Surviving the Holidays without a Fight

Holiday time can be a very emotional and stressful time for couples. You’re changing your day-to-day routines, making countless decisions, looking for good deals, our perfectionism is in full swing, and we are spending a lot of money. There are few things more volatile than expenses in a relationship, and because decorating and gifts are not a necessity, setting expectations ahead of time is important. COMMUNICATE!!  And come to an agreement about the basic things such as gifts, budget, and decorations.  Then go from there.

A lot of folks build up a huge stress over finding the “perfect gift” for someone special.  The worry isn’t worth it!  Simply ask in advance, have them give you a list, or better yet, give them the gift of your time by planning a special day with them!

Do you hate your husband’s holiday decor/style? If you want him to get rid of things, you need to do the same. There has to be a clear give-and-take, so no one feels that they’re being pushed out or ignored.  Learn to compromise.  In a relationship, you both bring your own unique things to the party.  You may not love his colored tree lights, or tall scandalous fishnet stocking leg lamp in your front window, but he might not love your extra fluffy faux fur pillows (that now contain missing Lego pieces) either.

Don’t confuse relationship issues with silly holiday dilemmas.  Folks are overworked, tired, and frustrated during holiday times. Setting up your outdoor lights, buying gifts or tree decorating shouldn’t build into an argument over whose extended family is worse. Remember that you are likely stressed and exhausted, and you might just need to put yourself on time out for a while to calm down.

As much as you want everything to fall perfectly into place, and have your home be a magical holiday wonderland, life just isn’t designed to be that perfect. Create an environment that reflects both of you together.  If you have kids, they will feel your love and be calm with you.  If you and your spouse are at each other’s throats, kids can feel that tension and act out too.  When the adults have open communication, set realistic expectations, and are willing to compromise and roll with all the hiccups that will happen, you can have a home filled with love and respect for everyone who comes there.

P.S.  Guys, if you’re looking for an awesome gift idea for your wife, tell her how much you love her by your actions… tidy up the house, find a babysitter, give her time to get ready, and take her out!  If you plan it all, you can’t go wrong.

What do you do to keep the “Peace On Earth” in your home during the holidays?  We want to know!!  Share your favorite tips in the comments below.

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  • Monsieur_Pantalons_Intelligents
    December 2, 2016 at 6:29 am

    And all these years I thought you liked my leg lamp. It was after all a major award. 😉

    • Laura and Melessa
      December 2, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Ha! Brian, how did you know we were referring to you?!? 😉

  • Rocio Chavez
    December 2, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Yes, yes and yes – actions speak louder than words for sure. Thanks for including that, so true and a great piece.

    • Laura and Melessa
      December 2, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Rocio! Now, if we can only remember that when we’re stressed!

  • Sheila
    December 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Love this! It is so important to remember to communicate. Also, I love the drawings you did for this, they are too cute!

    • Laura and Melessa
      December 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Communication really is key, Sheila. And Melessa had a blast with the drawings–thank you!

  • Jesse Coulter
    December 2, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Thankfully my husband doesn’t care much about décor! We tend not to fight very often, except I get stressed when we visit my in-laws. After WAY too many nights at their house last year my husband and I decided on a TWO NIGHT MAXIMUM…for any occasion (we have to travel 4 hours and stay the night). That has really helped!

    • Laura and Melessa
      December 2, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      That’s great advice, Jesse! We just instituted the same rule last year. I once had a boss that said, “Fish and houseguests stink after three days.” A good rule of thumb! 🙂

  • Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons
    December 2, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Plan early, do as much as possible via internet shopping, and date night! I must admit, buying gifts only for the kids (not for extended family or each other) went a super long way in chilling us both out-cut our work in half!

    • Laura and Melessa
      December 2, 2016 at 10:38 pm

      Oh, I LOVE that idea! The only extended fam we buy for are our parents, and the cousins exchange names, but cutting all that would be amazing! (for us, anyway…) 🙂

  • janahogan
    December 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    I made a decision early on in our marriage not to send annual Christmas cards. I knew it would stress me out every year, so I never worried about staring the tradition of sending them. I know everyone has some traditions they love and that are worth holding onto. However, I ask myself what I can let go of in order to enjoy my loved ones and the few traditions that are worth the effort for us!

    • Laura and Melessa
      December 2, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      That’s excellent advice, Jana! Simplifying is always best!

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