On January 2nd every year, divorce attorneys and marriage counselors are overwhelmed with new business. January is often referred to as “Divorce Month.”
Why? Because the chaos of the Holidays puts added stress on already unstable relationships.
So what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to your relationship?
That's what this episode is all about. We're going to give you four keys to connect this Christmas even in the midst of all the chaos!
Let's dive in!
So today we're talking about overcoming Christmas chaos. This is our first podcast in the month of December, and I have very bad news. What's that in exactly? One month on January 2nd. Every year divorce attorneys and marriage counselors are overwhelmed with new business. Really? And, and those in the know those who are divorce attorneys and marriage counselors in the know they refer to January as divorce month.
Oh God. Because the chaos of the holidays puts added stress on unstable relationships. Mm. But what Tori and I are here to tell you is that December can be a time to create healthy marriage habits that heal your marriage in the midst of the mess. I love it. And that's what we're gonna talk about today.
But before we get. We have an epic song for you. We do. Tori picked it out just for you. Yes. Jason and I were sitting in our kitchen discussing what is a really good love song, and we both agree that Brian Adams, when you love someone, oh, isn't it so good? It might be one of our favorite love songs of all time.
Okay, you guys want a little teaser? Here it comes
when you love. You do,
you do all the of things that you can.
put out the sun when you love someone. He has the most epic voice of all time. He really does that. What do I sound muffled to? You screams? 19. No, what was it? It was, uh, summer of 69. Yeah, that, that song The summer of 69. Man. Oh my gosh. Oh yeah. That his, his Brian Adams. Awesome. That, that voice screams 1980.
Um, so it was funny, we were just sitting in the kitchen and I played this teaser and we're like, all closing our eyes, listen, listening to the words, and I opened my eyes and Jason has this big chunk of egg in his beard. I was like, oh, babe, well you gotta give him context. What, what was the egg doing there?
It's cuz she wanted to listen to that song at the same time that I. Eating food. I was eating eggs like an egg casserole that she had made. So she closes her eyes, she's listening to this song. She looks up, she goes, oh, oh, you've got it. Just, it kind of ruined the moment, but you know, it also brought us a good laugh.
I mean, our daughter was sitting right there and it wasn't like that moment was really gonna go anywhere. I wasn't saying that that's, that's not, that does not. But that's where my brain's going. Good moment. That's where my brain's going. Now, uh, Tori and I just got done doing a, a marriage intensive beauty battle.
We'd do a couple of those a year and we just got done doing a two day marriage intensive where we brought a couple into our home. They stayed in our guest suite off of our garage, and we had the best time with Travis. It really was so fun. And Stacy, and what was really cool about that, um, is that they're both dog trainers Now, Travis also has an investment fund, but she owns a dog training business and they were training our little dog, Rocky.
Mm-hmm. . And man, he was just so. That actually has nothing to do with what I wanna talk about today, . But if what a podcast, if we're not talking about Rocky. Yeah, everybody loves Rocky, but there's nobody that's come over here for a marriage intensive or marriage counseling or coaching that that hasn't fallen in love with our dog.
But the problem is, is that we've never really trained our dog. Yeah, I was gonna say, he can be a little overbearing. So yeah, I don't know that everyone falls in love with him. , what do you think? He's 80 pounds now. 75 pounds. It's probably a little too big, but he's um, is he in a few too many, um, leftover eggs?
Yes. Oh, lots of that. Uh, Bernice Mountain dog mixed with Australian Shepherd, and he'll come up and he'll literally grab his paw and just put it on my lap and just keep. Like pulling, he'll put his paw on my lap and pull until I reached down and pet him. But I did learn this week you can't do that. Right?
For the longest time we thought, oh my gosh, he's so cute. He's telling us he wants us to pet him. And you know, apparently we're just teaching him really bad habits. Yeah, not good. But what a dog does do is it makes you feel fully accepted no matter how. No matter all the dumb things you say or do, doesn't matter.
Your dog still loves you. Mm-hmm. , and I just love that. So anyways, thank you, Rocky, for that. Anyway, that's not what we're talking about today. What we are talking about though is overcoming Christmas chaos. As I said at the beginning, it's just so sad that the month of December. What it does is it just taxes relationships that are already vulnerable.
