Did you dream of what your first married Christmas would look like? You’d pick out a real tree, and your strong handsome husband would cut it down. Together you’d decorate it and put an angel on top. You couldn’t wait for your Prince Charming to taste your grandma’s sugar cookies and your aunt’s pecan pie. Many December nights would be spent snuggled up by the fire sharing your Christmas memories. Sigh. . .
One big problem. . . your real-life husband much prefers an artificial tree with a star on top. And his family always celebrates their holidays at the exact same time yours does. Not to mention, for him, the holidays are about big gatherings, not little intimate moments. Ugh.
And that’s merely the small stuff—the tip of the iceberg. Broken families, rude uncles, and all the baggage that merging families brings are surely enough to sink the Titanic.
So what’s a married couple to do?
Talk. Yes, talk. Before the overbooking and the disappointment and the arguments, talk about your feelings and expectations. Set aside some time to lay it all out on the table.
For this discussion to be fruitful, you will need to really listen to what your spouse is saying. Listen to understand, not to respond. This isn’t the time to place judgement on their feelings or expectations.
Before you begin, pray for your hearts to be open and loving and for your words to be kind and considerate.
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start preparing your marriage for the holidays. These simple 25 questions will help you navigate difficult conversations with poise.
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25 Questions to Prepare Your Marriage For the Holidays
The purpose of these questions is to help you get the conversation started. You don’t have drill each other or have a heated debate. Merely use these as a guide to better get to know each other and make your holiday plans together. It’s a no-fuss, laid back way to prepare your marriage for the holidays!
Why are we celebrating this holiday?
- What is the purpose of celebrating this holiday?
- What does that mean for our family?
- How can we make sure we are fulfilling our “why?”
What are your expectations?
- How much money will we spend?
- What are your must do’s?
- What do you expect from me in terms of gifts? outings? decorating?
- What events are most important to you?
What are you looking forward to?
- Which events or traditions are you most excited about?
- Who are you looking forward to seeing?
- How can I make sure they happen for you?
What are you worried about?
- What do you dread most about the holidays?
- Are there any situations that make you uncomfortable? Why?
- How have your past holidays affected how you feel about this one?
How can we serve others?
- Who can we serve this holiday?
- What time do you have available to serve?
- How much money can we budget for this?
How can we stay connected?
- What would make you feel most loved by me?
- When will we schedule time for the two of us?
- What can I do to lighten your load?
What’s the next step to strengthen your marriage during the holidays?
After you have listened to each others stories and expectations, decide what’s most important and throw the rest of the baggage out.
We use the templates in the Ultimate Holiday Planner as our road map and guide for our holiday prep conversations. It’s helps us get on the same page as we discuss the upcoming season and plan our festivities with ease and understanding of the other’s needs.
And finally, make sure to check-in and reevaluate throughout the holiday season. Parties may pop-up or unexpected expenses may occur. Before you over commit, make sure you re-visit your plan so you can stress less and make room for what matters most.
Most of all, keep loving well each other well and seeking Jesus as the cornerstone of your relationship.
You’ve got this. Together.