This time of year can be both exhilarating and also exhausting! The decorations, the parties, the food. It's all wonderful but it means a busier schedule than usual for most. Along with the busyness comes daily withdrawals from our marriage "bank". Even something as simple as putting up Christmas decorations can place stress on a marriage. Surely we are not the only ones who feel that. Hahaha
The "withdrawals" cannot be controlled or ignored, but what we can do is purposely choose to make "deposits" back into our marriage. One of the ways that we do this is by laughing together to make life lighter. Of course this is easier said than done. We don't always feel like laughing. Especially when things are tense. So how do you purposely laugh with each other when life gets a bit too serious? Here are a few ways we do this, but I'm willing to bet that you have your own list as well. It may be time to revisit that list and get laughing together to connect again and make those "deposits".
1. Watch funny videos together. Alright this probably sounds pretty basic and silly bit it really works. This can be anything from watching "Gomer Pyle-a-thons" (the best!) to prankster you-tube videos. Allen loves watching prankster videos. I (Carol) can be a bit too serious for those at times, but if I hang in there long enough with him, I can see the humor in them as well. LOLOh! and Kid snippets is one of our favorites too. I mean, who can't relate to those? They are hilarious and always good for a belly laugh. If all else fails, pull out your wedding video (or photos, if you don't have one) and just laugh at your silly selves. That should do it for sure! Works for us! ;-)
2. Make up crazy lyrics to one of your favorite songs. Never triedit? you totally should. One of is is much better at this than the other (guess who?), but we do this all the time. As a matter of fact there are few songs we can sing now that we haven'tchanged the lyrics to at some point. This began years ago when we first got married but has been encouragedeven more by the comedian Tim Hawkins! First time we heard him in person, I was pregnant and thought for sure I would go into labor from laughing so hard. Ever since then we can't really sing songstogether without making up silly words. I sometimes get annoyed because I tell Allen he is "ruining" the song for me, but truth is that I'm so thankful he keeps things light. Not all know this but I (Carol) am actually the serious one in our relationship. He is the quiet prankster (watch out for him! haha), which leads us to our next point.
3. Practice the underrated art of "pranking" each other. Ok. Hang in there with us on this one. Pranking each other has led to much laughter for us over the years, so we couldn't resist sharing this. So we are talking simple, non harmful pranks here. I'll give you an example. This "pranking" started back when we were dating. Allen & I worked together in an office shortlyafter I graduated. I was a receptionist, answering phones & such, while he was a part-time draftsman. His office was around the corner from mine. One ridiculously busy day, my office phone began ringing and before the display could show me who was calling, the caller would hang up. This happened over & over again and I was getting quite frustrated. After all, I was VERY busy and took my job quite seriously(maybe a little too much). I finally decided to take a break from the phone and go make some copies around the corner inthe next office. As I rounded the corner, you'll never guess who I found doubled over in laughter, holding the phone in his hands. Ok. Maybe you will guess. My one and only...Allen! I was so mad! (remember...I'm the serious one). Of course after the busyness ended and I had perspective, I was able to get a good kick out of this. We still laugh about it to this day (and so do our kids)! Here's a key though. I have had to learn to let Allen be silly and pull harmless pranks on me from time to time (every now and then I get a few good ones in myself too). I have had to lighten up a bit and learn that its ok to laugh at ourselves. It is so beneficial for our souls and for our connection as well.
We couldshare many stories about times we have made each other laugh. Many of those times they came at some of the hardest moments of our lives. Through financial struggles, through a miscarriage, through moving to a new country with three small children and no family, through helping care for a loved one with cancer, through the loss of loved ones. We really don't know howwewould have gotten through so many tough times without the giftof laughter. It's been a marriage essential for us!
There are a million ways to laugh together, but those are just a few of the tools we use to bring on the chuckles: Enjoy humorous videos together, make up silly lyrics, and don't forget to prank each other every now and then (of course be sure you talk about this one first and make sure your spouse is on board with this - the goal is to laugh together, so be careful on this one. we don't want anyone getting hurt). Most of all justdon't forget to laugh together. Don't take life or yourself too seriously. About the time I get to serious, along comes my treasured gift of a husband and makes me laugh. The good Lord knew I would need a light-hearted man in my life. I'll admit that I am sometimes annoyed by his humor in what I think is a serious situation, but eventually I crack a smile then let go enough to laugh. Then it just draws us closer together--closing that gap that daily life withdrawals have widened. Boy, do I love this man of man!
Whatever it takes, be sure to laugh together - and often! Laughter makes life lighter and marriage sweeter!
Cheering you on,
ALLEN & CAROL
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