What Christmas teaches us about relationships

Thursday December 24 2020
By Joan Salmon

The festive season, Christmas in particular, is about relationships because we are celebrating the gift of Jesus from God who offered Him to us out of love. It is, therefore, important that we learn a few things from this season to better our relationships.
Some alone time is great

Hellen Mayiga comes from a big family where cousins, uncles, in-laws, and friends gather to celebrate the season. “This means big meals, prepared by many people in the big kitchen,” she says. However, after a long morning of preparation, Mayiga desires a little time to re-energise, do a few things alone or just enjoy some silence. 

Esther Nambuya, a counsellor, says in every relationship, time to reflect, self-evaluate and the like are important. “There is a tendency to reject your relationship replacing it with activities yet your spouse may be sending as many signals as possible to be heard. Take time to be with your spouse as well as self-assessing yourself,” she says.
Let go or wait 
When people gather for the festive season, it is important to avoid some subjects for one reason or another. 

Kate Nakibuuka, who had just lost her job in November 2018, asked her family not to discuss this during the holidays. “It had been a trying time, having gone through a lot of prejudice at work before I was handed the ‘brown envelope’. 

While I had done some reflecting to allow myself process the pain, it was still hard. So, talk about jobs at that time was not something I needed,” she says.

Nambuya says even in relationships, we do not have to talk about everything and anything at any time. “For example, if your spouse has just lost a big contract, while you may sympathise with them so they know you feel their pain, allow them time to process the events and talk about it later,” she says.
Gratitude wins 
Being thankful is woven in the fabric of the festive season with people giving lots of gifts to one another. Sam Watya, a counsellor, says even in relationships, it helps to show gratitude in every way possible. “It could be a hug after a long day, or a small present to say, ‘I love you’. Being appreciative of your spouse increases the love between the two of you, hence improving the relationship,” he says.


As you enjoy those sumptuous meals, make merry and enjoy being with family, take time to nurture your relationship for a more enjoyable 2021.

Avoid last minute things
Sam Watya, a counsellor, says when we leave things for later, there is a possibility of forgetting about them or they lose meaning. “When you anger your spouse, apologise fast lest later might be looked at as an afterthought hence not carry the magnitude it should. More to that, do not let anger fester lest it bursts at a time when you least expect, causing irreparable damage.”