To many people Christmas represents that expressive season of goodwill, relaxation, a time for a little self-indulgence and a time for family. At surface level it appears to be that time of year that people most look forward to. But what does it really mean? And essentially what does it mean for recently married couples and couples preparing for marriage who are setting out together on their journey of life?
Does Christmas have a special significance for you both? Is it merely a convenient mid-winter break that facilitates you to take time out from the pressures of life? Do you see it solely as a time for family and friends? Is it a time for exchanging presents and catching up with loved ones who have been absent from your life throughout the year? Or do you see Christmas as a commercial festival that brings joy to some people’s lives and a lot of sadness to others? Does it represent all of the above for you in addition to something of personal significance? As a married couple, or as a couple preparing for marriage, where does love enter into your understanding of Christmas?
Have you discussed together what Christmas means to each of you? Do you believe that because you feel a particular way about Christmas your partner will feel the same way? Does Christmas allow you the space to hold your relationship up to the light and reflect on what loving means? Do you allow yourselves the time at Christmas to be totally there for one another? Are you so preoccupied with all that has to be done you haven’t got a minute for yourself, let alone the relationship? Are you too busy to deal with the relationship just now but intend to focus on it over Christmas? How can you be sure that Christmas wont pass you by? Are you deflected away from focussing on each other by the lure of material trappings and gifts? What non-material gift would you most like to give to your partner this Christmas? Does Christmas have a religious or spiritual meaning for your relationship? How do you feel you might express that through your mutual loving?
Perhaps you are fortunate enough to be celebrating your baby’s first Christmas this year. Or maybe you have other children and want this Christmas to be really special for them. If so what values would you like to impart to them, and how do you feel you would like them to understand Christmas? Do you feel you would like the share the message of The Nativity with them? Would you like to take them to Christmas Mass or Service, or take them along to visit the Christmas Crib? How do you feel you can pass on the wonder of Christmas to them? What is the essential message of Christmas you would like them to grow up with?
Discuss together what this Christmas really means to you. What is it you would most like for one another this Christmas? Reflect on how you can prioritise time for one another and time for loving relationship over Christmas.
For Your Information:
The Accord marriage preparation course, “Marriage – A Journey Not a Destination” offers an extensive series of activities around issues relating to the preparation for marriage. For further information visit: