The holiday season can be a magical time, filled with beautiful decorations, delicious food, visiting relatives, and yearly traditions. It can also be so busy with activities, planning, baking, travel, and shopping that your intimate connection with your partner can feel like it is floundering. Here are eleven ways you can have a wonderful holiday season and find time for intimacy as well.
Make intimacy a priority. Balance family holiday activities with time alone with your partner. They are both family priorities, so make sure adult time doesn’t fall off the list. Schedule it in if you need to.
Be openminded about intimacy. Bill Clinton was right about something, intimacy isn’t just intercourse. (That may not be quite how he phrased it.) Intimacy is sharing, cuddling, caressing, touching, kissing. You get the idea. Just spending time together as adult individuals, without your kids, builds intimacy. And when you aren’t interested in sex, it can be a lot easier to be interested in other types of intimacy. Look for any opportunity to share intimate moments with your partner.
Yes, even in front of the kids. Seeing you and your partner kiss and hug may gross them out now, but you are giving them a healthy example of what a loving, affectionate, romantic relationship looks like. They’ll remember it fondly when they are married with their own children.
Visiting Family? Family Visiting? Either way, there may be free babysitting involved. Don’t wait for family to offer-go ahead and ask if they will watch your children for an evening, or even better, overnight. Plan something fun, something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance yet.
No family? Hire a babysitter and go on a date. Okay, this applies any time of the year, but it’s important to give yourselves permission to get a sitter during the holiday season, too.
Entertain fantasy. Use a date night to explore some role-playing. If you are out of town, use new locales to set the perfect stage. Pretend you are different people who don’t know each other and are meeting for the first time. See where it takes you. It’s the perfect time to try out that fake French accent. Be silly, have fun, and don’t pass up the chance to indulge in something that can add heat and excitement to your sex life.
Holiday surprises. You finally have the perfect excuse for locking the door for some intimate time together. If your children come a-knocking, tell them you are busy talking about holiday presents and surprises. It is about as good as it gets when it comes to a motivation for your kids to leave you alone.
Turn holiday shopping into time together. Add a movie or a stop at a wine bar to a holiday shopping trip. Even in public, the chance to hold hands, and engage in adult conversation builds your intimate connection to one another. If you are feeling frisky, make use of your car and an empty parking lot. For talking about holiday presents, of course.
Presents aren’t just for the kids. Be sure to ask for a gift, or purchase one yourself, that you will look forward to unwrapping, or being unwrapped out of.
Make tough choices. Such as, do you really need to watch Elf for the two-hundredth time, or is there something more fun you could be doing with your partner, alone, right now. (If the kids come looking for you, remember…holiday surprises.) Life is all about tough choices, choosing time with your partner over time with Will Ferrell shouldn’t be one of them.
Investing in intimacy is an investment in your future together. There will always be things to check off the to-do list, presents to wrap, and laundry to fold. It is easy to get caught up in wanting to give your children wonderful holiday memories to last a lifetime and forget about the adult part of the family equation. Give yourself permission to leave those tasks for another day and instead spend intimate time with your partner. Investing in each other is truly just about the best investment you can to ensure that you still like each other after the kids go to college. Use the holiday season to find creative ways to be intimate, and you will make holiday memories to last a lifetime for you and your partner, too.
Sarah J. Swofford, MPH is the author of “From Ouch! To Ahhh…The New Mom’s Guide To Sex After Baby.” sarahjswofford.com