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What your sweetheart really wants for the holidays

Dr. Noelle Nelson is a relationship expert and an internationally respected psychologist, author and seminar leader. She has given life-changing guidance to couples for more than 20 years.

Check out Noelle’s relationship and marriage ...

Give him what he wants

Take the guesswork out of holiday shopping for your honey!

Woman writing note to husband on Christmas

The holidays are here, and you want to give something really special to your one-and-only. Somehow, another video game, jazzy software, shirt or muffler just doesn't seem to cut it. You rack your brain – and your pocketbook. I mean, that BMW he craves is out of the question and a first-class vacation to Hawaii? Oh, please.

What to do? Offer your sweetheart a basket of love. A sweet collection of promises he can count on throughout the year. Maybe give him something to put the glow back in your relationship, or fan it into passion.

You can make this in the form of a letter you lovingly read to him, as you both sit all cozy in front of the fire or a literal basket of promises, each carefully written on a different piece of paper.

Here are some examples of what those promises could be:

I will not say "You're doing it wrong"

I promise I won't automatically assume that just because you do something differently, that you're doing it wrong. I promise to consider that there are many ways to do anything and that your way is just different from mine – not better or worse.

I will openly appreciate something about you every day

I promise that not a single day will go by without expressing my appreciation and gratitude to you. Whether it's "I love waking up next to you," "Your smile just makes my day" or "Thank you for picking up the dry cleaning," I will let you know that I value all that you are and do.

I will greet you with joy every day

I promise that regardless of how terrible my day was, how depressed, irritated or angry I may be at the world, my work, the kids, etc., I will greet you with a smile and the affection that flooded my being the day you asked me to marry you.

I will see our disagreements as problems to be mutually solved, not conflicts between us

I promise I will do my best to see things from your point of view as well as my own, looking for that common ground which allows for creative problem solving. It will never be "me" against "you" but "we" – "How can we save for a new dryer and gym fees," not "Well it's either a dryer or gym fees, tough!"

I will be quick to apologize and even quicker to forgive

I promise to accept your "oopsies" as just part of us being human, and forgive without resentment. I promise to be accountable for my mistakes, to genuinely apologize and to make amends where appropriate.

Granted, this present isn't a new car or an exotic vacation, but it's one that you can continually give throughout your relationship. No fancy car or trip can offer that!

More on holiday romance

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Romantic gifts your partner won't forget

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