Holiday traditions can have tons of benefits for married couples, from strengthening emotional intimacy to creating fun memories for the future. But there are also some cons that can accompany even long-standing traditions. 


With the holiday season fast approaching, couples in the ONE Family are starting to ask those age-old questions about traditions. Which ones do you keep? Which ones do you break? And which ones do you create? 

Knowing the reasons to make—and occasionally break—holiday traditions is important for the health and happiness of your relationship as a married couple.

There are five main things to consider when planning your traditions for this year. 

5 Things Married Couples Should Consider for Holiday Traditions

Traditions are a special aspect of marriage. They can provide joy, comfort, and excitement, and they help bond you and your spouse together. 

There are five major areas to consider when you assess your current holiday traditions.

With these areas in mind, you can make informed decisions about what traditions are best for your marriage. 

1. Traditions Can Promote Emotional Intimacy

First, traditions play a crucial role in strengthening your emotional intimacy.

Emotional intimacy is the workhorse of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy® and can help create a firm foundation for your marriage. 

Your conversations around traditions allow you and your spouse to connect on a deeper level, express your desires, and understand each other’s expectations. 

While traditions can help you grow closer to your spouse by giving you a space to share your thoughts and feelings, they can also lead to potential conflict. 

When your desires are different, and you can’t find a compromise, holiday traditions can end up tearing you apart instead of bringing you together. 

If a tradition leads to conflict or a sense of disconnection between you and your spouse, it’s essential to have an open conversation about whether it’s worth preserving.

2. Traditions Can Strengthen Your Recreational Intimacy

Second, traditions often revolve around shared experiences and moments, which strengthen your recreational intimacy.

Recreational intimacy is all about the things you do together to have fun and try new things. 

Your holiday traditions can help you create memories you’ll cherish for years; however, some traditions lose their spark over time. 

If an activity feels forced, it may fail to meet your expectations and potentially lead to disappointment and disconnection.

In that case, consider letting the tradition go. 

3. Traditions Can Reduce Stress

The stability and comfort of traditions can help you stay more connected and relaxed.

When you have established traditions, it is easy to prioritize those moments, and as a result, you may feel more grounded amid the chaos of the holiday season.

However, plenty of holiday traditions can become a source of stress for couples if not handled correctly. 

For example, unrealistic expectations, large time commitments, or financial strains can make holiday traditions unenjoyable.

It’s essential to keep these factors in mind when considering your traditions. 

Do you have a tradition that causes unnecessary stress? If so, it might be worth reevaluating its importance. 

Remember: The holidays should be a time of joy, not anxiety.

4. Traditions Can Reflect Your Values

Traditions are also a reflection of your shared values and priorities as a couple. They can highlight what is important to you and remind you of those values.

But while traditions can bring meaning and purpose to your holiday celebrations, there might be traditions that no longer align with who you are as a couple. 

If a tradition has lost its significance and no longer holds meaning for the two of you, it may be time to try something new. 

5. Traditions Can Change Alongside You

Finally, traditions can signal your growth as a couple.

You and your spouse are constantly changing. As such, your traditions can develop alongside you. 

The traditions you have as newlyweds will look different from those you have as young parents, empty nesters, retired spouses, and so on. 

Don’t be afraid to change your traditions. 

Understandably, it can feel impossible to end certain traditions, especially if you’ve enjoyed them for many years.

But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 

Try removing or changing one tradition this year and see whether it helps you enjoy the holidays more. If you miss the tradition, you can always bring it back next year. 

Keep in mind that there are only so many traditions you can say yes to. Removing one tradition from your roster allows you to try something new that you might enjoy more. 

Alternatively, you might find that having fewer traditions or activities on your mind lets you feel more at peace throughout the season. 

5 Simple and Creative Holiday Traditions for Couples

Now that you know how to assess your traditions, here are some creative ideas for low-stress traditions to help bring you and your spouse closer together this holiday season. 

  1. Christmas Movie Night: Pick a night to watch your favorite holiday movies together and snuggle up with hot chocolate and popcorn for a cozy evening. 
  2. Neighborhood Walk: Take a leisurely stroll with your spouse after Thanksgiving dinner or on Christmas Eve. This is a simple way to connect while admiring your neighbors’ festive decorations. 
  3. Take an Annual Selfie: Set up your phone or camera to take a timed picture of yourself as a couple. It could be in front of your Christmas tree, at a nearby park, in front of the fireplace, or anywhere you like.
  4. Decorate Your Home Together: Spend a morning or afternoon decorating your home together. Don’t forget the music! 
  5. Serve Others: This is a time of year to be grateful for what you have and give back to others. Consider starting a new tradition where you volunteer together. For example, drop off Thanksgiving meals, organize a toy drive, or find other ways to spread kindness and joy as a couple. 

Prioritize Intimacy This Holiday Season

As you enter the holiday season, keep in mind that your traditions are simply a way to deepen your 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, create new memories, and grow as a couple. 

Remember, traditions should bless your marriage, not burden it, so don’t hesitate to change or break them if necessary.

We know the holidays can sometimes be stressful for married couples. If this time of year leads to more disconnection than intimacy, apply for marriage coaching to get personal help improving your marriage.

Watch the video below to rekindle the spark and restore the connection in your marriage today!

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

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