When I was first married money was a struggle. Actually, it still is, but that’s beside the point. Our first Christmas together was tough because I wanted to decorate the house and buy lots of gifts. That is what my family did when I was growing up and so it was what I was used to. Every time I came home excited with a new decoration my husband would just get quiet. It didn’t come out until later that he was getting upset because of the money I was spending. Every decoration or package I bought gave him more and more holiday stress. We’ve since found our balance, I’ve cut out a lot and he’s eased up some.
The last thing we want to do is stress our husbands out. If anything, we want to help make this season special for them. Knowing what makes them stressed is the best place to start. So we went straight to the men for this one. Here are the 3 things men say causes them holiday stress.
1. Spending too much money
If your husband is like mine, he probably thinks the kids have too many toys anyway. And buying more presents and adding to the credit card bill is the last thing he wants. So come together on a gift budget this year…and stick with it! That’s ultimately what we did. You can enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank. It’s the moments you spend together as a family that you will remember, not the gifts you buy.
2. Your stress
Let’s face it, most wives carry the burden for Christmas when it comes to gift-giving, parties, meals, in-law reconciliation, etc. And this can cause stress. Which can cause you to be short with your husband. Which causes him stress, and the vicious cycle spins out of control. This year, focus on an area you have been traditionally responsible for and “outsource” it. For example, buy a turkey or ham already pre-cooked so that’s one less thing you have to stress about and one less factor to contribute to marital conflict.
3. Put up and take down
Some men get really irritated at having to spend entire afternoons unwinding strands of Christmas lights or hunting down the ornaments they forgot they packed away in the corner of the attic. Consider only putting up 50% of what you did last year to cut down on the workload and frustration. And use that extra time to go out and do something fun as a couple.
Tell us! What stresses your husband out the most this time of year?