Lisa’s thoughts on maintaining intimacy through the holidays…
This time of the year can be a tough time to maintain oneness with my spouse. There is far more running around to do, time spent with extended family is increased, finances are decreased and the children are home from school for many extra days. Not to mention cold, snow and less daylight hours in our part of the country!
This year we are trying a relaxed, easy approach to Christmas.
The holidays are a time of year where we tend to over-extend ourselves, friends are having parties, family expects us at their house sometime during the holiday and extra time is spent on baking and gift preparation. Taking this into consideration, we have decided this year to make Christmas simpler by taking a little break from some of the extras so we can spend time with our family and friends, we decided to put each other and our family first by not spreading ourselves too thin. It is important to both of us to maintain our time of intimate growth, I don’t just mean sex, but that is usually a surefire way to de-stress and bond us to each other.
Spending time with loved ones is great, but it can come with conflict.
The holidays can also be a time of conflict. Some family conflicts never seem to go away and the wounds get rubbed back open when you spend time together. There aren’t many big conflicts in our family, but there are a few things that get touchy. Greg and I try to draw near to each other during the holidays, avoiding becoming enemies during this stressful time can be difficult, we have to be proactive. We have had great talks about what hurts us and what we don’t appreciate and have tried to be shields and a comfort for each other if situations arise. Helping each other keep a right heart during the holidays keeps us right with each other and ready to come to the aid of the other if necessary.
Gifts during the holidays are wonderful, but they shouldn’t rule what you are doing.
When it comes to gift giving we try to keep it simple. We are not the Rockefellers and we have four children, so we try to maintain a reasonable budget during the holiday season. I am not a “gifts” person(by the five love languages standard)so I don’t put as much pressure on myself as someone who may have a “gifts” need to get the perfect gift or gift wrapping for each person. I have even been known to go the gift card route, people love them and they get to pick out what they want. In the past, Christmas cards have been a stressor for me. Who should all get one? Feeling guilty about the people I missed that sent me one. Having them hand written versus writing a letter, the list goes on and on. I have decided to turn this stress off this year.
Our four children all know what it means when the basement door is closed, do not disturb!
Greg and I get to spend a lot of time together due to the schedule we have been able to create for our lives and our family, but we get to have most of this time because our children are in public school and they are all out the door by 8:30am. Over Christmas one of our sons will be at his dad’s house, but our other three children will be with us and not in school, this creates a lack of intimate privacy for us for two whole weeks! We try to make the best of this time by spending time with our children that we don’t normally get to spend with them. Greg and I have placed our bedroom in the basement of our home for a multitude of reasons, one being that we can create intimate alone time in our home by closing the basement door. I try to look at the holiday break with a positive attitude instead of a negative one to help myself cope with all the time off from school and extra care they need. I know a lot of people struggle with daycare issues during this time and it can really create a stressful situation, to those I say “prayer and patience” – God can smooth your path.
Keeping priorities straight and realizing these are days that will pass by can be helpful in maintaining a positive attitude during the holidays.
Making sure we are not overcommitted, not spending too much money, protecting each other from family conflict and providing fun for our kids during their time off from school can seem like a full time job during this season, but it is always well worth it. It is more of a mind set and if we work together it usually seems to go pretty smoothly. Maintaining our together time is essential and keeping our intimacy intact keeps us together instead of at each other. You can overcome anything with your spouse if you are together on it, be proactive about not letting the holidays separate you. Sex is the glue that keeps us together and in marriage it is very important to have great sex to keep you connected.
Sex is the best way to beat stress and connect with your spouse, my cure for holiday stress, Sex!