The Christmas season is certainly upon us. I can’t believe how this year has flown by.

One year ago today, my husband and I had a newborn baby. Of the 15 years we have been married, this one has been one of the harder ones in which to stay connected.

Between the sleep deprivation and taking care of another tiny human, we have had to fight to make time for us.

As I was reflecting on this, I was also thinking about how this season can become very busy. Between Christmas parties, shopping, cooking and entertaining, our marriages can get pushed to the back of our lives.

We tell ourselves, “This is only temporary and after Christmas, things will go back to normal.”

This is generally true, but why even allow our marriage to take a back seat, especially in this season of good tidings and joy?

Sometimes it is simply being intentional in our marriage that draws us closer together. I want to share with you a few “intentional” things we do as a couple during this season to ensure our marriage doesn’t get pushed to the back of our life.

Something we do every year is drive around and look at Christmas lights. One year we wrote the addresses of our favorite houses and took a picture to remind ourselves what the lights looked like. Once we finished looking at lights, we picked our personal favorite and sent that house a thank you card. We simply thanked them for their time in making their home beautiful and making our evening enjoyable.

Another thing we do annually is have a gingerbread house contest. All family members participate in this. We get the pre-made houses and decorate them.

We post pictures of them on Facebook, but no one knows who made which house. We ask our friends to vote on their favorite house. The winner wins a gift card to Wal-Mart, Ross or Five Below.

The only stipulation is that the winner must use the gift card on someone else. This has become one of our favorite traditions.

Perhaps the most yummy thing we do is make eggnog shakes. Simply mix eggnog and eggnog ice cream (vanilla works if you can’t find eggnog) in the blender. Top with whipped cream, a cherry, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

We light a fire in our fireplace and just talk while enjoying our shakes.

Finally, we set up a table or use the floor and wrap Christmas presents together. We have our paper, gifts, tape, scissors, gift tags and boxes ready.

We make mugs of hot chocolate in our snowman mugs and watch a Christmas movie together while wrapping gifts.

My husband and I started this in 2001 in our first year of marriage.

This year we are going to watch, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” because my husband has never seen it and I love it.

Rather than life getting busy and pulling us apart, we can start new traditions this season that draw us closer. Your marriage is worth it!

Enjoy each other and until next time, Merry Christmas!

Kindra Warner is a marriage group facilitator at Grace Christian Center in Killeen and a Herald correspondent.

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