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10 Important Things That Christmas Teaches Us About Relationships

“All I want for Christmas is you

You’re the gift that’s made my dreams all come true

All I need for Christmas is here

Finding every sweet surprise wrapped up in your eyes”

(A Christmas Love Song, Barbara Streisand) 

And we’re in the second half of December, which means one thing – ‘tis the season to be jolly! Of course, life is hard, and we may have had our share of troubles throughout the year, but the holidays are a time when we open up our hearts to hope and happiness, regardless of what our bank statements show or what the government is up to! That’s the magic of the Christmas holiday; it brings about a change in perspective. Like Winston Churchill said, “Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” An important area we often reflect upon is that of our relationships, and this season is the perfect opportunity to think about the things that the Christmas holiday teaches us about relationships.

couple kissing in the snow_New_Love_Times

Image source: Flickr

So why are we talking about relationships this season instead of gifts or decorated trees? Studies show that the most breakups occur in the two weeks prior to Christmas, and says that their peak season starts right after December 25th – there are so many singles desperately seeking to mingle after the holidays! A 2007 survey by Yahoo has revealed that people are twice as likely to break up in the period between Christmas and Valentine’s Day as during any other time of the year.

Suggested read: 10 romantic movies to watch this Christmas

Now, why this happens is something the experts are still breaking their heads over. It may be related to generic holiday stress, or to the fact that the end of the year is a time for introspection. But then, the Christmas holiday season is actually a great time for those who see the magic in it, and try to understand the lessons it teaches us. Since the stats show that people aren’t thinking about the Christmas spirit nearly enough, we’ve decided to put forward a list of 10 things that Christmas teaches us about relationships, and that are relevant all year round. Intrigued? Read on!

10 things the Christmas Holiday teaches us about relationships

1. Happiness is contagious

Christmas Couple

Image source: Flickr

Don’t you always notice a change in the air around the end of November or the start of December? Yes, that’s the festive buzz permeating the air around you and slowly penetrating your thoughts. However bad your morning has been, the sight of stores all decked up in colorful trees and bright wreaths immediately brings a certain cheer to your day. And that contagiousness is the most evident in a relationship – when you’re in a crappy mood all the time, it’s highly likely that the environment in your relationship is largely negative. Being upbeat and cheerful changes the atmosphere completely, and is more conducive to a loving, healthy relationship. When you’re happy by yourself, it’s extremely hard for your partner to stay grouchy for long!

2. Saying ‘thanks’ is always good

man giving a gift to a woman_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

The concept of gratitude is something that is heavily stressed upon during the final months of the year, starting with Thanksgiving and going on throughout Christmas. During this season, we are surrounded by reminders of how we should be thankful for all the blessings we have in our life. Experts suggest that gratitude plays a huge role in relationships too, increasing relationship satisfaction for men and women. So take a leaf out of holiday gratitude lessons and include them in your life too. Being appreciative of your partner increases positive feelings for both of you!

3. Faith is a powerful thing

Christmas Couple

Image source: Flickr

Several aspects of holidays like Christmas are based on basic faith. You believe that certain events occurred in the past, and you trust that doing things a certain way will result in specific consequences. These apply to most holidays and festivals around the world, and are just as applicable to relationships too. Regardless of how things may seem temporarily, trusting that they’ll work out in the long run is crucial to the longevity of any relationship. Too many marriages break up simply because the couple doesn’t put in the work required and run at the first sign of trouble. Having faith in each other and trusting that you can work your way through the troubled spots ensures a better chance for the relationship to last.

4. Giving warms our hearts more than taking

Christmas Couple

Image source: Flickr

A keyword you often hear during the Christmas holiday is ‘giving.’ Even the basic story of the nativity has the three wise kings bearing gifts on their visit. This is a season to let go of selfishness and the constant focus on ‘me, my, and mine.’ In relationships, it’s easy for people to veer towards extremes – either becoming a martyr and sacrificing everything for the other or becoming selfish to the point of overriding the other’s needs. Neither of these situations is healthy, and it’s important to find middle ground. However, when in doubt, it’s better to give, and see the other person’s face light up. And if you’re on the receiving end, don’t forget what we said about gratitude!

