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5 tips to keep your marriage stress-free over the holidays

Couple poses in front of Christmas tree.
Couple poses in front of Christmas tree.
AP Photo/Craig Lassig

There is snow on the ground, the Christmas cards are slowly trickling into your mailbox, and the stores around town are decked out in gold, red, and green. The holiday season is upon us.

The hustle and bustle of this time of year not only puts a burden on your pocketbook, but it can also put a lot of unnecessary stress on your marriage.

Here are five ways to reduce the holiday strain on your marriage:

  1. Have a plan. Make a detailed list of all the tasks that need to be done from grocery shopping to cleaning the house.
  2. Work together. Take the to-do list you’ve made and work on it together. To save time, divide and conquer some of the tasks, but complete some of them together as well. Have fun with it and if something goes wrong, try to keep your sense of humor.
  3. Don’t go overboard. Money is often a very touchy subject for many couples so overspending during the holidays, especially if your family has been affected by the economy, can be devastating. Decide on a budget and stick to it.
  4. Consider gift cards. Deciding what to buy for those on your gift list can be very stressful. Although gift cards sometimes get a bad rap as being too impersonal, they do provide a nice alternative for those “hard to buy for” people. A gift card to spend at his favorite electronics store is better than a sweater that will live out its life in the back of the closet.
  5. Remember the important things. Your spouse, your family, and yourself. Don’t allow the stressors of this season to put distance between your relationships. If you were planning to get some shopping done, but your spouse had a bad day at work, stay home to provide the support that your spouse needs.

With a little planning, your marriage can remain stress-free and the holiday season can become what it should be: a time of celebration, family, giving, and love.