Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Holiday Plans

A couple of weeks ago, the hubs and I were couch surfing when he casually asked what I wanted to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I answered that I thought we could do Thanksgiving in Maryland with my family and Christmas with his in Massachusetts. We hashed out some details about driving and dates, but they were hashed in a very amicable manner. It took about five minutes when everything was all said and done.

We continued to read and chill on the couch in a satisfied manner. Then Jake looked at me and said, "Did that really just happen? Did we decide about holiday plans in under ten minutes with no arguing, yelling, or tears??!!!"

It was a total fluke. Probably will never happen again.

Holidays are so tricky. I feel like most couples end up arguing about something. The problem with holidays is that they are so entangled with emotion and there are often many people and families involved.

This time of year really can test a marriage. That's why it's important to reflect on what being a team means. You and your spouse are a team. You're there to support and care for one another. Family traditions are most often tied to deep sentiment and we're all individually responsible to make sure that traditions which are meaningful to our spouse are affirmed and validated.

This doesn't mean that every tradition must be observed or that every extended family member must be placated. It means that we should try to suppress the deep, gravelly demon-possessed voice inside that wants to demand, "We always eat ham on Christmas and this is the way it must be done!" Instead, we should do the infinitely harder thing and work towards loving compromises. Everyone's feelings about the holidays are valuable. How can you as a couple support each other and make your respective families reasonably happy? That should be the goal. Not to win or to out-rank each other.

As I said before, this year was a total fluke. It's really not an easy thing to do at all, this holiday planning. And it morphs a bit each year as people, circumstances, and families change. I think the best we can all hope for is to get a little better a loving our spouse each holiday season and working on our compromising skills ad nauseum!

1 comment:

  1. Sooo true. Round One of ours this year were not super pretty as a change in the routine we had was suggested, could have been worse though. The tricky thing is being an only child while the rest of my parents relatives are not around locally for the holidays, and so it means picking which holiday to leave my parents alone for. Ive offered to host Christmas at our place for my parents and my hubby's family to meet geographically in the middle, but that rubbed his family and mine the wrong way. So we have chosen to stick with a routine that has been working for a few years, hoping we all might and adjust to creating this new tradition.

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The goal is to provide three things:
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2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
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