*Please note: I know it’s October and thinking about Christmas now either makes you nervous or makes you roll your eyes. Keep reading, you’ll gain needed perspective and practical tips. Besides aren’t you curious what the 1 unexpected thing is?
No matter the idealized version of the holiday season you like to imagine, the Christmas season will dogpile you with stress.
It happens every year, couples expect quiet evenings by the fireplace but end up blasted by the cold reality of holiday stress. For example during the holidays, you and your spouse have to debate:
How much do we spend on gifts?
Do we get a fresh or artificial Christmas tree?
How many $4 pumpkin spice lattes are too many?
Which church services do we attend?
What to do we do with the kids?
Which Christmas parties do we attend?
What is an appropriately inappropriate white elephant gift?
How do we tell your well meaning relatives we don’t want fruitcake?
Which set of demanding in-laws do we visit first?
How many family traditions do we have time for?
The list goes on and on.
No wonder the joy of the season is lost in conflict.
The great news is, your marriage doesn’t have to feel disconnected during the holidays. You can actually enjoy each other.
The guaranteed solution to holiday conflict is to fight with your spouse.
Yep a marriage counselor is telling you to fight with your spouse.
The more you discuss, argue, and decide the details of the holidays now, before they’ve even started, the less explosive connection killing conflict you’ll experience later.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to pre-argue every detail of the next three months of your life. Addressing the top two sources of conflict will get you started well.
Discuss your budget for Christmas including gifts, travel, and parties.
Finalize your budget in October for the months of November and December. No one likes the dreaded January Credit card bill. Avoid the January emotional eruption and discuss your holiday budget now. It’s ok to fight. You’ll prevent much bigger fights later. You’ll discover it’s much more pleasant to be proactive than reactive.
Discuss who you will visit and when you will visit them.
Decide now and you won’t have to debate it later in a more pressured setting. Making a decision together ahead of time will help you develop appropriate boundaries for your family and unify you and your spouse.
Simply talking about budget and travel plans can reduce conflict slightly but I challenge you to actually make real decisions. Have the conflict now and make the hard decisions now. Leaving your discussion vague with no decision is as pointless as a decapitated Christmas tree. See what I did there? a Christmas tree with no top? Pointless. Ok, I promise no more cheesy jokes. Get the holiday arguments going in your marriage in October rather than late December.
My eBook The Best Holidays Ever: How to move from conflict to connection this holiday season addresses the 6 major sources of conflict in marriage and how to turn them into points of connection during the holidays. Get it now for only $5. It’s really an awesome deal considering it will save you hundreds of dollars, your sanity, and your marriage this holiday season.