Mm-hmm. , so relationships that are already where you, you've got some conflict going on, you've got unresolved issues deep in the past. You've got, uh, resentment and hurt that's never been properly processed through. Then the month of December comes and you've got all the extra stuff. Now, you know, I love December.
Right. I think it's the best time of year between, uh, Thanksgiving and New Year's. I think that's the best time of year. At the same time, it's the busiest time of year. Mm-hmm. . So you have to be proactively not busy. Yeah. Cause there's so much stuff. And now our boys always played basketball and we've got one in college.
We got one in, uh, high school. And there's always basketball tournaments, right. I mean, it's a Thanksgiving tournament, then it's a Christmas tournament, then it's a New Year's tournament. So for Tori and I, we are always, always, always busier in December. So we have to proactively try to stay away from the busyness.
But when you think about, uh, Christmas chaos, I think about how Satan loves chaos. Mm-hmm. , right? Right. Because it leads to conflict. Mm. And what he does is he uses conflict to tear us apart because he thrives on disconnection. But God on the other hand, uses conflict to actually draw us together because he created connection.
So God uses conflict to actually be the thing that strengthens you. So God created our bodies right. When we want to actually build and grow our bodies and make 'em stronger, the one thing that we have to do is we have to tax 'em. We have to put 'em through strenuous right workouts and exercise, and that actually breaks down our muscle.
But when you have proper rest, your muscle then builds back up. Then you work out again. It breaks 'em down. You rest enough time, it builds it up, and you just break down, build up, break down, build up, and the next thing you know you got a strong body. The same is true in relationships. You're going to experience conflict, and that conflict is the breaking down process.
But as you work through it and then you get some rest from conflict, your relationship gets stronger and stronger. So what Satan does is he uses the busyness of December to agitate that conflict. And to create a mess. Yeah. That is very difficult for people to get out of. And it's not just December that messed it up, but it's the whole year.
And then December basically is the cherry on the top. So January 2nd, people are filing for divorce at an all time high. Right? So you got people on January 2nd that are starting their life goals. You know, like, okay, my New Year's resolutions we're starting all over. And then you've got a handful of them that are also.
Filing for divorce. Yeah. Which is crazy. Isn't that sad? It's so sad. But really it kind of boils down to you don't have the appropriate amount of rest to Yeah, that's exactly right. And so we're gonna share four keys that are gonna help you experience that rest in the midst of the mess. Hey, that, that could rhyme too, right?
It could, except that mess doesn't have a T on the end. It's so close though. Rest and rest. Just kind of say it quick. Yeah. . But our book, beauty and Battle. Winning a Marriage by Waging a War. The Beauty of marriage is discovered when a couple chooses to no longer fight against each other in a personal war, but alongside one another in a spiritual battle.
And that's how Fighting Together draws you together. So you're recognizing Satan uses conflict to tear you apart. God uses conflict to draw you together. Mm. So there's no use in trying to run from the conflict. There's no use in trying to run from Christmas and, and all the chaos of it. What you can do is you can lean into it.
So, so today what we're gonna talk about real quick is what can you do to make sure that you draw closer together during December rather than further apart? So, you ready? Tor? I'm ready. Okay. You ready? Okay. So here's four keys. Number one. Number one, embrace the chaos. So the first thing is don't run from the chaos.
Recognize that, yeah, it is gonna be a little chaotic. It's gonna be a little hectic, but you have to embrace it. Mm-hmm. . So here's what I encourage you to do. Go watch a few movies specifically. Um, jingle all the way. And home alone. Yes. And not home alone too, but home alone where you're watching just all the chaos.
When the families come together, they're all staying in the same house. Yeah. Jingle all the way. I mean, it's hilarious. That's the one with sin bad, you know? Is that the wrong one? I don't. I don't. No. Is it not jingle all the way? Yeah, with Sinbad and, um, oh, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And they're fighting each other and they're, they're looking to get the, uh, yes, yes.
