12 Days of Christmas Memories: Marriage

xmas 20030001

What do you remember about your first Christmas as a newlywed?

I remember picking out our tree.  We got married the week before Thanksgiving, and we were both still in college.  On the Sunday of Thanksgiving break, I suggested that we put up a Christmas tree.

Since we were living in his buddy’s house, we included him in the discussion.  We agreed on  an artificial tree because it would cut down on the mess.  The living room was already crowded, so we settled on a tabletop size.

My husband and I went to Walmart.  We had about $30 to spend, which mostly went toward the tree.  Then we agreed on white lights and red and green glass ornaments.  He surprised me by insisting on red bows.  “Every Christmas tree looks better with bows,” he said.

I was surprised he had an opinion—most guys don’t care much about Christmas décor.  I was pleased it mattered to him.  My family never decorated with bows.  This was the start of a new tradition, a combination of two worlds.

Every Christmas tree we’ve had since then has red bows.  My husband hasn’t voiced any opinions about how I decorate since our first Christmas together, and I doubt he remembers what he said about bows.

I have kept bows on the tree as a visual reminder to include him in Christmas festivities and not put all my focus on celebrating with our children.

We have what you may call a high-maintenance marriage.  My husband really enjoys having me all to himself.  We are both very independent and busy, but frequent date nights are a must.  I have noticed when I get so caught up in holiday planning and activities centered around our children, he becomes cranky and irritable.

I used to think he’s a bit of a Christmas Grinch, but now I know how to interpret his signals.  I can’t put off time with my husband in the busy Christmas season without paying a price in our relationship.  His crankiness is a call to action.  When I prioritize a special December date night or two with him, our relationship flourishes.

I think many husbands could relate to how he feels, but they aren’t as expressive.  It’s so easy to forget his needs when so many activities cry out for attention.  I have learned to carve out time for him just like I carve out time with our children during the Christmas season, and we’re all happier that way.

How blessed I am to have a husband who loves one-on-one time with me!  I want to honor him with my time at Christmas now, like I did so easily as a newlywed. 

Questions:

How often do you and your husband have regular date nights?

Do you think your husband may feel left out in your family’s Christmas activities?

What special date can you plan with him during the Christmas season this year?

Blessings to you,  Sarah

P.S. Today is Day 7 of 12 Days of Reader Tips for Christmas Peace.  Be sure to leave a comment on my related Facebook post with your tip!

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