With decking the halls, shopping in crowded malls, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, and trying to keep the peace among all the family members. With all that pressure it's no wonder the holiday season can be a time to feel a little underappreciated. If your special someone is a little out of sorts these days, there are small but meaningful ways to tell her or him that you think they're wonderful..

"We're all overburdened at the holidays trying to give to other people and manage our money and expenses," says licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert Stacey Kaiser. "It's a time when we are busy giving so much too others that it is easy to feel like we have taken on too much."

When your loved one feels abused by all the holiday work, that's when she can start to feel cranky and neglected," says Lou Manza, professor and chair of the psychology department at Lebanon Valley College. "So the holidays are a good time to ask yourself, what can I do to help out that person who is busting her butt? Often, it's the little things that can really make a difference."  

Here are some ideas for little ways to say "I love you" and "happy holidays."

  1. Make a coupon book with coupons saying things like "I know you hate washing dishes so this is good for a month of dishwashing." Present the book to your loved one.
  2. Offer to take the kids out or at least to another part of the house so the cook will have a little peace and quiet as she prepares a holiday meal.
  3. Have coffee and/or breakfast ready when she wakes up.
  4. Write your loved one a poem, print it out on the computer using calligraphy, and put it in a frame.
  5. Throw a tea party, serve cocktails, or have a dessert party for your sweetie and her friends. When her friends arrive, make yourself scarce. Come back at the end of the party to clean up.
  6. Draw a bath for your loved one, and put some rose petals into it. Light a candle in the bathroom so she will have an instant spa.
  7. Write "I love you" on some little post-it sticky notes. Leave them in unexpected places where she might not find them right away, like tucked into her wallet or in the special silverware drawer.
  8. Gather photos of the two of you through the years. Put them into a book and present it to your loved one. Add some romantic sayings under the pictures, or jot down your memories of  particular occasions.