My friend Jan Hoistad, relationship coach extraordinaire, has a great blog post today on Six Tips To Make The Holidays A Shared Experience   (Link:

One of her tips is

Hang a new ornament. Create rituals specific to yourselves as a couple such as an evening devoted to preparing a special meal, hanging those new tree ornaments that remind you of  times together, sharing recollections of special moments in your history and future possibilities – anything that enables you to celebrate your union.

Rituals are an important part of relationships and I’d like to share a favorite of mine. it’s so easy to get carried away with “hussle and bussle” we forget the true reason for our happiness – our relationships.

I wanted to share one we use here in the Sayler home. I learned it from a friend and mentor, Michael Grinder about 10 years ago and it has really changed the way we enjoy the Holidays. In the decade, I’ve been sharing the idea and I’ve heard back from others the way they have adapted it – all fun.

The original idea is to create a small treasure box (great if you have kids or are crafty) otherwise find a special place for safekeeping. Throughout the year, add notes of all successes and triumphs. At the Holiday meal, have a small ritual and open the box. Each member reaches in and pulls out a note, reads it to the gathering (rarely is it their personal note) and everyone shares in the joy of remembering the good things that happened throughout the year. (It’s all too easy to forget those and remember the not so positive).

And my all time favorite Holiday stress buster and relationship-closeness tip: Anytime is a good time for a good laugh! Besides the obvious, it gets the blood flowing, the heart pumping and brings a rush of thought clearing oxygen to the brain!! All stress-reducers.