Being the romantic at heart, Christmas provides many opportunities for strengthening your marriage. There is enough unnecessary stress during the holidays. Therefore, instead of bowing to Grinch stress, let me offer some helpful suggestions to make your marriage “be merry and bright.”
Men, take 15 minutes. Get your December calendar and mark out at least five days you and your wife can have a date. Come on, men. Get up right now. Go get your calendar. Got your pen? Now, write “Date w/ _______” in five day boxes on your calendar. If you don’t plan it, most likely it will not happen. Furthermore, when someone invites you to another activity, you say, “Sorry. I have something already planned for that day.” Your wife will see that she is your top priority, and the mistletoe will become even more special to both of you!!!
“After the Kids Go to Bed” Date: You did not marry your kids. You married your wife, and she needs you to spend time with her without interruptions. So, meet in a cozy place in your home. Make or purchase your favorite snack and drink. Play some soft Christmas music in the background. Play a game, work on a puzzle, watch your favorite Christmas movie, . . . just do something together AND SILENCE YOUR PHONES. When you are done, read Luke 2:1-20, and pray together.
“Fireplace” Date: Find a location with a fireplace such as a restaurant (Panera, Chop House, Cracker Barrel), a coffee shop (local) or a hotel lobby (Grove Park Inn; DreamMore Resort, Dollywood). Sit as close as possible to the fire . . . and to each other. After securing a coffee/hot tea and pastry, just talk. Ask each other the questions. Enjoy each other’s company. Block out the rest of the world. Check out this website for some good discussion starters: 50 Question to Strengthen Your Marriage (Don’t get distracted by the other articles on the blog site. Stay on point.)
“Book Store” Date: Locate a table near the coffee shop of a local bookstore or a reading couch. After you’ve found your spot, then you begin your three to five round search for books. On each round, both of you look for a book for that round’s subject. Give about 5 minutes for each search. Once you have found your book, return to your location. Taking turns you share your findings with each other by reading a portion of the book to each other, discuss it, and then return the books at the same time. From there, go find the next round’s subject and repeat as described above.
- Round One: Find a children’s book that was one of your favorites as a child.
- Round Two: Find a cookbook that has one of your favorite recipes.
- Round Three: Find a book that gives info and pictures of a place you would like to visit.
- Round Four: Find a book of romantic poetry. (Be sure to read the poem you found to your spouse.)
- Round Five: Find a clean joke book. (My wife and I have laughed so hard tears ran down our cheeks.)
When you have completed this fun, romantic, insightful evening, men, share your next date idea with your wife. Watch her reaction!!
“Grocery Store” Date: Men, you probably don’t go to the grocery store with your wife. May I just say, you are missing out! Truth is, every time you’re with your wife, especially alone (if you have children still at home), it should be an event, not just another trip out with “what’s-her-name.” My wife and I have had more fun over the years shopping together, even at midnight. And your wife will definitely need to buy groceries for the Christmas season.
As you stroll the aisles, certain food items make for good conversation. The music played throughout the store can create a dance moment right there on Aisle 8 (It’s ok to dance….it’s your wife!). The card section makes for some good laughs as you read humorous cards to each other or tender moments as you share the romantic ones with each other (That way you don’t have to complain about the price of cards or wonder what romantic thing you can say to each other!!).
“Light It Up” Date: Prepare your favorite hot drink, bring along some snacks, warm up the car, and go for a drive looking at Christmas lights. Be sure to listen to Christmas music. Hold hands; drive slow; enjoy the moments; stop for a kiss here and there; and if it’s snowing, get out of the vehicle, walk in the snow for a block or two (snowballs are allowed, too)!
God created marriage and expects us to rejoice with the wife of our youth (Proverbs 5:18). Husbands, brighten your Christmas and your marriage!