9 Sweet Little Ways To Celebrate The Holidays With Your Partner

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The holidays can bring a lot of pressure for couples. Not only are you expected to get each other lavish gifts; you're expected to go on the most romantic dates of the year. But you don't need to do these things to celebrate the holidays with your partner. There are many small but meaningful ways to enjoy the season (and every season, for that matter) together.

"The most beautiful elements of a relationship, like romance, love, joy, friendship, fun, commitment, trust, and emotional intimacy, don’t flourish in lofty gestures," practicing psychologist and Harvard lecturer Holly Parker, PhD, author of If We're Together, Why Do I Feel So Alone?, tells Bustle. "They thrive in the world of the everyday, in those caring deeds that, repeated regularly, become little habits of affection that color a couple’s life and give the relationship its own unique emotional hue."

These little gestures and activities can make a big difference over time. "A step or two won’t take you far, right?" Parker says. "But if you repeat that step over and over again, you can travel for miles. The same is true of the steps we take with our partner. Relationships bloom in the details."

The holidays are a great time to take these little steps to improve your relationship. Here are a few ways to do that.

1. Look At Each Other's Family Photos

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If you're visiting either of your families for the holidays, whip out the family photo album. Or, if you're not, ask your family to send you some to look at online. You'll learn a lot about each other by seeing and hearing stories about meaningful moments from each other's childhoods.

2. Bake Each Other Cookies

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Baking cookies is a classic holiday activity, but here's a romantic twist: You and your partner each design a cookie for the other, with a unique shape and perhaps words across the top in sprinkles. Extra points for making them sentimental.

3. Make A Pillow Fort

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You could make a snow fort, but that involves going out in the cold (plus, with global warming and all that, you may not have many opportunities). A cozier alternative? Enlist the help of your bedding to make a fluffy fort to hang out in and watch holiday movies.

4. Have A Snowball Fight

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If you do get some snow, take advantage of it with a playful snowball fight. If you don't (or you'd rather stay inside where it's warm), there's always pillow fights.

6. Make A Gingerbread House

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Collaborate by creating the kind of house you'd want to live in together. You'll get the joy of creating something as a team and maybe even learn a bit about each other's living preferences.

5. Make A Snow Couple

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Another way to take advantage of the snow? Make snow people that resemble you as a couple, and take photos of "yourselves."

7. Make Each Other Playlists

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Burn CDs (or, if you don't use CDs, make Spotify playlists) with songs that remind you of each other. They could take on a wintry theme, or they could be any songs you love.

8. Drink Wintry Cocktails

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Unleash your inner bartenders and create holiday drinks like Pomegranate Ginger Paloma, Chilean Holiday Punch, or something of your own invention.

9. Make Each Other Cards

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Go all out and get crafty. With some colorful paper, markers, stickers, glitter, and glue, you can make each other cards you'll both keep forever.

But to have a great holiday season with your partner, you don't have to do any of these things. Just enjoying each other's company and expressing your love for each other is enough.