by Stacey Perll, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach
When it comes to holidays – Christmas, New Years Eve, Valentine’s Day or July 4th – people often have mixed and conflicting feelings about them. Society and culture inform us that holidays should be filled with holiday “cheer”. Many commercials (especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas) show happy families gathering for beautiful dinners and exchanging holiday gifts. I love the car commercials – I dream of the day that I am gifted a brand new Porsche with a Big Red Bow wrapped around it!
As for Valentine’s Day, the commercials often show couples exchanging opulent jewels and the gifting of Beautiful Red Roses and Swiss Chocolates. All of which are very romantic. For those who embrace the holidays with the same passion as Santa, Mrs. Claus or Cupid, terrific.
But for some, it can be a time of stress and/or anxiety. For many, we wear ourselves too thin. Taking care of ourselves and our relationship can be the last item on our list of “Holiday To-Dos”. I get it, we are busy, we may not have the “Hallmark” holiday spirit and sex may be the last thing on our minds. It is normal. However, no matter how we personally feel about holidays, they are going to come around each year, no matter what. The question remains, for the many who do want to maintain sex and intimacy with themselves or with a partner:
How do we practice self-care and nurture our relationship?
This can be a tricky question. We have been conditioned through advertising that giving to others and “spreading the holiday spirit” is a must. Don’t get me wrong – I believe that giving to others is an important component of leading a balanced holistic life. Giving of your heart is essential not just on holidays, but throughout the year. In addition, I also believe that taking care of yourself and your relationship are just as important.
Below are a few ideas to help you survive the holidays:
• First and foremost allow yourself at least one hour during the day for a “non-holiday” activity. It may be going for a run, a yoga class or masturbating. It may be just sitting by yourself and reading a book. My point. Give yourself a “time-out” from the specific Holiday.
• If you are in a relationship, decide if you are up for “date” night. It’s up to you how you want to spend it. You can either embrace the holiday spirit, (i.e., bake cookies during Christmas, cook dinner together for Valentine’s Day, or create your own “fireworks” for the 4th of July). If cooking or baking, why not naked? Or, you can role play and spice up your sex life. I personally love the Santa and Sexy Mrs. Clause costumes. How fun would that be? Playing Santa and Mrs. Claus? This way you kill two birds with one stone. You are engaging in both passionate sex and embracing the holidays.
• Acknowledge how you feel about the holidays. Be truthful with yourself. If you are with a partner, communicate authentically. There is nothing more passionate and genuine than honesty. You either love them, are ambivalent about them or hate them. All three ways are acceptable. If you love them, then a wonderful idea would be to make love on a blanket in front of a fireplace with the specific holiday themed music in the background. For example, Christmas Carols for Christmas or Love Songs for Valentine’s Day. If you are ambivalent or dislike holidays, then forego the music, the tree and/or fireplace and “take it upstairs”, so to speak. The point being, do not neglect yourself or your partner. A holiday will come and go but you and/or your relationship will not.
• Finally, I want to reiterate that no matter how you may feel about holidays, do not lose sight of what truly is important. Practicing self-care and communication are essential. Be honest. Be yourself. Confirm your own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Do not try to be someone or something that you are not. If you are a holiday junkie then have fun with it. If not, that is okay. Be authentic. Be real and once for and for all, be yourself.