Presents or Coal?

by | Dec 22, 2022 | Family Life, Marriage, Parenting, Society

The best present of the holidays is quality time with your spouse.

Ohhhh, Christmas time. There’s always so much to do. Wrap presents, decorate the house, send Christmas cards, bake cookies, shop for food. Sadly, I’ve known many people who find Christmas more stressful than joyful.

Joshua and I were out of town visiting family in December and encountered a bit of the “Christmas frenzy” this year. It’s given us the opportunity to see how to turn Christmas tasks into Christmas dates!

This year, we wrapped presents for Peter and our family together, with a scented candle and a Pentatonix playlist. We watched a movie and ate homemade fondue while we decorated the tree. We also watched a movie while we addressed 100 envelopes for our Christmas cards.

Instead of slaving away alone in the kitchen, we try to bake desserts together, and we turn grocery trips into dates by getting lunch while we’re out.

My parents raised nine kids and always made Christmas the best day of the year. They managed to organize their chores of decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, and fun activities (light looking, ice skating, Santa’s village). Instead of feeling stressed and overwhelmed, they became a team with a calendar and a plan. I never felt like my family was scrambling frantically trying to “enjoy” the holiday season and instead running everyone into the ground.

Especially now that I’ve got my own little one to attend to, I am so grateful that I grew up with great examples of how to embrace the busyness of Christmas, instead of seeing the holidays as a list chores and obligations. My parents saw their time spent shopping and wrapping presents as dates and enjoyed the quiet time together, and Joshua and I have been enjoying that same spirit this year.

When you think about it for a second, it’s surprising how easy it is to turn chores into dates. Christmas need not be a time of frenzy or stress. Are you looking at your Christmas to do list as lumps of coal? Try seeing it as presents for your spouse instead!

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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