5 Tips for Making Holiday Plans as a Couple As the holidays approach and parents and in-laws begin making demands, itís important you and your spouse get on the same page. BY JENNA D. BARRY
The holidays are a time to enjoy, not fight about where you'll be.
You have an opportunity to be a great spouse this holiday season. Couples are faced with many decisions this time of year about where and with whom to spend the festivities. This can lead to disagreements which cause tension in the marriage. Here are five tips for making holiday plans as a couple:
1. Donít ignore your partnerís needs by insisting that he or she spend the holidays the way you want to spend them. Marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship. Spending time with each otherís parents is part of the marriage commitment, so donít refuse to spend Thanksgiving with your in-laws because you donít like them.
2. Try to reach a fair compromise that leaves both of you feeling you got what you wanted. If you would like to spend Christmas with your family but your spouse wants to spend it with hers, flip a coin. If you win the toss, agree to spend Thanksgiving (or next Christmas) with her family or buy her that new couch she has been wanting.
3. Make your spouse a priority over Mom and Dad (even if it upsets them). Your behavior plays a key role in how well your partner gets along with your parents. Donít say "no" to your wife so you can say "yes" to your folks. Remember, this is when youíre making holiday plans and again while you are visiting with relatives. Never belittle your husband or gossip about him to your family. Likewise, stand up for your wife if your parents criticize or gossip about her.
4. Remember that short visits are usually the most enjoyable ones. Rather than inviting your in-laws to stay in your guest room for a month, give them specific dates to choose from or suggest a nearby hotel. If you need a little break during family visits, go for a jog, take a nap or spend time with friends.
5. Realize itís okay to start your own traditions instead of following old ones. Just because your mother expects you to spend every Christmas at her house doesnít mean you are obligated to do so. Nor do you have to drive to both parentsí houses every Thanksgiving just because they live in the same town. You and your spouse have the right to decide where and with whom to spend the holidays. If youíd prefer to celebrate the festivities at your own houseówith her family, your family, both or neitheróthen do that. If you have kids, that's often times the easiest solution anyway.
Let this be a time to grow closer as a couple. By treating each other with love and respect, you can help to make this a season of peace and joy in your marriage.