The toy for the kid. They're both like trying to get it, but it's just so chaotic. And then you're watching home alone and it's nothing but chaos. And we get together and we watch those movies and we laugh hysterically. But at the end of those movies, especially home Alone, what it does, it shows you that in the midst of the chaos, what was really important was their family was together and now they've had a memory.
Yeah. You know, so I would say number one, embrace the chaos. Part of family in the holidays is learning to laugh at the absolute chaos. It's so, that's so good. It's so true. Um, I think I've mentioned this before, but I, I bought my dad. This little plaque at an antique mall years ago, and the quote on it says, um, we were together.
We were together. I forget the rest. And I love that quote so much because that's exactly kind of what you have to do during Christmas time. Like there, like we just had the, um, the kids from college home, so we had our whole family together and it was just kind of chaos. Yeah. And there's, you know, and there's a little bit of stress.
You're trying to like, kind of. That's cuz Trey thinks that every time he's home he has to invite every one of his high school friends over. Oh my goodness. He has to like get, get in all these, you know, all these friends and, and it's just Yeah. Kind of pandemonium and, but it's like at the end of it, you, you kind of have to embrace that.
Yeah, we were together, I forget the rest. Like nothing else really matters. It was a little chaotic, but you know what, it was really fun. We were together. Yeah. And so that's, I think that if we don't embrace. And we're like, oh my gosh, it's so chaotic in here. It's so crazy. It's not going the way I wanted. I had envisioned this, this, and this.
Yeah. And like, you know, you prepare the best that you can, but it doesn't look exactly the way that you had, you know, imagined in your mind. Yeah. And you, you get so disappointed with that. And even like with our Christmas tree, we're like, we're all gonna go get a Christmas tree. It's our tradition. And then it kind of like fell apart because Trey got sick.
Yeah. And Allie ended up telling us that when she came home for the holidays over Thanksgiving, that she decided to take a few shifts at Clean Juice. And I'm like, wait, wait, you took shifts at, she's like, I need money. I had no money. And we're like, oh, I'll pay you girl. No, we can't go get a Christmas. You know, so, but that, so embrace the conflict as key number one.
Key number two is drop your agenda. Yes. Which is exactly what Tori was talking about in December. She's gonna make the best of this. Yeah. There's, there's so many parties and things to get ready for mm-hmm. . So prepare for things to not go right. You know, so we had to pivot. Yep. We did, we pivoted. So it's a constant pivot.
Yeah. And, and that's, that allowed Tory and I to actually make a new memory. So we typically go get a Christmas tree on the. Uh, after Thanksgiving, but because of Trey's basketball schedule in the last few years, we had to drop that to Thanksgiving Day. So, excuse me, Thanksgiving night, right? So at night we go get Thanksgiving and we always watch Home alone.
Yeah. Well, when we watch Home Alone, we've always bought really fine cheese pizza. Yes. Because, yes, because every time, um, whatever the little boy's name is, McCauley Coen. Well, what's his name? Kevin Mcca. Kevin. Every time Kevin. My own cheese pizza just for me. Oh yeah. We all are like, we gotta eat it. We gotta eat, we need pizza.
Like every suddenly good pizza. Yeah. Not like Papa of John's for the last, I don't know, five years. We buy a really good cheese pizza and we try to time it to where, when, when that line comes, we we're all eating cheese pizza. Yeah. But then you, you have to drop your agenda because that's the goal. You know?
Here I am thinking, last year was our first year where we had to do the go get the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night. We started watching Home Alone after we got the Christmas tree. And the next thing you know, I'm looking for places to get pizza and nothing is open. Yeah. Thanksgiving night, nothing is open.
So we had to pivot. I forget what we did, but I was so fond. I think I just like started making, I had like frozen pizzas or something. It was, it was not good. But, um, if, if Tori and I were not in a good place. Then there, there could have been like, you know, little grenades launched. Tori could have said, well, you should have known that we shouldn't try to do this tradition.
You know, we've never done this tradition without eating pizza, you know, and but yet by God's grace we weren't. So what we did this year was on Wednesday night. Mm-hmm. , the night before Thanksgiving, we went to a really nice pizza place, got a couple pizzas. We told 'em Undercook, the pizzas. And we brought 'em home, put 'em in the refrigerator.
