UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Climbing the Christmas Hill

A number of years ago I had an insightful, explosive conversation with a group of men that I work with.  It started out as a simple conversation about Christmas preparations. It got more specific as we started to define “what the women do, and the things men do to help out with all the responsibilities.” It got animated and intense as the men got defensive about helping out and then all of a sudden it got real quiet.  One of the men made this statement, “I don’t do Christmas stuff; on Christmas morning I show up!”  I had to breathe and tell myself, “Back up Heidi and walk away…walk away!”

Generally speaking, for many women Christmas preparations have become an intense journey of “climbing the Christmas Hill.” It starts somewhere in November (or earlier if you’re more organized than I am) and begins with the climb towards completing all the Christmas obligations and responsibilities before the blessed Christmas Eve.  One step, one day, one more trip up the Christmas Mountain. Trying to squeeze in a year’s worth of house parties, friendship connections, Christmas concerts, staff parties, church banquets, music programs, open houses, cards, baking, shopping, house cleaning, presents, (and more) into a mere 22 days or less.  By Christmas morning some of you are white with fatigue, and trying very hard to be the happy, cheerful elf handing out all the beautifully wrapped gifts.

I asked my husband why most of this falls onto the woman’s shoulder. He explained it to me very simply. “Honey, he said, most of us men don’t know how to do all that Christmas stuff. We’re simply not good at it.  I would rather wash your car, change light bulbs or peel potatoes. I don’t know how to bake; I’m a terrible wrapper and I don’t believe in buying a lot of gifts that nobody needs.” A light bulb went on for me and I totally understood. It has changed the way I climb the Christmas Hill and spurred me on to overcome many obligations and more toward more freedom.

 We both decided we would no longer send out Christmas cards; instead we send out Happy New Year or Valentines cards to all our friends and family.  Our shopping, baking and entertaining has been chopped to the point where we both feel free to enjoy the Christmas season with family and friends. I just did all my Christmas shopping a week ago and wrapped my presents yesterday.  Years ago I would have spend weeks on shopping and wrapping. We focus more on giving to charities that we believe in, rather than bombarding people with more gifts they don’t need.

 It may seem that men are simply too lazy to help out, or they just don’t care. But I believe they use this façade to cover for the fear of failing, or doing it wrong.  My husband’s response has completely re-defined how I view Christmas.  I refuse to be the martyr and I have stopped trying to by the Christmas Woman Super Hero. I keep telling my daughter, “Honey, you don’t have to do it all; there are no rewards for this.”

 Over the past years it has hurt my heart to ponder on the fact that we are wearing ourselves out, supposedly preparing a celebration for Jesus’ Birthday but He never gets invited. Christmas has become about US not JesUS. If it hurts my heart, imagine how it must hurt the heart of the ONE who came into this world to save us from ourselves. 

If you are feeling tired and frustrated with the “Christmas Hill” right now, stop and have an intimate conversation with your husband (and the rest of your family). Stop and make some BOLD CHOICES to de-define what Christmas means to you and your family.  Jesus came into this world to teach us about freedom. Make a bold choice to bring that back into your life….your marriage…your family…your heart.

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4 Responses to “UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Climbing the Christmas Hill”

  1. “Honey, you don’t have to do it all; there are no rewards for this.”

    I hear the weary sighs of relief from all over the place, Heidi. We have simplified our Christmases, too, in the past few years. This year we have especially been moved by the Advent Conspiracy. It has reminded us to give gifts to our adult children that are relational instead of materialistic. Instead of thinking about what they would WANT, we’ve been thinking about who they ARE and how we can affirm and encourage their character and strengths.

    God is truly up to something in these days.

  2. Thanks Candy for your kind comment. I love your words, “give gifts to our adult children that are relational instead of materialistic.” Isn’t that we need more these days, someone to look into our eyes and have a intimate, meaningful conversation that will leave us encouraged and full of new hope. Let’s spread the good news! Thank you my friend. Hugs…Heidi

  3. I couldn’t agree more. I wish someone older and wiser could have helped me thru this– especially when I was a young bride. Oh thank u God for setting me free from the nasty christmas hill – so I can invite my Jesus into the celebrations. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Barbara. Yes, we need to help each other to STOP those nasty things that are hurting our marriages, familes, but mostly ourselves. I always ask myself, “What is one more thing I can do to to find more freedom?”…because Jesus came to set me free from all this “stuff” , and yet many times I find I have put up my own prison walls. Have a very blessed Christmas!

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