We have all seen it, the grandest of holiday plans come crashing down with the reality of the situation. Stress, stress, stress!!! Holidays are among the most stressful times in a relationship – make no mistake about it.
Here are a few tips to help you and your spouse lower your stress level and have the best holiday season ever:
1. Appreciate the traditions within your family and your spouse’s family. Blend them together in a way that both you and your spouse will cherish and make new memories together.
2. Money is not the solution to a great holiday season – especially in these tough economic times. Rather, it is the simple things that matter – simple acts of kindness, homemade gifts and cards, simple expressions of love.
3. Talk about what you are going to do for the season – what are you and your spouse’s highest priorities? Have this conversation as soon as possible so you both can feel good about your plans. Then, let all the other holiday “stuff” go by the wayside.
4. Take a moment in the midst of the chaos and pressure of the holidays to focus on what really matters. Give your spouse your respect, your understanding, your embrace, your kiss and your time.
5. When holiday problems arise – as they always do – an open discussion with your spouse needs to happen as soon as possible. Start by identifying what the issues really are, establish the parameters of the discussion and agree to solve the problems together.
6. As the stress rises, so does the opportunity for argument and disagreement. When the holiday tension rises sharp words can roll off your tongue, making judgmental statements about your spouse, their actions, and their relatives. Think twice before exploding with vitriolic words that cannot be taken back.
7. The holiday doesn’t have to be perfect! Invite the family and friends to share in the dinner preparation and holiday decorating. The relationships built are more important than holiday perfection.
Our final thought for the holidays is this – no love has blossomed or been sustained without doing the simple things.
Simple things do matter!