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!