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Mistletoe and Mayhem

Monday, December 6, 2021 • Matt Loehr • Marriage Advice
With emotions and expectations higher than normal, the potential for disagreements is accelerated. Getting ahead of the game by putting three proactive principles in place can diminish holiday disagreements, and help you have a more harmonious Christmas season.
Mistletoe and Mayhem

Mistletoe and Mayhem

Holiday stress on a marriage is a real thing. Busier schedules, increased spending, and prolonged/more frequent interaction with extended family, creates the potential for some full-blown relationship issues. Before everything starts spiraling out of control, take a moment to read about common pitfalls, and some proactive principles you can put in place to help you have more mistletoe and less mayhem!  

 

Festive Fantasizing – Christmas brings the hope and wonder alive in many of us. It’s that one time of year when we give ourselves permission to be extra jolly, extra generous, and extra obliging to even perfect strangers. But if we are not careful, our festive fantasizing about ‘the perfect season’ that you know exists because you have seen it over and over in Hallmark movies, can put extra pressure on you and your spouse, leading to disappointment and disagreement.

 

Festive Fatigue – Festive fatigue is a real thing. Parties, shopping, programs, and deadlines, all play a part in holiday burnout. If you let these things get away from you, by the time the big day arrives, you may end up frazzled and short-fused instead of merry and bright with those you love most.

 

Festive Fighting – Over-romanticizing about everything coming together perfectly and trying to do too much (physically, and financially) can cause friction in even the strongest of marriages. With emotions and expectations higher than normal, the potential for disagreements is accelerated. Getting ahead of the game by putting three proactive principles in place can diminish holiday disagreements, and help you have a more harmonious Christmas season.

 

FOCUS:

  • Before everything begins to spiral out of control, sit down together and remind yourselves that Christmas represents hope, love, and restoration. Many people wait until Christmas Day to read the Christmas Story. Starting the season out by reading portions about the foretelling events surrounding the promised Messiah, can bring your focus back to the purpose of what you are celebrating.
  • Make a plan. This includes going over events on your calendar together and deciding who will do what, and what you will or will not have time to do. Create a spending budget. Make a list of who you will buy for and how much you will spend on them. If your budget is limited, think of creative ways to bless people that are not monetary. DO NOT GO INTO DEBT BUYING PRESENTS.

FEEL:

  • Christmas can be a very emotional time, but you get to choose what emotions you will feel. Choose peace, hope, joy, love, and grace with yourself and each other.
  • Don’t put all your energies in preparing for ‘the big day.’ Try to make the most of as many moments on the way as possible. Take time to find awe in the changing season. Look for little blessings in unexpected places. Start each day with thanksgiving. Be fully present in as many moments as possible.

 

FUN:

  • Studies show that we remember events more than gifts. Create fun traditions this season. Keep it simple enough that you are not stressed out financially or physically.
  • Make a list of things you enjoy and love most about each other. Celebrate each other’s strengths and talents.
  • Spend quality time together. Don’t give up that weekly date during this season. You need it more than ever. It may have to be modified a bit, but don’t nix it.
  • Buy some mistletoe this year!

 

During this season, “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given!” (Rom 5:13, Is 9:6)

Scriptures: Isaiah 9:6, Romans 5:13

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