Hooray! It is that time of the year again. The arrival of summer. Christmas is fast approaching and everybody is looking forward to a couple of days off in tranquillity. It?s so exciting.
Wait a minute? Is it really that wonderful? Is it really that tranquil?
Did you know that Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year for any couple? It is so easy to get into an argument of whom to see, when and what to expect from the family. Everyone has high expectations and there are a multitude of things that can end up not going to plan.
You know, it?s the gap between our expectations and the reality that really causes us stress. We want everything to be just right, but it doesn?t always work out there way. There are too many variables. Too many opinions. Too many traditions to uphold. And the greater the gap between what you anticipate and what you get, the bigger the stress you feel in your body.
Around Christmas you have so many obligations to all your extended family and friends, and of course, to your extended family as well.
The children are excited and running around the house like mad. You want to make it special for them too, so you buy nice presents and wrap them. Your partner is spending more time at home is getting excited too. Finally you have the chance to reconnect and spend time together. Maybe revive your sex-live too.
You are busy getting everything and everyone organized. And your social obligations with friends and work are heating up ? everyone wants to see you before Christmas – as if the world would suddenly stop ? adding to the hectic.
Imagine a scenario where everyone is active, excited and you all can?t wait till Christmas day. The kids are energised and you would love to spend time with them, but you can?t because there is so much else to be taken care of. (Stress factor #1 ? the stress from the gap between expectations and reality).
You are both at home ? therefore you hope to get some quality time with your partner and have time for relaxed and satisfying sex. But your head is running in overdrive because there is still so much to do to ensure you all have the ?perfect Christmas?. (Stress factor #2)
You want to spend time with your parents ? they are getting older each year too. But your partner wants to organise things with their parents as well. Your partner?s parents have been divorced a long time ago and now have new partners themselves, meaning that you have literally three households of grandparents to keep in mind. In the end you might only spending three hours with your own parents ? way too little for your taste. (Stress factor #3)
For weeks, you?ve been thinking about the perfect gifts for each of your family members ? especially for the kids. You?ve been running around to purchase them all and now whilst wrapping them your mind is wondering whether they really like your choices. You love to give from your heart, and you also want them to enjoy it and be thankful. (Stress factor #4)
Not the least important is the question of food for Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing day. You know how demanding your family is and your choice might not be appreciated by everyone. Your stress level already goes up, just by thinking about it. (Stress factor #5)
Come to think of it all, now you know why Christmas is the most stressful time of the year for many couples, especially when you have children and large or disjointed families.
What you could do
How about you consider changing Christmas for the better this year? You could get together with your partner now and plan ahead. By the beginning of December you could map out how you both would like to spend your precious festive time this year. After all, you both are in control – it?s your life.
If you both bring your expectations out into the open, you both then can deal with them. Some of your ideas and plans might not be possible to fulfill ? for instance seeing all the parents at 3pm on Christmas Day. Therefore you need to make compromises and adjust plans.
The more you plan ahead and the more you give your expectations and your fears a voice the better prepared you become and the more your partner can help you achieve your goals and avoid the pitfalls.
And as for your longing for some quiet time – just the two of you ? with joyful sex and time to talk?you can plan that too.
You need to be flexible
One of the things I?ve learnt over the last 25 years of celebrating Christmas with my wife and my children is, that in spite of all your planning and all the agreed compromises there are still things that go wrong. There will always be situations that do not match your expectations. Be flexible and smile ? it is just completely normal that things go wrong.
Be accepting and make a joke about it. Getting stressed doesn?t change it; on the contrary, it only makes matters worse.
What I can do for you
Please sign up for my next webinar where I am talking about the pitfalls around Christmas in more depth.
Article provided by J?rgen Schmechel from Inspiring Relationships.
To find out more, please visit my website: www.inspiring-relationships.com.au