As the year draws to a close, many of us are frantically buying presents, working out travel plans, and rushing to accomplish our year-end goals. Even though this time of year is traditionally hectic, it’s important that we don’t forget to appreciate the people who matter the most to us. December is a great month to spend time with your partner and let them know how much they mean to you. Here are just a few ideas of things you can try this month, courtesy of my Houston marriage therapy center.
Try an experiential gift. If you’re having trouble figuring out what kind of gift to get your partner for the holidays, consider getting something experiential rather than material. That could mean tickets to a concert, a weekend getaway, a class that the two of you can take together – you get the idea. Make sure that you choose something that you’ll both enjoy so that you can make lasting memories.
Practice the 12 Days of Compliments. You’ve heard about the 12 Days of Christmas, right? Well, here come the 12 Days of Compliments. Really, we should let the people we love know that we appreciate them year round, but it’s easy to forget to vocalize our feelings, or to just assume our partners know we appreciate them. This month, try to get into the habit of complimenting your partner on something that they do or say every day. (You caught us – that’s more than 12 days.)
Make time for special winter date nights. When the weather gets worse and the days get shorter, it might be tempting to cancel your date night, but don’t let it fall by the wayside. If you don’t want to leave the house, come up with cozy winter dates that you can have at home, such as baking holiday desserts or watching a movie and drinking wine.
Set relationship resolutions. You might already have some New Year’s resolutions in mind, but consider adding at least one related to strengthening your relationship. You might consider making a resolution to do a better job of asking your partner meaningful questions, trying a 30 Day Zero Negativity challenge, or even signing up for an IMAGO couples’ workshop with Houston marriage therapy. Share your resolutions with your partner—you may inspire them to make and share resolutions of their own.