Make a list and check it twice!
Research tells us that the two biggest deal breakers in long term relationships are fights about money and Kids – which is synonymous during the Christmas season of perpetual love. So let’s set the record straight, this can be a rough patch for even the most committed of couples.
In order to better snow plow the month of December it is vital for men and women to get the ground rules laid out by Thanksgiving to assure the nice stays in your relationship and the naughty is left at the door step of some other house.
Before we get to the lists, realize right here and now that men and women, due mostly to hormonal differences, come at the holdiays with often opposite mindsets.
Women are usually the magic memory makers and feel the brunt of the pressure to create the perfect holiday with all of the trimmings for their families. They are motivated more by emotion and those elements that cannot be measured. The smile on a chid’s face when they open the coolest gift that no other mom found. We live for those triumphs. We work on school party cookies, outfits for photos, the perfect card, and everything else labeled magnificent Whereas most men think more rationally adding up dollars and cents not smiles and giggles. So, here are two lists every loving couple need have before the milk and cookies are served.
Getting Through Christmas Without A Naughty Fight takes two lists:
The Guest List
A. Sit down and create the list of who will and will not be showing up. Notice I didn’t say the words “family” because your partner may not consider them family even though they’ve been around forever or are sharing DNA with you.
B. Vent, vent, vent well in advance. Some research says that gripping and complaining is more like a rehearsal prepping for the real deal. To minimize that risk, make sure this venting session isn’t on the afternoon before the Christmas Eve dinner. Father time is your friend is you plan right. So, in advance, get all of the moaning and groaning about your cousin’s spilling the gravy all over the new carpet last year out now. Counseling tip: What goes in must come out…. but let it out in the private when no one else can hear, not even the dog. Why hurt that very same cousin who has been planning her visit this year because she had such a wonderful time to your lovely home for the last three months. So wrong, so scrooge.
B. Share what each of you like and dislike like a team creating a private noverbal cue with a gesture to escape to give one another when Uncle Joe blurts his opinion about your crappy job. It can be like a breath of fresh air to have humorous moments of intimacy in a otherwise frantic and stuffy night. This will also lessen him or her feeling like an outcast, the enforcer, or passive-aggressive.
2. The Gift List
You and only you two as a couple know your financial status this season. By the way, it’s no body’s business. Don’t be a scrooge whining and complaining. It’s a Daddy Downer!
It’s hard but try to remember Christmas is more than gifts. It’s about family and being together. Set a limit and stick to it. Don’t wait until Mom has gone all out Santa to tell her it’s time to crunch the numbers. After she has her closet bursting at the seams with gifts galore, it’s way late for that!
Alert the kids as well. Don’t set them up for a disappointment tactfully. Kids tend to blame themselves for all that goes wrong with their parents. Don’t burden them with details. Have them make a list and review it together tactfully. This is the season of marketing magical madness and children want it all. Be honest, don’t we do too!
Please note children do not think like the way do. Be patient, be kind, and try to keep the whole, “Where do you think I’m supposed to get all of this money!” for another time.
Lastly, know you are no different than any other household in America…..every roof has a leak and no one’s holidays are like the beautiful Hallmark cards with scenes of perfect families.
This year’s holdiay will become a child’s memory when they are grown. Make it a good one.
Plan, pray, prepare, and laugh.
April of Course