The mad dash between Halloween and New Year’s Day is loaded with opportunities to gather with family and friends and celebrate good times, good people, and good intentions.
It’s can also be incredibly stressful. And for some, lonely and hard. We spend more. We eat more. We can be distrated by expectations and obligations, and it’s really easy to get overwhelmed.
There’s no guidebook on “How to Holiday”, but we’ve got a few suggestions that we hope will help you stay connected (and sane).
Gratitude changes you… it changes you both when you share it as a couple. Two of the most important themes of the holidays are “giving” and “gratitude”. If you take time to be grateful — if you practice it — it will change your experience of the season. Try gratitude every day. Look for opportunities to say “thank you”. When you look for, and acknowledge out loud, things you’re thankful for in your partner, it creates a habit of mind that strengthens your bond.
It’s really easy to get distracted during the holidays. There are so many demands: Who is buying the gift for Aunt Sarah? What time exactly will we go to mom’s on Christmas day? What are we bringing to the holiday party? You get it. Make sure you take time to turn toward your partner during this time, and care for one another. Make eye contact. Breathe. Check in. Listen to each other.
One of the most important things you can do for your relationship is to create meaning through formal and informal rituals. This is where memories are formed and deepened. You likely already have many rituals that mark the holidays. Are they unique to you and your marriage, or are they inherited from your larger family? If they’re unique, take a minute to talk about what they mean and how they help reinforce your values as a couple. If they’re inherited, consider creating a new ritual that’s all your own.
From all of us at forBetter we want to wish you the happiest of holidays. I hope you’ll take a few moments to celebrate and be grateful for your relationship. Thank you for letting us play our part.
On your side,
– Zach and Laura