5. Don’t leave things to the last minute

Christmas Couple

Image source: Flickr

With the commercialization of Christmas celebrations, malls and businesses start preparing well in advance. Yet, the crazy, last-minute rush at the shops is still a reality, and as anyone who’s witnessed it will attest – it’s like being in a madhouse! Timing is crucial at Christmas, whether it’s shopping, sending out invitations, ensuring others get their gifts in time or putting the kids to bed before Santa arrives! But besides Christmas, timing, and/or time, is extremely important in relationships as well. Don’t let resentments simmer for so long that they finally explode; talk it out early on, so you can resolve things much more calmly. Don’t be lazy and let things pile up, forcing your partner to manage them, while paying late fees! And most importantly, never take anything for granted; tell your partner you love them – today. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, so make the most of the here and the now.

Suggested read: 15 DIY wine bottle decorations you MUST try this Christmas

6. Unrealistic expectations spell disaster

couple disagreement

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

One reason that experts attribute towards the high rate of breakups during Christmas and Valentine’s Day is the burden of unmet expectations. Men, especially, claim to go through a period of extreme stress, simply deciding what to get their partners! In any situation, having unrealistic expectations is a recipe for disaster, but never more so than in a relationship. We can’t control circumstances or a person’s behavior, so having expectations regarding either of these can only result in feeling disillusioned while the other person feels like whatever they do is not enough.

7. A little mystery adds a lot of fun

man hiding a gift behind his back_New_Love_Times

Image source: Flickr

Remember how much fun it was as a child to open up all those brightly wrapped presents? Yes, we agree, it’s still fun!! Christmas and relationships – both thrive on a certain element of mystery, and it adds a wonderful dimension to our lives. When you’ve been together for a while, the initial passion is sure to wear off, and that’s when some mystery can keep that spark alive. While it’s unrealistic to expect a relationship to be in a constant state of passionate fire, it is important to have some scope for excitement. So be generous with your presents, but be sure to leave some gifts under wraps!

8. Being nice does pay off

Christmas Couple

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Come Christmastime, and most kids worry if they’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list, since that directly translates into their loot on Christmas morning! But as adults, being nice isn’t considered all that important. In fact, there’s even a quote by George Carlin that goes, “The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live”! While we admit that being naughty has its… ahem… benefits in a relationship, there’s something to be said about being nice too. Familiarity breeds contempt, and many long term couples find themselves being snappy at each other all the time. Making an effort to be nice to each other every day gives an air of congeniality and improves the quality of the relationship.

9. Sometimes a fresh start is all you need

couple moving_New_Love_Times

Image source: Flickr

Around the holiday season, you’ll find people doing a good deal of decluttering and organizing, so that they can make some sense of what decorations from last year can be reused this time round! Old clothes are donated, new ones bought and there is a general feeling of purging. And sometimes, that’s exactly what’s needed to refresh a relationship – a good old purge. Getting rid of past hurts, emotional baggage, and the cobwebs of preconceived notions clears up the air and can feel very therapeutic. This, of course, results in a great deal of personal satisfaction and mental clarity, and gives both partners a chance to realign their priorities. In short, the couple gets a fresh slate and a brighter start to the New Year.

10. Life needs magic

Christmas Couple

Image source: Flickr

Like we said at the beginning, life can be hard, not to mention dull and monotonous at times. But Christmas makes this time of the year a magical time, and even the greenest Grinch can’t help but feel at least a little bit affected by all the cheer! The same is true of relationships. When any one partner is facing any kind of crisis regarding their job, finances or health, it is bound to affect the other partner as well. In such scenarios, it’s essential to believe in miracles and happily ever afters, corny as they sound! After all, what’s life without a little magic?

Suggested read: 20 quotes about Christmas that’ll brighten your festive season

So, this Christmas holiday season, as you hang colored lights, decorate your tree, and sip eggnog, don’t forget to think deeper behind all these little traditions. Resolve to keep the spirit of the holidays alive throughout the year – stay happy, have faith, and be nice (okay, maybe just a teensy bit naughty too!). If you’re in a happy relationship, express gratitude for the great partner you have; if you’re not so happy, decide to improve your relationship or make a change. If you find yourself single on Christmas, enjoy the holidays by yourself and trust that the right person will come along when the time is right. It’s a magical time and who knows, Santa may just have a wonderful surprise for you!

Featured image source: Flickr

Article Name
10 Important Things The Christmas Holiday Teaches About Relationships
Christmas may be about the gifts and the tree, but that's not all! Here are 10 things the Christmas holiday teaches us about relationships.
Kate Collins

Kate Collins

Kate Collins is a free spirited being, who thinks everyone should follow the philosophy if 'live and let live'. When she's not thinking too hard about the world and its secrets, she blogs a little and writes on love and relationships. She also loves green tea and chocolate, not necessarily in that order!