Festivities, family gatherings, and unique gifts are all at the top of the priority list for the Holidays. For many years, I spent countless hours shopping for the best prices and buying everything on everyone’s list. In the end, my husband and I would end up arguing about how much money I spent and how much stress I created for ourselves. Christmas morning came, and the gifts were open in a matter of seconds, and I stayed feeling empty and sometimes disappointed.
As a counselor, I knew that was wrong and that I should figure it out, but I choose not to share my feelings with anyone because I didn’t want to feel dumb. Yes, there I said it I felt dull and sad! I continue to hide my feelings and keep trucking along, until one Christmas morning a few years ago.
That morning my husband gave me a beautiful gift that I thought was worth more than I deserved. Unknowingly I made very harsh comments that hurt the person I love the most and embarrassed him in front of our kids and his mother. I immediately knew I had messed up and felt terrible for it. Moments later I found myself in our bedroom crying and feeling horrible for my husband and sad for what I had done. It was then that I realized something had to be done and fast.
Holiday Frenzy Damage Control
The Holidays can be a massive source of stress for many of us, and the only way to get through it is by being honest with yourself. Being a therapist equipped me with practical techniques to share with others and guess what they work for me too in my marriage. Below is how my husband and I saved our marriage from another Christmas disaster.
• Honesty and Sincerity – having open and candid conversations with the person you confessed your love too in front of your closest friends and family should be easy, right? Not really! That Christmas morning, I learned a big lesson. Being honest with myself and then others are probably the hardest and most valuable lesson I have ever learned. Therefore, before the season begins have a conversation about the finances, expectations, and desires for the Holidays ahead.
• Planning – After that Christmas, we started talking about each other’s expectations and needs for the holiday season. Let’s face it we usually have no problem speaking about our needs with each other. Why was this so much difficult at this time of the year? The answer is simple because I wanted to make everyone happy and in the midst of doing that I lost myself in the mix. I came to learn that I also wanted to feel special and that unless I share my thoughts, my husband would most likely not meet my needs to my expectations.
• Acceptance and Understanding – I came to accept that a perfect Christmas was no longer the focus of the Season. Nor was a fair assessment of what occurred every December. My husband and I started focusing on making lasting memories for ourselves and enjoying Christmas as supposed to stressing about the logistics of making everyone else’s Christmas Magical.
In all, handling Christmas stress adequately to save your marriage from the Holiday frenzy is essential. Be honest with your spouse or partner. Make plans and listen to each other’s needs. Remove the pressure of wanting everything to be perfect and accept that somethings might not work as planned. Finally, hold each other tight on Christmas Eve and profess your love for each other.
Merry Christmas and many Blessings~