Surviving Holiday Stress And Building Lasting Memories {Part 2}

Written by Michael & Marlene Griffith, Contributing Writers. This is part two, here you can read part one.

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Marriage conflicts during the holidays

I think any married couple can say that during the holidays it’s incredibly easy to have struggles in your marriage. But where do these problems come from? What is it about the holidays that cause this?

Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] /

It’s thinking you have to do it all! Thinking you have to buy a bunch of gifts for each of your kids, spouse, cousins, parents, and friends. And it’s actually trying to do it all!

It’s okay to lighten your load. Keep your focus on your family and those you feel may need a little extra love this season. A go-to gift that everyone loves is holiday cookies. Just bake up a batch and send it off, that’s a fun time that you can spend with your kids creating a lasting family tradition, plus you’ve covered a thoughtful gift for family and friends that are not close by. Channel your focus where it matters, where it will have a lasting impact.

  • First and foremost the focus should be on Christ. Center your celebrations on Him; after all it is because of him that we are able to enjoy these wonderful events.
  • Your second priority is your spouse. Will this season bring you closer with what you plan on doing? Or do you foresee several stress triggers in the plans you would like to commit to? If so, back pedal a bit and tweak your plans.
  • Pray when you plan out your holiday season, really pray together about this. Seek out his will for you and your spouse throughout the season.
  • Take into consideration your little ones. What memories are you hoping to instill this season? Are you wanting to plan a few crafting days? If so, plan them out ahead of time so you can get all your supplies.


  • Take your wife out on a date a few times over this season. Shop around online for events coming up, or look into the local activities for a tree lighting that you can go out and just spend with your wife. The down town area in most towns have a lighting event where they have music and events. This is something that usually goes on during the whole season, so don’t feel bad if you and your wife go without the kids a few times!
  • Consider taking the kids out to enjoy something so you can allow your wife time to get the home prepared for the holidays. This may be something she’ll enjoy doing with the family, but some wives may enjoy having the freedom of a day to get things set up. Talk with your wife and see what she would like. And bless her with the freedom to choose what she prefers.

Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] /


  • Sit down and talk about how you would both like the holidays to look. If this means only committing to invites on NON official holiday days, that’s okay.
  • It may mean allowing only one out of the home commitment for either thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve…while having the others in your own home.This is where the planning really helps and you won’t set yourselves up for stress.
  • Scheduling time for each other is massively important. Protect your together time.


  • I like planners, and lists. They simply make life easier for me. Some things that are good to jot down are : number of events/outings you are willing to commit to, gift ideas, holiday cookie baking, crafts, together time, activities with the kids. If you really want to save time on figuring out how to plan this and more ideas I recommend Untangling Christmas. It walks you through creating a binder for the holidays and helps you plan out ahead of time what you would like to do in all of these areas. The book has a little survey about tradition likes/dislikes, favorite memories, favorite food, reaching out, and SO much more! List Plan It also has some fantastic resources for lists of all sorts in their Holiday ePlanner.

Husbands - this may be a good time to take the kids out for a day so your wife can put together everything you guys have discussed. Then when you get home you guys can go over it again to see if any tweaks need to be made.

Remember, the holidays do not create some new super power in us that allows us to do five times as much as we typically would do. So go easy on yourself, you know your limits!

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This post is part of our Surviving the Holidays With Your Marriage Intact series! Come back all month long for tips, advice, giveaways, and a FREE eBook on the Holidays here at A Biblical Marriage. You can find the rest of the series HERE.


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