Ironically, the holiday season is, universally, the most stressful time of the year (next to income tax month, that is). Aside from juggling the usual responsibilities of parenting, work, business, childcare and home duties, we've got to make time for the holiday parties and reunions, not to mention gift-shopping.
Isn't it funny how amidst all the Christmas lights, tree-trimming, baking marathons, and gift-wrapping, we find ourselves too busy (or tired!) to enjoy the season? Or worse, do we lose valuable “alone time” with our spouse on account of what's supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year?”
A great marriage is worth having, and making it great involves recommitting to that marriage relationship every day. Finding time for romance - even during the hectic Christmas rush - can help keep your marriage fun and light. Go out of your way to be a great spouse so that you can give your marriage the gift of love this holiday season.
Don't let the busyness of the season steal your time from your marriage! Here are ten tips on finding time for romance with your spouse during the Christmas rush.
Mark off dates and times for your obligatory events, like family reunions. But in the middle of all this, reserve non-negotiable dates just for yourselves as spouses. Don't involve anything Christmas-related in your activities; a simple coffee date or a nice Christmas movie will be great for some cuddles!
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2. Drop the kids off at the grandparents.
During your December date days or nights, arrange for the kids to stay with the relatives or sleepover at the grandparents' house. Your family will be more than willing to watch your little ones for a few hours - or even overnight. Book with your relatives early enough so that they can plan their schedules to accommodate you, too.
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3. Bring out the compliments.
One of the best ways to sneak in some romance during this busy season is through your words. Start complimenting each other, or acknowledging each other. Tell your hubby how you appreciate him taking time to shop for gifts, or thank him for all his hard work just so your family can have a happy Christmas. If you're the hubby, things like, “Thanks for all your hard work, ”or even “You look beautiful when the Christmas lights are on” take no effort at all to say to your wife, yet they are sure to bring smiles and hugs around!
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4. Go some place new together.
According to studies, couples who engage in a new activity together experience similar emotions to those they felt early on in their dating relationship. Reminisce your early days as a couple and try something new together. Try out a new, hip restaurant, maybe go to a museum you've never been to, or go ice skating (don't laugh; people do it all the time!).
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5. Do something exciting or active together.
Other studies on couples have shown that chemicals associated with exercise are similar to those that trigger sexual arousal. That said, find something active or exciting to do! Go to the gym together or a dance class, even just for one night during the holidays: Getting your adrenaline up can be a great way to jump-start a romantic evening!
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6. Do some Christmas wrapping.
No, this isn't some typo or excerpt mistakenly put in this article; any time you can score alone with your spouse constitutes as “alone” time. Wrapping presents together can be a great time for talking, especially if you're wrapping up the kids' gifts.
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7. Be spontaneous (wink).
In other words: Squeeze in a quickie when you can. Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist, author and Redbook magazine love expert advises brief sexual encounters for couples who are trying to find time for romance during busy times such as the holidays. “Quickies or morning heavy petting can make the whole day more exciting,” says Tessina.
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8. Go on a breakfast or lunch date.
Evenings can get filled up easily these days: last-minute (or overtime) office assignments, midnight madness shopping runs, and Christmas parties that never seem to end. Clock in a breakfast date before work, or meet up during your respective lunch breaks at a nice restaurant in your work district.
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9. Put the kids to bed early.
Schedule the kids' bedtimes a few minutes earlier than usual. It's a great way to squeeze in some extra time with your spouse. Use the time to give each other a back rub or cuddle on the sofa in front of the Christmas tree and just chat uninterrupted... over some wine, ideally!
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10. Write a love note.
Be silly! Put love notes where your partner will see them, such as on the bathroom mirror or on his morning coffee mug. Send him a cheesy Tweet, a cute Facebook status update, or a text message saying how much you appreciate him.