Yep. And then the next night we put 'em in the oven and it was perfect. Yep. It was good. Yeah, it was great. But the whole key in terms of not allowing the, uh, chaos of Christmas to tear you apart. But to allow you to have it draw you together is dropping your agenda. Yep. So just don't worry if the party doesn't work out exactly as you wanted.
Mm-hmm. and you're having all those people over, just don't get all married to that stuff. Just drop your agenda. Enjoy relationship. Yeah. Okay. So we were together. I forget the rest. I like that quote. So it's embrace the chaos. Drop your agenda number. Get into a magical mindset. Oh yeah. Now this one helps so much because as kids, you know, we love the lights and music and sound and smells, and then we grow up and we just like we get over it.
And I think one of the things that's really helped Tori and I during Christmas to help us with all the chaos of it, is that we're doing everything we can to create those moments. And like making our house like in a fun Christmas mood. Yeah, like, like the proper lighting. You gotta get low level lighting.
Look, I'm not saying you have to light candles everywhere. Although candles are a good touch. Just don't leave them on. Make sure you blow 'em out before you leave the house. But getting some good low level lighting in your house, like little tiki lights or whatever that you can do along with a little fireplace if you've got one of those.
If you don't have a fireplace, just put the fireplace app on your tv. Yep. Get the TV with the fireplace. It's got little crackles. And then put some soft music on like Kenny G. Yep. You know, little Christmas album Kenny G. And then just, just make your house a magical place. Yep. And then just talk about fun Christmas stuff.
Yeah. It just reminds me of that quote, that leadership is the ability to create an appetite in another person. Oh, yeah. And that as parents, that's our job. It's like, let's create an atmosphere, an appetite. Yeah. For a magical experience. And that includes movies. And one of the things that can really unlock that, especially as your kids get older, but um, at least with the family, but specifically for you too as a couple, you and your spouse is watch old Christmas family videos.
Like videos that you've had from Christmases in the past, and just watch 'em and just laugh hysterically, you know? And that begins to create that little magical mindset. So don't lose that magical mindset. But here's the last one, and I wanna park on this because this one is specifically focused for you and your spouse.
Okay? So if our first three are embrace the chaos, drop your agenda, and then get into a magical mindset. The fourth, and it's so incredibly important is focus on couple tradit. So couple traditions. It's not just family traditions, but it's actually traditions that you do as a married couple, and you're gonna use the, the month of December for that.
So start talking about certain movies that you'll watch together. Now granted, you're gonna have family movies that you're gonna do, or where you're gonna get into a new series. So the month of December is when we're gonna watch an entire series together. Yeah, that's so fun. Just pick one and do it.
Mm-hmm. , you know, um, Tori and I did this a lot. We haven't done this in a little bit. We actually might need. Tonight because it's getting pretty cold today. But, uh, take freeze walks. Yes. Where you just, you go out when it's below freezing and bundle up. Bundle up. Just walk. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. That was something that we started when Trey was little cuz he, he was kind of colicky a little bit when he was a baby and the thing that he loved most, cuz right around, you know, he was just a couple months.
Wintertime. And he loved when we would bundle him up. Yeah. And put him in the little jogger stroller and he wouldn't say a peep. And we Oh, for hours. And so that was kind of like, that's where it began, where we started really enjoying bundling up and going on freeze walks. And now we always, we always do it with our kids.
We're like freeze walk, or we'll go on the golf cart and do a freeze. A freeze drive. It's just funny how our kids like that. They like all bundling up now because when every one of our kids were younger, we would take 'em on freeze. And now they just love it. Mm-hmm. , you know, London even came to us the just today actually and said, um, dad, take us go looking at Christmas lights in your truck and we'll get in the back with blankets, with blankets and all that kind of stuff, you know?
I was like, I like, that's fun. We can do that. But. Taking freeze walks, you know, just you and your spouse. And again, I'm, I'm focusing on specifically doing it in December as a couple. What you guys can do that's fun, that will actually draw you together rather than tear you apart because it is gonna get chaotic in December.
Um, here's something that one couple did and they said that actually really worked, was keep a love journal just for the month of December. So the husband, they, they had a blank journal. The husband would write a little love note or something and he appreciated about his. And then he'd leave it for her and then that night she'd read it and then she'd write him one, and then he'd read it the next day.
