7 Ways Husbands Can Keep Their Wives From Cracking Under the Holiday Stress

cracked eggAh, the holidays. The lights. The presents. The spirit. And of course ... the stress.

We guys know that being a mom is tough on any normal day. Some of us may not admit it, but trust me, we know.

Toss in the holiday shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the cooking, and the preparing to spend way too much time with your family, and your wife's lucky if she doesn't have a nervous breakdown long before the fruitcake is sliced.

I'm not suggesting it's time to listen to the Grinch hiding out atop that snowy mountain. No. Instead, I've come up with a list of ways to reduce that stress. To make the holidays a tad more comfortable for your wife.

Because everyone knows that when Mommy's happy, the whole family is happy.

So instead of spending thousands of dollars on that gorgeous diamond necklace (sorry, ladies), give some of these tips a try. You may just save Christmas after all!


1) Take the kids - I don't care what you do with them, just take them. Go to the movies. Shop. Hit the library. Just get them out of the house so your wife can do her own thing, whatever that is.

2) Make a list - Not a naughty or nice list -- someone's already got you beat on that one. Sit down with your wife and create lists for gifts and menus. Write down everything you'll need. Once it's written down, she'll feel more organized and more in control. Plus, it's fun to cross things off the list when they're done.

3) Deck the halls - You don't need to be an interior decorator to get the house all ready for the holidays. Pitch in. Grab some tinsel. Hang some mistletoe. If you really feel adventurous, send your wife out shopping, then grab the kids and decorate the house yourself! She gets some much-needed shopping done, while you take care of the decorations.

4) Take a day off - It's the end of the year, so chances are you still have a few vacation days to use up. If not, play the "sick" card. Take a day off work and tell your wife you are hers for the entire day. Whatever she needs, help out. Whether it's laundry, shopping, driving the kids, cleaning, etc. You'll be her own little Christmas Miracle.

5) Run a bath - Fill the tub and add some bubbles. Then, when your wife's at her most stressed, regardless of the time, force her to go take a soak and think about nothing. Even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes, the calming effect of that "me time" will go a long way toward recharging her batteries.

6) Split the chores - Just because there's loads more to be done during the holidays doesn't mean your wife has to go it alone. Ask her what she needs and then make a plan of attack. Split up the work, playing off of each other's strengths. Just don't slack off or you'll find a lot worse than coal in your stocking.

7) Do nothing - On the other hand, if you're the type of husband who always tries to help but inevitably makes things worse every single time somehow (ahem ... yeah, this is why I'm no longer allowed to touch the laundry or cook rice in my own house), do your wife a favor ... don't do anything!

How does your husband help keep the holiday stress down?

Image via John Liu/Flickr

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