12 Ways to Reconnect with your Partner During the Holidays
On the first day of Christmas… your true love gave you a nod and a wink because they were too tired from all the holiday prep, planning, and visiting they didn’t have anything left in their tank.
If you could break the holidays into two parts, there is the Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and essentially means “arrival” in Latin, which has morphed into a kinda Christmas countdown and commercialized through Advent calendars and the like. This part of Christmas includes a lot of prepping, decorating, shopping, and cramming together as many holiday experiences before it abruptly ends on Boxing Day where you then shift to living in a state of quarantine type existence, not totally sure what day it is, drinking, eating, and wearing full blankets as outfits. Or in other words, 2020.
The second phase of Christmas is historically or religiously recognized in Christianity as Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day (to recognize the visit of the three wise men to baby Jesus). This phase starts December 25th and ends on the twelfth day, which is January 6 – hence the twelve days of Christmas. Some may observe these days by giving gifts each day or feasting on traditional foods, but as mentioned above, most people exist with one foot still in holiday mode and the other itching to start a fresh year.
For as much significance as there is in the history of Christmas and what it celebrates, it has been so commercialized it’s hard not to think a present is what everyone wants; especially if you’re feeling guilty for tucking your relationships on the back burner while you shop, decorate, clean, and turn your attention toward others.
Even though there is a lot going on during these two phases, there are plenty of ways to create a little holiday sparkle with your partner in crime.
Ways to reconnect with your partner quickly
Have your own tradition to kick off the season or represent who are as a couple. Essentially, connection is about working through the rituals that make us feel good and finding ones to do each year. Having a special way to mark the holidays as a couple is important. These traditions could take many forms. Perhaps they occur on a specific day like an anniversary does, or through visiting a place meaningful to you as a couple, or maybe it’s attending an event or place of worship together, or engaging in activities that are playful and fun.
Lend a Hand.
Help them before they have the chance to ask. Acts of Service is (anecdotally tied) as the second most common love language. Doing something for your partner that you know they would like such as dry cleaning their clothes, filling their car with gas, cooking them their favourite meal, giving them some time to get things done, helping with a ‘chore’ they usually do such as shoveling the driveway. By taking something off their plate, it eases their stress and feeling of ‘to-do’. Giving them time to focus on being a couple.
Acting spontaneously and generously by giving your partner a gift before Christmas day makes it that much more special. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive or grande, it could be a new perfume in anticipation of a holiday party, a pair of tickets to a hockey game or concert, a coffee from your Starbucks Holiday Bucket List, or a new Hallmark Keepsake Ornament<link> that might be worth money one day (bam double gift-in-one).
There is something about baking together where measuring must be precise, ingredients are exact, and working as a team to bring to life a new sweet treat is the ultimate in cooperation and bragging rights. I mean, look at all the baking shows. There is some high-stakes drama but the result of enjoying <Ultimate Christmas Pecan and Cranberry Scones> is well worth it. For a touch of competition, host your own bake-off and judge one another’s creations.
This may sound trite, but finding something funny to bond with and sharing a good laugh strengthen your bond.
Shared laughter can decrease negative emotions and help create a closer, more supportive feeling in the relationship. Send your partner a funny meme, watch a movie together, attend a comedy show (this is one of our favourite activities to do), play in the snow or try a new activity like snowshoeing (probably best if you are the type of people who also don’t mind laughing AT yourselves. Not so good if you don’t like to fall or feel inadequate), and your bond as a couple will strengthen.
Ask them what they want to do.
How often are we absorbed by our to-do list that we completely neglect our partner’s needs or wants? By asking them if there is something they want to do, and following through with it, shows you’re listening. It may be helpful to explain you want them to feel heard, appreciated and cared for and encourage them to share what they want with no push back or judgement from you. For example, your spouse wants to watch a sports game with no one there. Follow through with that wish in a supportive way (regardless of whether they do that exact thing most weekends). Ideally, your partner will do the same for you. Hello spa day!
Cause why not? Clear your schedule, put a do not disturb sign on the door, or if you have kids, take advantage of people’s goodwill and send your brood away for play dates, family visits, or even back to childcare providers if they are open. Then you can spend the day or afternoon with just the two of you. Focusing on you and your partner is incredibly important to your health physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s a great stress release, pleasurable exercise, boosts your immune system, lessons pain and improves sleep.
Try a new hobby!
Trying new things together is a fun way to reconnect that doesn’t involve the same old dinner and a movie <link to dates>. Pick a sport, or hobby like wood burning (random!) but you never know what might be fun.
Slow dance in the living room one evening. Light some candles or just use the tree or moonlight to light your space.
Send a love note
A few words in a brief note can be so meaningful when it’s out of the blue. Telling your partner how you appreciate them or hope they have a great day or look beautiful will surely bring a smile to their face. Tuck it into an unexpected place like their coat pocket or even sticky a post-it note to the bathroom mirror. Maybe try writing it in the steam from the shower so when it’s their turn to shower, they’ll see it. Swoon
Getting the Christmas tree together or spending an evening with Christmas music, popcorn and old memories strewn about is a fun way to reminisce over all the years you’ve shared the holidays.
Who can make the best Christmas pancakes? How about the most festive cocktail? Make a little game out of this year’s holiday hustle and bustle and show off your talents while vying for the best of the best.