Can you believe it’s time for another holiday season already?
You can celebrate love and family. Reminisce about the past year. Share plans and dreams for the year to come. You get to eat your favorite foods. Visit with people you haven’t seen in a while.
It truly is a special time. But the stress of holiday preparations and commitments can make it more complicated. And the wonderful and sacred traditions associated with the season can stir up many different feelings. While we are expected to feel profound joy, the holiday dredge up deeply sad feelings for many.
During a time filled with commercials for engagement rings and extensive family gatherings, these feelings can create a distance that is especially disheartening. But it doesn’t have to be.
The key is to take time to be there for each other. This isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Use these tips to support each other through the holidays, and strengthen the bond between you and your partner.
If You Are Feeling Down…
If the holidays bring up discomfort or sadness for you, let this be known to your partner. We are often expected to be happy, but in order to work through issues and move past your feelings of sadness or loss, you must first recognize them.
Do not push away your emotions because it is a certain time of year. Doing this will only impede your growth and carry your emotions over into the next coming years. Your partner can help you and support you through this time, but only if you open the door for dialogue and communication.
If Your Partner Is Feeling Down…
It works both ways. If you do not see your partner getting excited and enjoying the holiday season, see if they’re willing to sit down and talk about what’s going on.
Whatever you do, don’t try to push your happiness on your partner. Create a safe environment where they can talk openly about their feelings, and make sure that you are supportive and validate those feelings.
Enjoy Your Partner’s Family Traditions
Not every family celebrates the holidays in the same way. Some of your partner’s holiday traditions may seem a little odd or different compared to the traditions you grew up with, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
Understand that although your expectations for holiday activities may look different than your partner’s, the holidays are all about coming together. Participate in the different gift exchanges, meals, or traditions that your partner loves, while also sharing your own. You may discover something new and fun that enables you to create memories for years to come.
Time to Reflect
Many holiday traditions focus not on celebration and joy, but on repenting, reflecting, and moving forward. Apply these traditions to your relationship.
As I mentioned before, this is the time to create a safe environment to discuss your struggles and conflicts of the past year. Are there any lingering doubts or issues you need to discuss? Have you reached the goals you set throughout the year?
Don’t just limit this to the negative stuff. Remember to celebrate your successes and your highest moments from the year as well.
Bottom line – you and your partner have enjoyed another year of love and commitment. So make sure you take time out to celebrate your relationship while you’re celebrating everything else this holiday season.
Rooting for you!