And then they would go back and forth day after day. So then at the end of December they had 30 days, you know, 15. That's each Yep. Of little love things together. That's cool. So to, you can be proactive and just start that one if you want. . Uh, but one that I really love because we're talking about focusing on couple traditions, like creating traditions that just you and your spouse do in the month of December.
Take a Christmas day trip alone. Yeah. Day trip. Like once the kids are at school. Um, just take a, take a day trip. Go, go somewhere like Tori and I, was it last year? I think it was on December 9th or something. It was like on a Monday morning and we decided we were just gonna go to, uh, I forget where did we go?
Blowing rock. Blowing rock, yes. We went to Blowing Rock and we found this really cool restaurant and did a little bit of a hike and then got back. The kids got outta practice. Mm-hmm. , you know, obviously if you've got a job you're gonna have to, you know, proactively think two weeks from now, you gotta take a day off or whatever.
But just do a Christmas day trip alone and, and you guys just find some antique place, you know, like, yeah. One of our favorite things to do is to go around Christmas time, is to go to the antique mall. Cause they're always decorated. They're always decorated for Christmas and they always have Christmas music.
It's just old school. You're in your fields in an antique mall. I love it. So we need to do that like this week, , what's crazy too is I'm sitting there walking around, you know, just taking it all in, you know, and, and in order to, um, be fully present in a moment, and I've shared this with you guys several times, you have to engage the five senses, or at least as many of the senses as you can.
You know, take in the sites, take in the sounds, take in the smells, take in the, the way things feel. Yeah. You know, like a present wrapped in your, you know, wrapped up and you. The paper and how soft it is and then you know the taste. Yeah. So I'm walking around the antique mall. I'm taking it all in. Yeah, I'm looking for dark chocolate cuz I want to get into the taste and Tori's like, okay honey, what do you think about this?
We could, we could get this, you know, like old timey phone for Ludy so she could play office. I'm like this, oh, you're here to shop. Oh, okay. Got it. Oh, I'm definitely there to shop. Of course. So those four things, uh, Tori and I just wanted to share with you that Yeah, it's just, it's so important to have your thing.
Yeah. Like, it's so easy to like, have your traditions with your kids and then you kind of like lose your thing, uh, with your spouse. One of the things that we love to do is, um, watch, what's the movie that we watch every time I'm wrapping, I'm wrapping. Oh my gosh. Tory wa wraps. Uh, I think it's usually around December 20th or 21st.
Yeah, some, yeah, somewhere around there. It's during the day she raps presents and I watch Die Hard. Yeah. And so that's like been our tradition. That's our thing. Yeah. It's, I'm gonna be rapping so you, you're gonna be watching and I'm, you know, not really even paying attention to Yeah. The movie. But it's so fun.
Like, that's our thing. That's what we do. You can watch it on Angel so you don't have to listen to the, to the language. Yeah. There's some language for sure. But we, we. We got into the series Manifest, although, you know, turned, they got a couple scenes that went gay on us . It was a little crazy, but we got into that.
They released season four. So as Tori and I have started that mm-hmm. , you know, you can also watch that on Vi Angel as well. But, but have something that's your thing. Yeah. Like, this is what we do, this is our thing that we do together and, and when the chaos happens, just embrace it. Mm-hmm. , drop your. Get yourself into a magical mindset and really focus in on some traditions that you guys can do as a couple.
And then what happens at December? Mm-hmm. is that you're not gonna be visiting the divorce attorney on January 2nd. , how about that? The grace of God. You know, one thing too, um, just on a practical level, stress is tied to the amount of decisions you have to make. Yes. That is. So on a practical level, like during December, Sometimes you just gotta make a decision.
Go with it. My mom always has said that to me. Make a decision. Go with it. Like, don't overthink. Just, you know, like, just figure, figure out what you want, ask, bring the Holy Spirit into it. I'm always like, God, you know, I'm kind of getting stuck on this. I, I don't know what to do, so I'm gonna, you know, can you help me just make a decision?
