs is the best gift you can give. So nurture your marriage and see love reduce tension. As you celebrate Christmas, let’s not forget during this season of “busy”-ness what really matters. Don’t confuse giving love with giving gifts. Although gifts can be an expression of your love, so are your time, your affection, your words of affirmation, and your willingness to forgive an offense. Love like a team!
Think about the way that Christ would want His birthday to be celebrated? Would He want us to rush past living out the principles of being peace-makers as we hurry through the season to celebrate and honor His birth?
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” – Hebrews 12:14
Be Strong. Act Like a Team!