We hate to admit it, but the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas is when we tend to ignore each other the most, eat too much and exercise the least—all of which leaves us feeling stressed and disconnected.
We don’t intend to ignore each other. We invest loads of time and energy trying to make the holidays special for our family–like shopping for gifts on a shoe-string budget. Our family keeps expanding so even when we watch our pennies, Christmas can be a budget breaker. So last Christmas, instead of buying individual gifts, we gave our family an experience. A few days after Christmas, we took everyone to the Spy Museum here in Washington, D. C. Almost a year later, grandkids, who probably can’t name one gift they got last year, fondly remember the trip to the Spy Museum.
Resist the urge to get so busy doing things for your family and for each other that you miss spending time with each other, especially as a couple. It’s easy to overdo the decorating and baking of gingerbread men and sugar cookies, candies, cakes and other goodies. Ahhh! Can’t you just see the carbs going on! So this year we’re being proactive and planning some “Holiday Fitness Dates” to keep us sane and connected. Maybe you want to do the same.
Dating will help you take care of your marriage. You can also take care of some of those extra carbs by planning a couple of workout dates. One year we had a great date while shopping for a treadmill. After visiting four stores and trying out several treadmills, we’d already walked a couple of miles!
We wish you God’s richest blessings, joy and peace as you celebrate Christmas with your family. Take time together to reflect on God’s perfect gift to us on that first Christmas – the Lord Jesus Christ!
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill toward men.”
By Claudia and David Arp, MSW
Parents of 3, Grandparents of 10
Founders of Marriage Alive, 10 Great Dates, and authors