Yayyy!!! Christmas is here. And here’s a plan for you and your partner to use well before Christmas, and during the festivities themselves. If you have children, arrange for them to stay in their rooms for an evening – with a tray of ‘goodies’ if need be – or have them spend a night away with friends/family if at all possible (you could agree to swap).
Switch off the TV, put all phones on silent, light some candles, cook something easy or have a take-away. This how you start your Christmas preparations.
1. ‘Indulge’ in a bit of daydreaming about what your ideal Christmas would be – just for fun. Think about your ideal location, ideal guest/celebrity, ideal food (forget about the staples). What would you want to see happening? What would you really like to get? How long would you really like it (whatever ‘it’ means) to last, etc. …?
2. Brainstorm all the things you really do have to do – the things you don’t have a choice about. This list is for the unavoidable ‘musts’. Then see if you can add in anything you’ve written down for point 2 above.
3. Consider telling your family and/or friends that you’d much prefer to spend some special time with them during a weekend in the dark month of January. That way you’d have something to look forward to after the holiday season.
4. Review your list of expectations at the beginning of this article. Make a list of tasks and break those up into individual steps, so that you have some clarity on what exactly is required.
5. ‘Divvy up’ the tasks and make lists for both of you or all of you – if you have children – to make clear who’s responsible for what.
6. Work out together who you both might want or need to help out – or visit – for whatever reason. Giving ‘time’ can be more valuable than any present at any price. If you can really commit to it, you’ll gain tremendously yourself by cheering up someone else. If you do it with a sulky attitude, it’s just going to feel like hard work. Lovingly helping someone else will also take the focus off your own troubles for a while.
7. If on Christmas day your partner (or someone else) hasn’t fulfilled their task, whatever you do – don’t go on about it! It’s not worth a row, at least not at that time. Lower all your expectations and be grateful for whatever it is that’s good and goes well. Make a point of looking out for those things.
8. Accept from the start that it’s very likely you’re going to ‘fail’ in at least someone’s eyes, if not your own. Oh well… you and everyone else will recover! Just agree that, whatever happens, the two of you are going to make Christmas the best you can manage.
9. If your house is full or you are staying with other people, plan for the two of you to spend some quality time together as often as possible. That might be with ‘an early night’, a stroll to the park, a midnight feast, an early morning start, or any other way to ‘escape’ children, family and/or friends (however much you love them!). It’ll help to ‘anchor’ you and your relationship and give you time to discuss and problem-solve any potential issues. Oh… and ‘stay in touch’ with each other via Romantic Text Messages – even if you share the same house!
10. Under no circumstances discuss any of the above when either one of you is under the influence of alcohol!
Culled from http://www.professional-counselling.com/relationship-advice-for-Christmas.html