Christmas is such a special time but often the joy and simplicity of rejoicing over the Lord Jesus’ birth can be frantically forgotten when busy schedules and overwhelmed spirits clog our minds. Being newly wed, I am learning how important it is to purposefully connect with my husband amongst the busyness that accompanies the wintry, festive days of Christmas. Here are eight ways I’ve discovered to love your mate during the holiday season — I hope these ideas can inspire all, fire-up busy, holiday-happy wives, and encourage my single sisters as well!
1. Do something special
I have found that loving my husband can be as easy (and sweet!) as remembering to keep our lives special. Does he take a lunch to work? Maybe tuck a holiday-themed love note next to his bologna and pickle. Perhaps your beloved is working late hours into the cold evening? He may enjoy coming home to a warm, favorite meal of his. There are so many ways you can purposefully remind your love that he is special and that you appreciate him!
We all know that communication is key for a happy, peaceful marriage; but, how much more when the holiday season has you both running in all directions? Lately, we have had to communicate (and re-communicate) our expectations, hopes, and plans for visiting family over the next few weeks, how to manage our budget, my starting a college class/finishing my associates degree, ending a part-time job (and how to go about it), a friend’s out of town wedding, and how to make the most of my sister’s flying from Arizona without being away from home for two weeks straight (that is a hard one!). Communicating with your spouse your hopes and desires and listening to theirs is a surefire way of making them feel loved and wanted — even in the midst of a busy schedule!
Also, it is really important to communicate with family and friends too! There is nothing like bringing a can of cranberry sauce to the New Year’s Eve party when you were supposed to bring two casseroles and pie. Be honest and open about expectations and you’ll be sure to avoid silly misunderstandings!
3. Date him
Dating you’re hubby is an incredibly fun and easy way to stay connected this holiday. If the holidays are making your budget tight opt out of over-spending and purpose to be with each other in other ways. My husband and I love to go grocery shopping together … we normally make a day of it by hanging out at his favorite video store and then browsing the beautiful aisles of Hobby Lobby, making my crafting-heart rejoice! I know one couple who have made it their habit to go for coffee and dessert. Button up and go for a walk, listening to each other’s hopes and dreams for the future. Finally, don’t forget how fun a Star Wars marathon and freshly popped popcorn can be.
4. Be kind
It seems elementary but being kind is important and easily forgotten (at least by this goal-driven, sometimes moody, first born ;). Complement him. Refuse to nag over unfinished projects. Don’t run him over just because your mom is coming over and you want everything perfect. Practice unconditional respect and forgiveness. Most of all, bless him with you’re kind, loving, consistent smile and mood … he will appreciate and notice it!
5. Do not assume the worst
Remembering that love thinks no evil is an incredible way of loving your mate this season. It can be so easy to assume the worst of your spouse and let negative thoughts gain ground … especially when the holiday festivities tend to add stress to all-ready crowded days. I really struggle with this. Thoughts like:
What did he mean when he said that?
What does he think of me?
He doesn’t seem to be in love with my idea so he must hate it and I hate that he gets to be the boss and why can’t I make my own decisions!
(see how quickly assuming the worst can develop into a hard, unloving, untrusting attitude?)
Yikes! Instead of ripping the poor, unsuspecting man’s head off, learn to put a stop to the negative, assuming thoughts. I’ve noticed that men (particularly my man) say what they mean and mean what they say. They don’t play word games.
Plus there is nothing wrong with asking “What exactly did you mean by _____?” nor is it bad to sweetly say, “Babe, I don’t think you meant to hurt my feelings but when you said _____ I felt really hurt.” 🙂 Communication is key, remember?
6. Pray together
The couple that prays together stays together — especially during the holiday season. Praying with your husband is a surefire way of reconnecting your two busy souls into one likeminded blend. It is a precious time when you set aside the stresses of life and look to your Heavenly Father as one. It is a time for rejoicing and practicing thankfulness. A time to lift worries and needs before the throne. Most of all, it is a time of unifying your hearts and reminding yourselves that together you are heirs of the grace of life.
Remembering to step back from the busyness of life and laugh can be a strong way of loving your mate! In the midst of tight budgets, traveling to see family, deciding on which (multiple) church/school functions to attend, and the normal day-to-day activities that battle for your attention it is easy to forget to laugh together. But taking a moment to laugh together is a fun, cheap, easy way to remember the important things in life. So go ahead — have that pillow fight, reminisce over your first Christmas and the cute, albeit, bare Charlie Brown tree you shared in the crowded apartment, and smash the sugar cookie into his adorable face. Because, let’s face it. If you aren’t having fun together then all the busyness and stress isn’t worth it. 🙂
8. Step back
Finally, one last, surefire way of loving your mate this holiday season is to simply step back from it all. Depending on your season of life you might not be able to make it to every get-together, every musical, and every gift-wrapping fananza. And that’s okay. There is no medal given out for having the busiest schedule. There is, however, many golden moments which result from simply stepping back from some of the busyness and focusing on you, your spouse, your family and, most importantly, remembering the Reason for the season.
There you have it! Eight surefire ways of purposefully loving your mate this Christmas season! What are some ways you purposefully connect with your spouse? I’d love to hear your thoughts!