December 16, 2015
Couples: 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Relationship with Holiday Cheer
Written by Rachel Eddins
With the bustle of holiday shopping, obligatory office parties, waiting in long post office lines, extended family coming to town, and rustling up a festive meal, your relationship can inadvertently get pushed to the sidelines this time of year.
The holidays are all about spending time with your loved ones, but it can be hard to make time for just you and your loved one. With everything going on, it’s easy to be snippish under stress, or feel neglected.
Make it a point to do something special to during the holidays.
After all, creating traditions and memories is more important in the long term (and let’s be honest, in the short term as well) than finding the perfect gift for a distant relative, or coworker you barely know.
Here are five ways to celebrate your relationship this holiday season. Adapt to suit your tastes!
1. Exchange gifts in a meaningful way. Is your Christmas morning often spent groggily sipping coffee while your children (early risers for one day of the year only) tear open presents?
Exchange gifts between you and your partner the night before. With just the lights of the tree and maybe a candle or two, it will be a lovely, romantic experience just for the two of you.
If you don’t exchange presents as a couple, give yourselves the gift of your time. Cuddle up and sip a glass of wine or a mug of your favorite holiday beverage by candle, tree, or menorah light.
(A favorite couples’ tradition for those who celebrate Hanukkah is to guess which candle will be the first to burn out. The game gets more fun each night!)
Give gifts the way your partner likes to receive them. If you know your partner’s love language (even if you don’t, use your experience to guide you), think of what they would like to receive vs. what you would like to give or get.
Often, our partner prefers something different than what we would want.
What is your relationship attachment style? Take this quiz and find out.
2. Do something that makes you laugh. Maybe it’s watching your favorite holiday show or playing a silly board game.
Take one night off from holiday prep to unwind with some heart-healing chuckles. Go for a walk or drive in your neighborhood to laugh at poorly-inflated holiday yard décor or make a blanket fort!
Turn off your electronics and increase your play time!
3. Start a new holiday tradition. No matter what you celebrate, we can all get behind this one.
Think about a tradition you’d like to start.
It could be as simple as trying a new dish every year.
If it doesn’t turn out, or you end up hating it, at least you had fun making it together!
And who knows, you could create something that becomes a holiday staple.
Or it might be a special gift of gratitude you give each other each year to let each other know what you appreciate and value in your partner.
4. Share what you are grateful for from this past year. A great idea, whether you’re on a budget or not, is to write each other a letter and include a picture (or drawing!) of a favorite memory from that year.
So simple and truly from the heart. You’ll enjoy thinking of what to write as much as receiving your partner’s letter!
This can also be done in two journals, so you can keep all your letters together and enjoy rereading years of good memories.
If it seems too complicated to write out your favorite memory, just share 3 of the best things that have happened to you this year.
5. Offer random acts of kindness to your partner. Increasing the positives in your relationship can help create a buffer zone for when stress appears.
Take a moment each day to offer one little thing to your partner to make them feel special or loved.
It can be as simple as making them a cup of coffee, sending a thoughtful text, or asking about their day and just listening and offer support without giving advice or reciting chores that need to be done.
Pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal positives from your partner as well and show your appreciation. Hug each other! Hugs can be a powerful way to increase bonding and connection.
Remember to show affection and hug each other!
Couples Therapy Can Help You Connect
If you find the stress of the holidays is impacting your relationship in a negative way, contact a couples therapist in Houston to guide you back to connection. For more information on couples and marriage counseling. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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