The holidays are supposed to be such a time of joy and peace, but for the hurting wife, the holidays can seem to be anything but peaceful. One thing I learned was just how tough it can be to navigate the Christmas season, especially, in a struggling marriage. So many of us push ourselves through it, particularly for our kids, but we’re longing for more. I’ve been intentional in creating pockets of space for myself, in order to rest and feel somewhat refreshed. This year, I want to share some of the things I’ve done, for the wife who needs hope and peace at Christmas.
(Be sure to read to the end as I’ve created a special resource for you!)
How to Find Hope and Peace at Christmas When Marriage is Hard
When you’re in the pit of a struggling marriage, it’s so hard to find hope. Everything looks messy, dark, and hopeless. It’s hard to find hope when the relationship with our spouse is under fire.
Do you want to know a secret that really helped me? Well, there are two, actually.
First, I acknowledged my feelings and didn’t try to avoid them. It’s not pleasant to feel this way; I think we all agree on that. When we’re trying to implement a change, though, we need to consider what is already happening so that we know what change is needed. So, I had to look at my feelings, acknowledge them, and identify what I wanted to change.
Second, I had to modify my goals for the holiday season. Rather than “enjoy the holidays” (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s), I had to create small goals with a specific start and end point, and count those as “success”. They were almost like SMART goals, if you’re familiar with those, except these were goals with grace because life can still be overwhelming, no matter how prepared we are.
With smaller, and more specific goals in mind, I was able to find hope and peace throughout the holiday season. I want to share just a few of those goals with you, in hopes that they will help you, too!
For the Wife who Needs Hope and Peace at Christmas
As I reflected on past holidays and considered how best to share these goals with you, I realized that they fell into 6 main categories. I’m sure there are plenty of other categories that someone could use. I’m simply sharing what has worked for me so that hopefully you can take this idea and run with it!
- Personal Care
- Plan a Night at Home
- Thinking of Others
- Treat Yourself
- Grow in Faith
- Christmas Fun
I’ve collected the ideas I’ve used the most, in order to share them with you, and created a cute printable that you can download below!
1. Personal care brings peace at Christmas!
These are ideas of things to do when you need time by yourself. It’s hard to be on the go, and parenting kids who are super excited for Christmas can get very overwhelming! For personal care, I thought about things I did when I simply needed a few minutes to hide away, or when I just couldn’t stand the thought of going out one more time.
Personal care suggestions can be anything you can do inside your home, with items you already have on hand. These are the things you think about, and probably say, “Oh, I’ll do those when I get some time.” Well, now is the time to take care of you, and this will help bring you peace throughout the holidays!
2. Plan a night at home for hope and peace this Christmas!
I’ll be honest – these are some of my favorite things to do! Home is usually a place where we feel safe and secure, so it’s great to plan some fun times for inside our home.
We love to bake, so there are a couple of suggestions about baking fun, which doesn’t cost much. Plan a night with your family, or have a few friends over to do some decorating, Christmas baking, or watch some movies. Turn up the Christmas music and let your heart feel the hope and peace of the season!
3. Thinking of others gives hope at Christmas!
It’s hard to give when we are feeling discouraged or hopeless. The best cure for those hard feelings, is to actually give of yourself! You don’t have to do, or give, anything extravagant. The gift of your time is the very best thing.
There is no doubt that this is a tough time in our lives, and we are experiencing a tremendous hurt, but so are many others. Take time to make a card for someone who lives alone, or for an elderly person at church. Call your girlfriends and schedule time for coffee or dinner. Find something to thank someone else for, because a heart of gratitude goes a long way!
These are simple ideas that offer hope to the one who receives the gift of your time, and also to you!
4. Treat yourself to something that brings hope and peace this Christmas!
Let’s get this out of the way first: this does not have to be anything costly or overwhelming in any manner. Sometimes, though, the simplest of gifts can make the biggest difference. That’s true in our lives as well, and sometimes we need to treat ourselves in the rush of the Christmas season.
What brings you hope and peace at Christmas? Well, the answer is different for everyone, but I have a few suggestions. Perhaps it’s planning a delicious breakfast for Christmas morning, or buying yourself the cute mug you find while shopping. Some people enjoy a hot bubble bath and time to paint their nails. Even better? Bake the Christmas treat that you love this year!
You can check this post for things I love and use. Some of these have been my own gifts of hope to myself!
5. Grow in faith and find hope and peace this Christmas season!
The very best thing we can do in this time of being faced with a struggling marriage is to lean into Jesus. Our relationship with Him is the priority, and now, before the new year, is a great time to plan ahead and be proactive in how you want to grow in the new year.
Some of my favorite devotionals and faith-building books are listed on the marriage resources page. I’d encourage you to check them out, and to plan what Bible study or devotional you’ll use to start the new year. Go ahead and treat yourself to the purchase of that book now, so that you have it for the new year!
6. Christmas fun can bring hope and peace this Christmas!
Do you know that it’s okay to laugh? It’s okay to enjoy a moment, an activity, a day. That seems to go against everything we’re feeling right now. Honestly, though, it’s okay if you’re laughing and enjoying a moment, and what better way to do that then with some Christmas fun?
We love to have a couple of Christmas movie marathons each year. Often it’s a Friday night, or a Sunday afternoon, but it’s fun to let each person pick their favorite, and enjoy some special snacks and hot cocoa! We also love to go see Christmas lights, and each year we seem to add a new location to our Christmas lights outings.
This is also a great time of year to bring joy to your neighbor, or mailman, or even your trash collector, with a small card and gift, or some baked goods!
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Christmas fun can come in many shapes and sizes, so don’t be constrained by my ideas! We can get through the holidays and find hope and peace at Christmas when marriage is hard.
I’ve created a download for you to share my ideas for how to find hope and peace at Christmas.
Simply sign up in the box right below this image, and I’ll send this to you. (Don’t worry; you’ll be able to read the whole image as the overlay will be removed!) I hope this is a tremendous blessing for you as we navigate through the holiday season.