by Julie Snyder
There's nothing more romantic than a winter evening with streetlights shimmering through icy flakes and a layer of snow dusting the world like a powdered sugar holiday cookie.
Reality check! While holidays focus on family, somehow they don't leave much time for couples. The holidays tend to zap energy from almost every direction and can take a toll on your relationship with your partner.
Connecting might be challenging, but it's absolutely possible. Here's how you can carve out some quality moments together during the bustling holiday season and keep those sparks ignited.
Plan as a team. There's so much to do, so many decisions to make and so little time. Be selective. Decide together which events you'll attend and which you'll opt out of. Saying "no" minimizes stress and leaves you with extra hour that you can use to connect as a couple.
Enjoy being just the two of you. Head to bed a little earlier than normal or stay in bed just a little later. If you have kids, it gives them a change to get acquainted with their relatives. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Try to check in with one another and you won't feel like strangers when the holidays end.
Arrange private time. Did you ever notice how your perfect window to get pregnant comes at the most inopportune time during the holidays? Baby making during the holidays requires more than the normal amount of clever creativity and timing. You may need to resort to misdirection, flimsy excuses and downright deception. If you don't get any private time, it's going to be tougher to get horizontal.
Create your own holiday tradition. Incorporate at least one activity you both enjoy into your holiday. It might be watching a holiday movie, volunteering at a homeless shelter or a holiday date. This new tradition can give you something to look forward to year after year.
Listen to the music. Put together a joint playlist. Choose songs you both love or have special meaning to you as a couple. Now, put on the music, light a couple candles, cuddle and see where it ends. Maybe next year, you'll be sharing this special season with a precious tot.
How do you and your partner avoid holiday overload setting in? What's your "escape" story? Have a story that's a shocker? Share!
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.