It’s hard to get super romantic between the (“hurry!”) Advent reading for the kids, the gift cards for the teachers, and addressing Christmas cards. Not to mention the two of you stashed in your mother-in-law’s living room with kids snoring around you on sleeping bags, doesn’t exactly make you think, Ooh! Sex over the holidays! 

This season can yank a couple apart like a taffy pull. We’re hoping to worship a newborn king–yet our relationships are sagging.

But despite a schedule more packed than Santa’s bag, sneaking in sex over the holidays isn’t undoable. And it may make the holidays a lot more … merry.

Because Christmas where you’re truly connected as a couple, feeling fulfilled and making space, maybe even a little jollier with the in-laws and sugar-highed kids? That’s infinitely more fulfilling.

We’ll help you out with a fun list for the two of you to both make and check twice.

1. Take advantage of those holiday reruns.

Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and The Grinch are gifts just for you, even when your heart’s feeling two sizes too small. Flip on a Christmas special, lock the bedroom door, snuggle up, and unwind with some elaborate foreplay.

While the kids are watching the Whobilation, you could be enjoying one of your own.

2. Everyone has to shower. Make the most of yours.

Jazz it up with some holiday shower wash, and maybe sudsing your spouse’s hair.

3. Sex needs calendar space, too.

Don’t let kids’ choir concerts have all the fun. Take time to plan sex over the holidays. Send your spouse a couple of calendar dates with your own secret code name for sex.

Follow up with a helpful text reminder, as any appointment deserves: All I want for Christmas is you, etc. etc.

4. DIY twelve days of sexy Christmas.

Create your own sex-over-the-holidays challenge counting down to Christmas: 12 minutes of making out, an 11-minute massage, 10 handsy touches around the house …

5. Choose your own adventure.

Consider gifting your spouse a coupon book of sexual favors, leaving it wrapped on a pillow.

6. Formal event? Remove some underclothes just before the ride home.

In the car, inform your spouse of your decision. ‘Nuff said.

365 devotions for your marriage on the days you feel like it (and ones you don’t).

7. Knead out that holiday stress.

Is one of you a little knotted up, or just plain fried? Initiate a massage Christmas special (Choose your benefits!). Want to take it up a notch? Purchase a little Christmas-scented massage oil.

8. Staying with family? Perfect the art of the quickie.

If the kids are out making snowballs at Grandma’s or rolling out cookies in the kitchen, take advantage of the chaos or downtime to sneak up to your temporary digs. Indulging in some quick, secret sex just increases the excitement.

9. Elf-sized steps toward something new.

Willing to initiate something creative and different? Give your spouse the gift of creativity in the bedroom. (Keep it within biblical bounds: inside your marriage, not involving anyone else, not prohibited by Scripture.)

10. Make the most of Christmas treats for sex over the holidays.

The Song of Solomon totally got into date cakes and all kinds of food. How could you incorporate whipped cream, chocolate, peppermint? Your call.

11. Create a little atmosphere.

Twinkle lights. Candles. Snuggly blankets. Christmas lotion. It doesn’t take a workshop to dream up ways to entice your lover and make things, charmingly, a little different when the lights are turned way down low.

12. Motivate with a little Christmas lingerie.

Ladies, consider purchasing something that makes you feel confident and adventurous.

For both of you: The goal is obviously not to make your spouse feel like a piece of roast beast. If you’re the giver, consider presenting the gift as, “When I saw this, I thought you’d look fantastic in it. I love sex with you.”

There’s more to it

Keep in mind sex is a microcosm: If you’re selfish in other areas—like helping locate stray mittens, containing those sugar-crazed kids during break, or watching TV while your spouse does the heavy lifting in the kitchen—sex can seem offbeat and out of touch. (“Here’s something else I want from you!”)

Know your spouse. Love your spouse. And before your sexual desires, prioritize your spouse’s holistic needs.

Because a secure, strong family around the tree is the best way to pass on deep faith and meaningful tradition to those squirrely kids. Stay close this season by prioritizing each other.

This could be the most wonderful time of the year.

Copyright © 2019 Janel Breitenstein. All rights reserved.

Janel Breitenstein is an author, freelance writer, speaker and frequent contributor for FamilyLife, including Passport2Identity®, Art of Parenting®, and regular articles. After five and a half years in East Africa, her family of six has returned to Colorado, where they continue to work on behalf of the poor with Engineering Ministries International. Her book, on spiritual life skills for messy families (Zondervan), releases March 2021. You can find her—“The Awkward Mom”—having uncomfortable, important conversations at, and on Instagram @janelbreit.