5 Ways to Keep Love Alive This Christmas

{By Samantha Nicole}

In the past two years, I’ve learned that the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons are the best and the worst of times for relationships. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

how to make time for your girlfriend or boyfriend at Christmas

The holiday season is an insanely busy time for all of us. Our weekends fill up with cookie swaps and advent services before we know it, and our nights are packed with ugly sweater parties and dinners with friends. And then there are all the different family members you just have to see before December 25th rolls around. It’s craziness, I tell ya.

Holiday busyness brings on a different kind of stress than what we feel during the rest of the year. It’s easy to lose touch with your significant other amidst all of the fun, but there are a few simple tricks I’ve picked up along the way that may help us all out. (And, yes, this is a reminder to me too!)

#1: Schedule.

The average American female spends twenty hours Christmas shopping each year. Twenty hours. With all that bustling around, how on earth do we plan to have time for romance? One word: schedule. Sunday night, sit down and pull out your to-do lists, calendar, and phone. Figure out when you have little bits of free time and let him know. I can pretty much guarantee that your schedules won’t line up perfectly, but there’s almost always one point in the week when you’ll both be free. Take that time to be “us” time. Just a few moments of quiet with your significant other, and just your significant other, will make a huge difference.

#2: Create a tradition.

Excuse my ADD for a moment, but all I can hear is the Fiddler on the Roof. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

The best thing that Paul and I have done over the last couple of years is create traditions for just the two of us. A tradition could be always going to the same breakfast place on Christmas Eve or creating an advent calendar to use each year or picking an event to attend together annually. For example, Paul’s school hosts a Christmas Gala each year where the men’s and women’s choirs present gorgeous renditions of seasonal hymns and carols. Each year since we started dating, I’ve met his family and driven up for a night of Christmas festivities. It has become one of our favorite evenings to spend as a couple with his friends and family. It’s nothing flashy or overly expensive, but it’s special for the two of us.

how to keep love alive when you're busy

#3: Spiritual recharge.

Christmastime isn’t only exhausting for our relationships, it’s also tiring spiritually. Taking a few minutes to step back and recharge with each other can be the perfect way to dig into the Scriptural meaning of this season and really embrace growing as a couple. Try reading the Christmas story together and focusing in on the relationship between Mary and Joseph. It’s truly an incredible reminder of how men are supposed to honor their significant others even amid circumstances that they don’t understand. Because of the era that they lived in, Mary was probably shamed by family and friends and had to walk away from everything familiar. Joseph trusted an angel and stood right by her side through it all. It’s one of the finest love stories of all time.

#4: Compromise.

All great relationships are built on a base of giving and taking. We want to say “yes” to everything, but that will result in packed out schedules and pure exhaustion. One of my favorite principles comes from Ann Voskamp when she said “Watch your nos and your yeses will take care of themselves.” You are going to have to say “no” at some point. Sometimes you have to sacrifice date night in order to visit with friends from out-of-town, and sometimes you’ll have to skip out on dinner with the girls because you haven’t seen your man all week. The key is to be willing to give things up in order to enjoy the moments that you do get to say “yes” to.

“Wherever you are, be all there.” Our friend Jim Elliot was onto something here. Embrace each moment you’re given and the compromising won’t seem like such a big deal. Life is what you make it. Decided to be joyful this holiday season, even though you have to miss out on some things.

#5: It’s just a season.

Sometimes Mom will win out or that freak snowstorm will get in the way of your plans. Your curling iron will break, he’ll be scheduled for overtime hours, your finals will be ridiculously stressful, and that perfect Christmas season you envisioned will seemingly be falling to shreds. Pick your head up. The craziness of the holidays only lasts for 32 days. You’ll be right back to normal come January 2. The beauty of Christmastime is in the moments we settle into. Create those traditions and embrace that few minutes of empty calendar space because you’re both still going to be standing next month.

Have patience with this season, and don’t let your frustration or stress interfere with the love you’ve built.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~Isaiah 9:6 (Emphasis mine)

What are your favorite traditions at Christmastime? Comment below! 

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