Happy Holidays Wifeys & Gents!
As I might have mentioned, this is my absolute favorite time of the year! There is something about this season that brings out the best in me. Hot coco and cookies become a food group in my home. Creativity and carefully planned shopping trips fill my weekends as I prepare gifts for friends and family. I sing louder, I dance harder, and I want to share my happiness with others. Simply put, my spirits are supernaturally high once November hits and the good feelings last right on up through Valentine’s Day.
I think this is why this past week has been so hard for me. Wifeys, the universe has been testing my holiday spirit! 😦 .People and circumstances have been trying to bend (if not break) me and I have experienced feelings of rejection, loss of hope, and a subtle loss of value in my time with others. It was enough to make me want to quit!
…but then I thought about this blog (yes, you guys have given me a new sense of hope! Congrats).
I started thinking about relationships and the holiday spirit; yes, there is a parallel here (muahaha)! As we ended our long conversation about the rules of dating last week, I am reminded of that honeymoon period that we all go through when we start seriously dating someone new.
It’s kind of like the holiday spirit. We put our best foot forward in everything we do. We are walking on air as we sing songs, dance, eat, and make merry with the people around us. Come on, admit it! You’ve been there. Or you haven’t reached this point you you’ve at least seen someone who has; ie: your best friend gets into a new relationship and all of a sudden she turns into a happy ray of sunshine. It’s kind of like the little boy who bullies kids at school until “elf on the shelf” shows up in his home and for 30 days, he’s got his act together!
There is always that turning point though, be it the end of the holiday season or the “long term” mark in your relationship where we go from supercharged cheer to perfectly average normalcy. Though I do not think “normal” is in any way a bad thing, sometimes I wonder if we would benefit from holding onto our holiday cheer/ honeymoon phases year round, or at least maybe a toned down version.
Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that comfort and joy with a new partner means that certain pretenses are inevitably going to run out. You’re going to fart in front of each other. Your panties are not always going to match your bra. Sex nights might happen once or twice a week. And some nights, you’re going to secretly hope that he or she has scheduled a night out without you and you will finally get to curl up in a quiet house with a good book and a HUGE bowl of ice cream (or is that just me?)! Still, I urge everyone to TRY to keep that romantic spark alive even when the ‘season’ wears down.
This means different things for different people. Maybe it’s time to take a vacation with your honey and focus only on each other? Maybe you actually do go out and buy some sexy matching underwear? Maybe it is something as simple and silly as shaving your legs or putting on cologne? Whatever the gesture, these little things are what add up to showing that special someone that, even when life gets in the way, you really do care about the one your with, and value the time they’ve been beside you, tolerate your crazy (sometimes gross) crap.
For me, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It has taken (and will take) an extraordinary effort for me, in the face of all the negativity this week, to still want to keep my smile on and spread my holiday cheer around for others. The same applies to making an effort to put romance first when the world, and my brain, are telling me it doesn’t matter. Or the deadly refrain of it can wait that becomes all too familiar when trying to balance your relationship with every other part of your life.
Metaphors aside, I think that one great way to overlap the holiday spirit with the spirit of romance is gifting, good old fashioned present under the tree gift-giving!
Now, before I get the standard “this season should be about love and spending time with family” finger wag in my cyber-face…cool your jets, people! I know! Believe me, I know! Coming from a perspective of being really really poor in the past, I completely understand the value of time over gifts and I know the value of spending time with family. No matter how much money you do or do not have, there are literally millions of ways to express your love for someone else through the gesture of giving that range from the very expensive to the bargain price of $FREE.99! (hehe, see what I did there?!)
Any gift can mean the world to someone, simply by letting them know that you took the time to think of them on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, New Years, etc. & the best part is, since this is the season of love and spending time with those who matter most, you can give almost anything (within a few parameters) that will be welcomed, appreciated, and earn that ‘to die for’ smile you know you’re longing to see when he tears open that wrapping paper or she peels away the festive-tissue for the big reveal.
So, my Advice? (Promise, I’ll keep it simple)
1. Show them that you KNOW them. – the best gifts are ones that prove to your partner that you’re listening (both literally and not so literally) to their needs and wants. Does he collect comic books? Did her mom used to put peppermint cookies in her stocking as a kid? Does he love your drawings and doodles? Trust me, no gesture is too big or small as long as it shows you care for the person they are.
2. Don’t be afraid to get silly! – have you tried those cheesy “coupons” that couples sometimes give? You know: “valid for one free night of video games and beer” or “exchange this coupon for a date night of your choosing”. Those are GREAT fun…and can get a little weird if you want them to (yes, in a good way).
3. Work from love. – no matter what you decide to go with, do it with an open heart and there is no way you will fail. A person who truly cares for you will see the love and kindness you put in, and it can be (I kid you not) one of the best gifts he/she has ever received.
Enough said? I think so!
Next week’s post will be a bit early in preparation for the holiday! Until then…
Carry on Wifeys!