It’s easy to get crazy and frenzied during the holiday season. And it’s easy to sacrifice the most important people in our lives on the altar of Christmas shopping, holiday parties, and All The Things to do.
This began as a short article on some easy and unique ways to make our spouses feel important this Christmas even in the midst of the season, but I believe it can be applied to anyone in our families or close circles.
Take a few days this week and try out a couple of these. I know it will make a big difference in the lives of your most important people, and you as well.
1. Take a week and write a letter every day
Taking some time and really focusing on the things that you love about your spouse or family member, and then telling them, goes a long way. If it’s your spouse or teenager, tell them the things you like about them, how you “see” who they are. If it’s a young child, draw them a picture and tell them how much you enjoy their presence.
2. Really listen during conversations
Ask real, thoughtful questions and then be interested in the answers. You may be surprised at what your teen or school aged child tell you if you truly take the time to listen. Sit near them, face your body toward them, and open up your ears and your mind.
3. Take a normal responsibility off of the plate of your spouse or family member
Whether it’s your spouse or your child, and he or she normally walks the dog or takes out the trash, do it for them this week. While you are doing it, be thankful for them and direct your mind towards who they are. Use this time to notice, just by yourself, things about them that are special. It will relieve them of a chore and it will help you as well.
4. Give gifts that speak to them, not to you
It has taken me a long time to realize that I should give gifts to my loved ones that appeal to them and not just to me. If your mother-in-law’s “love language” is candles and perfume, then that is what should be under the tree. If you really pay attention to what your spouse or loved ones want or need, your gift giving will be much more meaningful.
5. Put down your phone/computer/work and sit with someone
I knew my seven-year-old needed me the other night, and so I put down my much needed work and sat with her on the sofa. I asked her about her television show, I laughed with her, and I held her close. I’m pretty sure she knew that she was the most important person in the world to me.
Most people respond positively to touch and often, when we are busy, we forget to touch our most important people. When you sit with your spouse, take his or her hand; when you walk with one of your children, put your arm around his or her shoulders.
7. Just say it
When I asked my husband this evening what made him feel important, he said, “Just tell me.” I looked at him in the car right then and I said, “You are important to me.” And I meant it.
What a crazy season we are living in right now. Don’t let the holidays get by and miss the people who are sitting right in front of you.
It’s not difficult: say it, write it, put down your work, but whatever you have to do, make them feel as important as they really are.