I made it.

This graying heap of miserliness managed to survive yet another horribly happy holiday season without having to sing songs about some red-nosed freak of nature or some cute baby born in a cold barn to poor parents.

Good old Roman Tic managed to slide right through the "happy holidays" relatively unscathed. The only battle wounds sustained occurred during a visit to my wife's mother at the Golden Sun Senior Retirement Community. While visiting the old hag, we noticed that Frank and Dottie Henderson had forgotten that clothing was required in the common areas. I won't bore you with the details but will advise you against confronting an elderly naked man about the importance of an occasional "mirror check." Despite the unfortunate encounter, a fairly decent month was had.

I noticed though that many people were not so fortunate. I witnessed countless couples arguing in store aisles about things like the color of spatulas and how much should be spent on the mother-in-law.

Nearly everyone I passed in the world throughout the month of December looked stressed, sleep-deprived and grumpy. Romance, I'm sorry to admit, does not thrive in a sleep-deprived and grumpy environment. Life is hard. Life is harder in December. We must remember this when speaking to and interacting with others, especially those we love.

My wife and I make a pact every year in late November. We agree that our relationship will not be based on our actions or words during the month of December. Every year we shake hands and agree that the year, for romance and relationship purposes, ends with November. We realize that the holidays are stressful and that our moods are often altered as a result.

Such agreements allow couples breathing room while offering support. When each partner understands that some flexibility is allowed, tensions and tempers seem to ease.

Remember that the color of spatulas is not of great importance in the grand scheme of life and that the mother-in-law probably won't care if she receives a $20 gift instead of a $40 one. Let the little stuff go for a month and emerge a happy and romantically healthy couple in January - things always look better in January.

Well folks, there's my advice. Steer clear of elderly naked men and in late November, shake hands with your partner and call it a year.

With love,

Dr Roman Tic

Author's Bio: 

Dr Roman Tic is head writer and lead advice-giver at DrRomanTic.com, an website dedicated to helping those in need of advice.

Dr Roman Tic and his fellow advice givers provide their users with reasoned yet compassionate advice.

DrRomanTic.com also features proprietary Crowd Advice technology allowing site users to vote on advice-seeker issues while allowing for additional, caring advice from The Crowd.

Dr Roman Tic lives with his wife and angry cat in New York City.