Skip to content
Use Code LOVE10 for 10% Off | FREE DISCREET SHIPPING ON $49+
Use Code LOVE10 For 10% Off

Fill Her Stocking: Sharing The Load Of Holiday Cheer With Your Partner

Dr. Lisa Lawless

Dr. Lisa Lawless, CEO of Holistic Wisdom
Clinical Psychotherapist: Relationship & Sexual Health Expert

Gingerbread couple holiday lights

Who Takes Brunt Of Holiday Stress?

In this article, we're diving into the extra load many women carry during the holiday season. But let's not forget this isn't just about one gender. I'm giving a shout-out to all the caregivers and partners out there who are also juggling more than their fair share. Holiday stress doesn't pick favorites!

However, with so many women feeling especially swamped this time of year, that's where this article will zoom in. There is a disproportionate number of women who are overwhelmed during holidays, and it's high time we shed some light on it.

Who's Making Her Christmas Magical?

Let's unpack the holiday hustle and why it stresses out so many women. Whether juggling family dynamics, keeping up with time-honored traditions, or meeting everyone's expectations, there's a lot on women's festive plates.

Understanding The Problem

You may have seen the viral videos of women watching their partner and children open gifts or enjoy their filled Christmas stockings while they receive little to nothing in return. Some gifts may even be considered insulting, such as a cleaning or cooking-related gift designed to continue to put domestic expectations on her.

Popular culture often humorously highlights the burden of women in this regard. One such example was a memorable Saturday Night Live sketch that showcased a mother (played by Kristen Wiig) who was overlooked during the holidays: while her family's stockings were filled to the brim, hers remained empty. Her only gift? A discounted robe. Even the family pet received more love and presents.

It's a light-hearted reminder of how often female caregivers are often taken for granted. Make sure that when you discuss the holidays, you ensure that both partners have their needs met and responsibilities are shared.

Women Stressed Holidays

Why Is It So Stressful For Women?

The holiday season often means more work for women who are trying to create a magical experience for the kids and other family members, including their partner, with an unequal share of household responsibilities, from cooking to cleaning, all while keeping up with the demands of a full or part-time job. Plus, coordinating celebrations with a partner's family can add an extra layer of stress to the holiday puzzle.

Women, in particular, often shoulder a disproportionate amount of holiday expectations. They're often expected to decorate, purchase and wrap gifts, cook, and ensure everyone's enjoyment, including their partner's. When they ask for help or layout tasks for their partner, they can be perceived as being nagging when, in reality, many women are just asking for equality. Not just in terms of doing the things needed for a happy holiday season but also the mental load of strategically planning it out.

Women Overwhelmed During Holidays

Strategies For Sharing Responsibilities

Unfortunately, for many women they receive little in return, whether through presents, appreciation, or assistance. So what can be done?

To begin with, let's be clear: this is not about helping your partner because these tasks are not their job. Rather than asking how you can help, let your partner know that you understand that you are a team and that you are not doing them a favor by assisting them. Rather, you are here to do what needs to be done because it is also your responsibility. This includes the mental load of planning it all.

Keep in mind that this can actually be a fun way to have intimacy! Coming up with ideas together and deciding who will follow up with those details allows you the opportunity to have increased bonding. 

Let's explore some ways on how you can do just that:

Have Open Communication

Encourage loving discussions about holiday responsibilities. Partners should sit down and discuss expectations, desires, and the division of labor. Ensure a fair distribution of tasks as well as the mental load in planning them.

Active Participation

Partners and family members should take an active role in holiday preparations. This means not just offering help but taking the initiative to plan, shop, decorate, and cook.


Acknowledge one another for the efforts each of you has made to make the holidays special. Simple acts of appreciation, such as thank-you notes, compliments, or thoughtful gifts, can make partners feel truly loved.

Meaningful Gifts

Partners should put thought and care into their gifts, ensuring they are meaningful. Consider making a homemade card or writing them a love letter as well. Make it romantic or funny and something that celebrates them rather than just a store-bought card with a signature to add a more sentimental connection.

Redefine Traditions

Redefine traditional roles and expectations by creating new traditions that distribute responsibilities more equally and focus on enjoyment for everyone.

Promote Awareness

Promote awareness about the past unequal distribution of labor of women, especially during the holidays. Encourage discussions about how these traditions came to be and how they can be changed to allow women to feel less stressed and appreciated.

Model Equality

Model equal participation and appreciation for children so they can see both parents sharing responsibilities.

Encourage Healthy Boundaries

Encourage your female partner to prioritize self-care and set healthy boundaries around the holidays. It's okay to say no to certain traditions or expectations if they're causing undue stress.

Couples Intimacy During Holidays

Building A Happier Holiday Together

Before the holidays begin, have a heart-to-heart with your partner about what you both desire for your holiday, including what you hope for and what might stress you out.

Approach it as a team-building exercise, dividing not only the tasks but also the mental energy that goes into planning, carrying them out, and following up with one another for support.

Make sure to discuss specific expectations and divide responsibilities fairly, along with outlining when they should be completed. This is just as crucial when managing holiday money and setting a budget for gifts, decor, and other expenses.

By understanding each other's holiday desires and potential pressure points, you'll be better equipped to sidestep any confusion and avoid unnecessary stressors.

If you're dividing time between families, create a sensible plan that may include doing things like rotating holidays or sharing a day. When discussing plans with your family, approach it as a united front with them and communicate your shared boundaries in a considerate manner.

Remember, it's okay to create new traditions that work for your relationship. Traditions must start somewhere and should be adhered to only when they enhance the quality of your life experiences. When they don't, it's time to create new ones.

Protect Your Partnership

Amidst the holiday hustle, take time to carve out moments for personal well-being individually and as a couple. This can be through activities such as taking a short break, walking outside, or having a quiet cup of cocoa together.

Self-care and couple-care aren't luxuries—they are necessary for good mental health. Simple gestures of support and time together can go a long way in strengthening your bond during the holidays.

Related Posts

Surviving Thanksgiving As A Couple: Creating Meaningful Memories
Surviving Thanksgiving As A Couple: Creating Meaningful Memories
Elevate your Thanksgiving experience with your partner. Master healthy boundaries, enhance relationships, and practice s
Read More
Ghostlighting Red Flags & Tips: Where Ghosting Meets Gaslighting
Ghostlighting Red Flags & Tips: Where Ghosting Meets Gaslighting
Ghosting Meets Gaslighting: Discover 'Ghostlighting,' the latest toxic behavior red flag in relationships. Explore the r
Read More
Toxic Baggage: How Dishonesty And Bad Behavior Takes A Toll On Your Health
Toxic Baggage: How Dishonesty And Bad Behavior Takes A Toll On Your Health
Are you really getting away with it? Explore the consequences of dishonesty, cheating, and behaving badly. Discover how
Read More
Previous article Single by Choice: Discovering Fulfillment Beyond Romantic Relationships
Next article Surviving Thanksgiving As A Couple: Creating Meaningful Memories