Before Vicki and I were married we started a tradition that we have kept for the past 35 years–a Christmas date. It was usually Christmas light looking and going to a very fancy restaurant and order dessert and coffee (we were broke). We have kept that tradition since the beginning. Sometimes the date was more extravagant, an overnight stay in downtown Chicago. Sometimes more scaled back, nice dinner at home in front of the fire.
During the holidays, pressure, anxiety, and tension can mount to the point of breaking. It is difficult to keep all the moving parts of a typical holiday season going in the right direction, let alone in the same direction. Family expectations, work obligations, added holiday events, increased financial expense, decorating, cooking, and cleaning fill the schedule. Before you know it, you begin to wonder where is the one you do life with every day—buried underneath the pile of expectations, obligations, events…well you get the picture.
From the outside looking in, the holidays are centered around family, the birth of the greatest gift of all—Jesus Christ, enjoying the blessings of the previous year, and preparing for the incredible adventure of a brand-new season. But from the inside, things can be incredibly out of control and the pressure can be too much. The season that carries with it Joy and peace and hope gives way to over scheduled, over spent, and out of focus.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Your spouse is the best gift you have on this earth, aside from the birth of the King of Kings. So, this year be intentional, put your spouse at the top of your list and make your marriage matter.
5 ways to make your marriage matter
- Change your thinking and make everything you do during this season a celebration.
- Go Christmas shopping together and celebrate the ones you are buying for.
- Decorate together with hot cocoa and Christmas music.
- Cook together or split up the duties and share the load–together.
Date during Christmas
- Make every party, kids program, family get together a Date
- Dress nice, hold each other’s hand.
- Take one day (or evening) and have a Christmas date—Just the two of you
- Go Ice skating
- Nice dinner or nice dessert (keep in budget)
- Dress up
- Christmas light looking—that’s free
- Bundle up and go to a Christmas parade
- No kids, no pets, just the two of you
- Hang the mistletoe in your mind—Kiss every day
- Plan your schedule accordingly.
- Realize that the schedules for the entire family are different during this season.
- Embrace it and manage it.
- Get a calendar and schedule everything.
- Communicate everything.
- Do not assume anything.
- Make sure the expectations for family, work, church, school, and social groups are clear.
- This is a big one-pressure, anxiety, and tension come due to money than anything else.
- Stay in Budget-You can’t stay in budget unless you have a budget.
- Sit down together and plan your budget (remember: make it a celebration).
- No matter how much or little you have it’s enough.
- Don’t try to make what you have fit what you do.
- Make what you do fit within what you have.
- Don’t forget to budget your time as well.
- Don’t over-schedule your time.
- Keep your energy level strong.
This season, determine to be intentional about the things that really matter.