Navigating the Christmas season as a couple with an empty nest can be challenging. For whatever reason, your children might be unable to join you for the holidays. You might feel emotions of sadness or nostalgia as you think back over fond memories of little kids waking up on Christmas morning.


While the transition to empty nesters might feel especially difficult during the holiday season, it is also an opportunity to create new and meaningful experiences with your spouse.

From planning unique dates and making memories to exploring your sexual intimacy and beyond, you can maximize the empty nest season of marriage, especially during the holidays.

9 Ways to Make Christmas Special as Empty Nesters

Here are nine meaningful ways you can celebrate Christmas as a couple with an empty nest. These ideas help foster connection and joy with your spouse during this special time.

1. Create New Traditions

Without children in the home for the holidays, you may choose to reevaluate your family traditions. You don’t have to abandon traditions altogether; instead, consider modifying existing traditions or creating some new ones that were otherwise not possible when you had kids at home.

There’s nothing wrong with starting small. For example, watch your favorite holiday movie, go to a fancy restaurant decorated for Christmas, or drive around with hot chocolate and enjoy the lights. Or you can go all-out! Take a helicopter ride to view lights from above, hire a private chef to cook for you, or plan a luxury weekend getaway.

Embracing new traditions with your spouse is a great way to make the holiday season a joyous occasion, even if it looks different from previous years.

2. Stay Connected to Your Kids

Even if your kids aren’t home this Christmas, there are still several ways to stay connected with them.

Send them a thoughtful care package with their favorite holiday treats or fun stocking stuffers. Bridge the distance by scheduling video calls, doing a virtual movie night, creating a shared holiday family photo album, or sharing your favorite Christmas playlists.

These gestures bridge the gap and keep the familial bonds strong, even when miles apart.

3. Travel Together

With the kids out of the house this year, you and your spouse may decide to travel for the holidays. Planning a trip for just the two of you to enjoy may help to ease feelings of sadness or nostalgia.

Whether it’s a romantic escape or an exploration of a new destination, traveling over the holidays can bring a refreshing change. Consider planning a cruise, a visit to a charming winter destination, or a beach retreat to create new memories and build your recreational intimacy.

4. Host a Gathering

If the house feels empty without the full family, consider hosting a gathering with friends. Fill your home with laughter and create memories with a new group of loved ones. Use this opportunity to put up the decorations and embrace the festive spirit.

5. Embrace Your Alone Time

While it might feel a little lonely to have an empty nest during the Christmas season, it’s also an exciting time to focus on yourself and your spouse!

Take advantage of the alone time by walking around naked, cuddling by the Christmas tree, or wearing a big red bow as the present for your spouse. Don’t take for granted this extra time to be together.

6. Plan Activities with Friends

As an empty nester, there are plenty of activities you can experience this Christmas.

Consider getting together with friends for a game night, going out to a show, or attending a fancy holiday dinner. In fact, try to connect with other couples who are also experiencing an empty nestperhaps for the first time—and make it a point to build friendships with them.

Celebrating the holidays as a community can bring warmth and joy during this season of change.

7. Give Back and Help Others

Volunteering is a wonderful way to add purpose and fulfillment to your Christmas season as a couple with an empty nest.

Whether it’s helping at a soup kitchen, participating in a gift drive, or contributing to your local church or non-profit, giving back fosters a sense of community and brings joy to others.

8. Simplify Your Holidays

Without kids in the house, you and your spouse might not feel the need to go all out for the holidays this year. Instead, this might be a year to focus on intentionality and experiences.

Use this time to prioritize self-care so you can minimize stress and feel ready to tackle the new year.

9. “Adopt” Others Into Your Family

If your home feels too quiet with the kids away for the holidays, find ways to adopt others into your family, whether for a meal or an extended stay.

For instance, you might “adopt” a college student who is unable to go home this year. You can “adopt” a family that needs financial support in order to afford gifts. Or you can simply invite others into your home to share your family’s traditions.

You and your spouse might discover that it’s just what you need to achieve that family feeling this year. Best of all, it’s a way to give back and help others.

Reconnect With Each Other This Christmas

Navigating Christmas as empty nesters presents a unique opportunity for you and your spouse to redefine your holiday traditions and create new, meaningful experiences.

Whether through travel, connecting with friends, giving back, or embracing simple celebrations, put one of these ideas to the test! With a little creativity and intentionality, you an turn your empty nest Christmas into a season filled with joy, connection, and cherished memories.

However, this transition into an empty nest can create disconnection for many couples. If you feel helpless in your marriage, know that there is still hope! Apply for marriage coaching today to get personal help to improve 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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