I was a little surprised. One of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the room before we eat and share something we are thankful for. This year there were some great things shared, but as I thought about it a couple of days after, there was not one person who shared that they were thankful for their marriage. In all fairness, there were several “family” references, but no specific mention of their spouse. I am probably thinking about this a little bit more because I was caught off guard a couple of days ago, to hear that a couple I know fairly well is thinking about getting a divorce. They have four kids still at home and have been married for twenty years. I asked the husband why in the world they would consider doing such a thing. He said they had spent so many years focused on having kids that they lost sight of their marriage, and lost themselves in the process.
I know many couples can relate to the story I shared. It is so easy and honestly natural to get caught up in the lives of our kids that as a couple, you lose the intimacy and the quality of the relationship you once had. But you can get it back. I am living proof. Even now, at the height of the holiday season, it is so easy to get caught up in all the to-dos that we fail to spend any time as a couple just enjoying the holiday season together. So with this blog, I decided to share some fun things you can do indoors as a couple, to help you rekindle your relationship, and to help you celebrate one of the things you should be most grateful for – your marriage.
Candy Apple Date Night
This was new to me (I am a pecan pie guy) but I also like apples so it was definitely worth the try. You will pay a higher price for gourmet candy apples this time of year, so buy all your favorite treats and experiment at home, instead. Make sure you have the basics: skewers, a bag of caramels, and a roll of wax paper. When it comes to toppings, the sky’s the limit. Candy, crushed cookies, and chopped nuts are just a few of the possible options. If you are like me and you don’t want to wait for the caramel to firm up, try cutting up the apples and have candy apple nachos, instead. Dip slices in the caramel first, then into the fixings. Use muffin tins to hold the different toppings for easy dipping.
Leftovers and a Movie Marathon
You may have hosted, and still have Thanksgiving leftovers coming out of your ears. Or maybe your relatives pushed a bunch of plastic containers into your hands when you left. Either way, you’ve got a golden opportunity. Grab a plate; cuddle up on the couch, and have an epic movie marathon, or binge watch a show you’ve been waiting to watch together. If you’ve got stuffing in the fridge, trust me: pull out your waffle iron and google “stuffing waffles.” Or make yourselves some grilled cheeses with cheddar, turkey, and cranberry sauce. You can thank me later.
Turn Holiday Shopping into a Date
For you non-shoppers this may be a stretch, but you will never know if this works for you until you try it. Remember my talk about taking back Black Friday? Even if you chose not to accept that particular mission, you can make holiday shopping a more relaxed experience by turning it into a date, complete with lunch or dinner out at your favorite restaurant. Round out the shopping by wrapping presents in front of a movie or roaring fireplace. Working as a team will make the shopping less stressful, takes less time for both of you, and you may very well have some additional time to reconnect, too. (I know what the guys reading this may be envisioning right now.)
Make Presents Together
If you’re on a tight budget or just a DIY kind of family, order take-out and make presents instead of buying them. Crafting gifts together creates the perfect atmosphere to chat in a way we rarely do on an average day. What’s more, the memory of creating gifts together adds a whole new level of enjoyment to watching people open their gifts on Christmas Day. And quite honestly, I have found that the gifts I received that someone created themselves (e.g. a special note or framed picture) are some of my favorite and most memorable gifts.
Decorate For the Holidays
OK, so maybe looking for burnt out lights bulbs doesn’t sound like a fun date night, I get that, but if it is for your spouse, and you make the effort to do it with a good attitude, the rewards are priceless. I made the effort recently (I was a little reluctant at first) and actually, decorating the tree with ornaments you’ve been collecting for years is a wonderful idea. We have several sentimental ornaments, so while we put them on we were able to take a trip down memory lane together, which made the process much more fun. It also helped us reconnect in a meaningful way. Adding some hot chocolate was an added boost.
You can make almost any activity into an opportunity to work on strengthening your relationship with your spouse. All it takes is a little effort and time. The question is, it is important enough to you to make the effort and set aside a little time? This is the perfect time of year to do it, with many fun options. Try one of mine or make up something on your own. The key is making your relationship a priority. I am praying for you!
Please feel free to share this with others.