“Whatever is not happening, make it happen.—Anonymous


One of the most famous Christmas carols, “Deck the Halls,” proclaims: ’tis the season to be jolly. But for many couples, the holiday season might not be joyful or jolly when it comes to sexual intimacy.

Sometimes, it can feel like your sex life has gone on a holiday break, whether or not you planned it.  

Many factors can lead to your sexual intimacy falling on the back burner during the holiday season. You and your spouse may feel overwhelmed by busy schedules and a lack of time. Work or finances might cause extra stress. Family dynamics—such as young kids, visiting family, or adult children returning home—can be a challenge during the holidays. 

Of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, sexual intimacy is the only one that’s always just about you and your spouse. 

The other five pillars—emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, and recreational—can involve people beyond your spouse. For example, sharing your thoughts and feelings with a friend at Christmastime will affect your emotional intimacy. Worshipping with others at church influences your spiritual intimacy. Looking at Christmas lights with a family member ties into recreational intimacy. 

What’s special about sexual intimacy is that it’s about only you two. Ignoring this crucial pillar for four or five weeks rarely goes well. 

There are many ways your sexual intimacy might take a hit during the holiday season. It’s possible that you don’t have sex and don’t address it. When you ignore the issue, you allow feelings of frustration and resentment to build. This causes cracks in both your sexual and emotional intimacy. 

Another thing that might happen is that you and your spouse end up having “duty sex,” which is when sex becomes something to check off your list. Duty sex often suggests a bigger disconnect in one of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®. 

Both scenarios can leave you feeling lonely, unwanted, and disconnected.

So what can you do? 

First, identify the “Why?” and the “What?” that is hindering your sexual intimacy. 

Ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Why aren’t we making sexual intimacy a priority? 
  • What is on our calendar that keeps us from having time together? 
  • What tasks keep us from connecting, and how can we share the burden?

If sending out Christmas cards or wrapping each present to perfection keeps you from connecting with your spouse, find an alternative. Perhaps this year, you put presents in gift bags or post a “virtual Christmas card” to social media. 

Second, cast the vision for what you want your sexual intimacy to look like this Christmas. Perhaps you need to reassess your intimacy lifestyle during the holidays and decide on a plan together. 

You should also reexamine the definition of sexual intimacy.

Too often, the thought of sexual intimacy only refers to intercourse. In reality, sexual intimacy encompasses everything about your sexual connection with your spouse, including romance, initiation, and foreplay. 

This Christmas, consider romance, initiation, and foreplay like stocking stuffers, while intercourse is like a big, wrapped present. Both kinds of gifts are enjoyable! You don’t have to open a large present every time you want to be sexually intimate with your spouse. You can enjoy each other in little ways. 

‘Tis the season to protect your marriage by prioritizing sexual intimacy. Do what it takes to be there for your spouse and choose to foster emotional intimacy alongside sexual intimacy. Not only will it bring you and your spouse closer, but it will also set you up for success in the new year.


457: 12 Sexy Days of Christmas

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