“Oh by gosh by golly, it’s time for mistletoe and holly!” The music plays and Frank Sinatra sets the mood in your home. On the surface, all appears calm and wonderful. The children have that holiday glow in their eyes, amazing aromas are coming from the kitchen, and even your dog is on his best behavior lately. But do you have a happy wife during the holidays?Holidays are a lot of fun, but they can also be a bit like trying to navigate a minefield in battle.
Holidays are a lot of fun, but they can also be a bit like trying to navigate a minefield in battle. One false move and the whole thing can go up in smoke. Our wives are especially vulnerable at this time of year, and if we aren’t aware of pitfalls, we can seriously damage the marriage. So to help you be the kind of husband you’re striving to be, we have ideas for how to help your wife through to January. Here are 5 ways to make your wife happy during the holidays.
1. Be a buffer between your wife and her sources of tension.
In even the best of families, with the nicest of people, there will always be some sort of tension somewhere. More often than not, that tension resides between the mother who raised you and the woman you married. Keep that in mind when your wife is busy making her Christmas ham, and your mom is right beside her providing “helpful” tips. This will lead to the opposite of a happy wife.
How to Help: Observe your bride’s body language and tone, and when you see and hear that tension starting to build, it might be time to divert Mom. Ask her about a holiday memory from your childhood as you gently lead her from the room. That technique is called conflict prevention and you’d be wise to master it.
2. Do some of her chores for her.
Though it seems like reality has been suspended and we can live in Dreamland from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, the truth is that life and all of its mundane details still go on.
How to Help: During the holidays, your wife’s to-do list probably triples. Help ease that burden by pitching in and doing more than is expected from you. Take on some of the household duties she normally does. If your wife walks in from grocery shopping and finds the house ready for guests, you are going to be a much-loved man—guaranteed.
3. Let her express her feelings in front of you.
The holidays can be emotional. They invoke lots of memories and traditions. Not all of those memories are good, and this time of year can be painful for a lot of folks. Sadness and even depression is common during the holidays. It’s important for people to share those feelings—but your wife doesn’t want you to try to fix them.
How to Help: What she is craving, however, is probably a shoulder to cry on and to know how much she’s loved and appreciated. She needs you to be there for her, to listen, and to let her feel whatever she feels.
4. Take the kids off her hands.
She has to finish off the shopping list, pick up the table linen from the dry cleaner, and go to the grocery store one more time before family arrives. All of that is easier to do without a toddler in one arm and her other arm holding the hand of your energetic five-year-old son.
How to Help: Take the kids and do something fun! Go to the park, or if you’re in a cold climate, have some fun with the sleds. Or make hot chocolate and read the kids some of these 10 great Christmas stories—anything we can do, at all, to give Mom time to finish her chores and lower her stress level. Parenting is teamwork.
5. Surprise her with gifts she doesn’t expect.
The holidays are the time for giving—giving to those less fortunate, to the important people in our lives, and especially to the ones we love the most. No need to wait until Christmas morning. You can spread out the gifts the entire holiday season. Thoughtful gestures mean the world to our wives.
How to Help: Make it so unexpected flowers show up at the door or the office, or come home with dinner for the family so she can spend an evening out of the kitchen. The crown jewel of thoughtful gestures would probably be a spa day. Send her out for a deep tissue massage to work out all that stress. That will definitely give you a happy wife during the holidays.
Already streaming your favorite holiday films? Find out what you can learn from three favorite Christmas movies.
Sound off: What are some other things you could do to make your wife happy this time of year?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite thing to do during the Christmas season?”