Cause I wanna make the decision move on, because I don't wanna just sit here and feel like, oh, make, I could be so regretful. What if I make the wrong decision? That's a good point. It just, it's, it becomes silly. Really. Yeah. It's like you. I'm gonna make a decision and I'm gonna move on because I'm not gonna get all tied up and stressed out because it really does affect your relationships.
Let's just be honest. Like stress affects your relationship probably more than any other, just on a practical level thing. and so be aware of, you know, of the decisions that you're making and make a decision and move on. That is, I mean, honestly, that's like gospel. You need to really listen to what she just said because in December you're thinking about all the presence that she gotta buy.
Mm-hmm. . And it's all just decision after decision after decision. And it is true that stress is tied to the number of decisions that you make on a daily basis. If you wanna lessen your. Obviously there's other things that you can do, but if you wanna lessen your stress, you need to lessen the number of decisions that you make.
Yeah. So pick out the shoes and buy 'em. Mm-hmm. , don't sit there and compare for like three days. On which shoes? It's just buy the Dadgum shoes and get a gift receipt. Yeah. Your kid will be fine. , like they'll turn it back in anyway. Yeah. Just be done with the decision and that really will help you guys get along so you're not fighting all the time.
That's right. Right. So we gotta close this thing down. We're closing it. Are you gonna do a recipe? Okay. So yes. Um, so this is not my own, but it is such a great recipe. It's super easy. It's called a sheet pan recipe. And it's the lazy genius. Okay? And she is the lazy genius. Like she's all about, she's a lazy butt
She's all about, um, making things simple. Okay? And, um, so I love sheet panned recipes. I actually don't do many at all, but this one just works so incredibly well. It's delicious. You get your veggies, your meat. It's, it's all in one sheet, okay? And, um, basically all that you do is you take. Um, chicken thighs, bone in skin on chicken thighs.
Oh yeah, those are good. Those things are so good. If you crisp that outside, it's really good. Yes. Oh, it's so good. And then you just chop like a ton of veggies. You can do. You gotta be careful with the veggies that you choose because some burn easily, like green beans. Or aspar, asparagus, they tend to burn.
Um, or some veggies. Give your husband really bad gas. Like brussel sprouts knew I could have. Yeah, I knew exactly before you even opened your mouth. You gonna say that? Just so awesome. Um, so aspar or not asparagus. Um, brussel sprouts work really well. Cauliflower, carrots. But you could do, you can do any veggies.
I did asparagus. They just burnt a little bit cuz they're thin. Um, but the chunkier the better anyways. Yeah. All you do is you take that chicken thigh, those chicken thighs, you chop a ton of veggies, you put the chicken thigh on top of the veggies. So it's like the fat is what kind of crisp is what, um, gets in the veggies.
Yeah. It's like you, you need a little bit of oil, but you really don't need too much oil because that fat drips onto the, the veggies and crisps up. Oh my gosh. And um, so. The, the trick is that once you. Well, you're gonna like salt and pepper underneath the skin, and then you take paper towel and you pat down the skin and it makes it a huge difference.
Oh, yeah. If you don't pat down as why that's too watery, right? Yeah. It just absorbs that water. And then you throw, it's like you bake it at like 500, I think it's for 40 or 50 minutes. I'll, um, I'll, I'll share the, the link to the lazy genius where you can, you can print it out, but um, yeah, you just, you just throw that thing in the oven for like 40 minutes.
Done. Boom. Dinner on the table. It's like such a good chicken dinner. Yeah, it is. Winter winner chicken dinner. Yeah. Buddy . Okay. Yeah. And Tori did make. It was astounding. I've made it several times. Y'all like it pretty, pretty good, so Yeah, and it's even good like eight days later. I don't think that you can eat chicken eight, although I had a nervous twi.
That might be why your stomach is not doing stuff. Maybe not eight days later. Three days. Well, two days maybe. I don't think you can eat chicken after three days, but can you, I don't know. Look it up. I don't know. Whatever. Anyways, we are hygienic, so hey, thanks for hanging out with us. Overcome the Christmas chaos.
See you guys next week. Don't, don't keep fighting or, yeah, we'll see you sometime soon, whenever, . Love ya. Bye. Bye.