by Felicia Hodges
The children are nestled and dreaming of all the Christmas day goodies that will be left for them under the tree. What better time for you and your honey to enjoy a little romance - Christmas Eve style?
For Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Christmas Eve can be one of the busiest nights of the year. But, once all the wrapping is done, make the rest of the evening special and just about the two of you.
If you know there are bikes that need to be put together and tons of gift boxes to wrap, get as much done before Christmas Eve as you can so you have more time to spend with your spouse. Try to wrap up presents as soon as you buy them or do everything in one shot at a friend’s house. If you have a lot to do, make a list and ask for help if you need it.
“Maybe a friend can bring the bike to you to save the half-hour trip to get it,” suggests Janine MacLachlan, an entertaining expert who contributes to the website HomeMadeSimple.com. “Maybe even leave a note from Santa saying that he hopes the kids have fun putting a particular toy together with their mom and dad on Christmas morning. The key is to be creative about looking for other ways to get things done.”
Let Your Inner Child Out to Play
The holiday season often gets to be almost entirely about the kids. As parents, it important to let you children have fun, but too often, we get so caught up in the gift giving for them that we forget about ourselves.
“It’s a real joy to see your kids enjoy Christmas, but the kid inside of you may feel left out,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., a licensed psychotherapist and author of “The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again.” After nibbling on the celery for the reindeer, give yourselves a chance to reflect on the year and remember the good times, she suggests, by sitting down with your mate and opening a special tree ornament or the surprise present you have for each other.
“It doesn’t have to be something big or extravagant, just something that the other might enjoy like a trinket, a rose or a fishing lure,” Tessina says. “It’s more emotional than money-oriented and sort of like a private gift ceremony for just the two of you.”
Use Your Senses
To really get the romance rolling, MacLachlan suggests that you try to connect with all five senses. Remember your sense of:
• Smell - Light a few peppermint candles or simmer some spicy pine-needle potpourri to get the olfactory system raring to go.
• Hearing - Put on your favorite jazz CD instead of the same old Christmas tape that’s been playing since the day after Thanksgiving.
• Taste - Serve up some hors d’oeuvres that suggest togetherness. Avoid the hassles of a clean up by trying some finger foods of already prepared items. Have an indoor picnic on the living room floor.
• Sight - Decorate a special corner of the room for the two of you to snuggle in. Use some comfortable red and gold pillows and add to the mood with a little subtle lighting.
• Touch - Wrap up in a fuzzy afghan or accessorize with a silk scarf. Be tactile and pay attention to what your wearing and how it might feel when he rubs his hands over it.
Inda Livingston and her husband, Randy, say they often look forward to the special sensory connections the other has planned for their Christmas Eve extravaganza.
“We usually get into a pair of silk pajamas - she gets the top and I get the bottoms,” Randy says. “Next I always buy a special candle for us to light on Christmas Eve.”
“And I always whip up something Christmasy to simmer on the stove while we sip our eggnog and cuddle,” Inda adds.
Be a Bit Selfish
The holiday season is mostly about giving, but there’s nothing wrong with thinking of you and your man a little, too.
“We very much focus outwardly around the holidays, MacLachlan says. “Pull it back towards the couple and bring that focus back in. Have something really great to look forward to. Remember it is all about being together and enjoying each other.”
Article originally appeared in Family Digest Magazine.