Wanting to do something meaningful for your partner this year? Put aside the chocolates and try one of these creative gift ideas instead.
Many skeptics say that Valentine’s Day is just another sales ploy – and, in all fairness, the reason chocolates and roses have become the V-day cliché is that each year people continue to buy them. But if we want to celebrate what the holiday claims to be about – love – shouldn’t we think outside five minutes’ effort at the store? For boyfriends, girlfriends, the married and the dating: if you want to show your significant other that you care, try investing a little more time (and perhaps less money) in one of these meaningful romantic gestures.
When Roses & Chocolates Are OK
Does your girlfriend love chocolate? Does your husband have an affinity for roses after years of professional stage acting? In these and similar situations, where you know that the other person would appreciate the gesture, chocolates, roses, or other flowers are perfect.
The other time they are suitable is early on in a relationship or as gifts for a date you don’t yet know very well. If you’ve only been dating for a couple of weeks, it’s probably better to play it safe with these than to carry out some elaborate scheme which might come across too strongly.
Write A Love Letter
Move over greeting cards. A handwritten letter is definitely more powerful than a factory-made print message. What should you include? That is up to you and your discretion. You might, however, consider naming a few things you love or admire about that person; recalling a favorite date or outing together; what you’ve learned from him or her; what he or she means to you; inside jokes, if you’ve got them. The more history you have together, the more you have to draw from.
For style points, consider sealing it in wax, including a pressed flower or some photos, stuffing the envelope with confetti, or tying it with an elegant ribbon.
Go For A Meaningful Gift
Consider: what are his or her favorites? If you know some of the basics regarding your partner, like his or her favorite color, band, film genre, or food, this opens up many meaningful gift possibilities. She likes blue? She wears scarves? Do the math, and get her a nice blue scarf. He is in love with his car? Get him something like a self-luminous tritium keychain for his key fob. What’s playing in theaters right now? If she likes the Resident Evil games, take her to see the newest zombie thriller. A little knowledge goes a long way – work with what you have!
Acts of Service
For some gifts, you needn’t spend any money (and sometimes these are better-received anyways.) In fact, Gary Chapman, marriage counselor and New York Times Bestseller, names “Acts of Service” as one of The Five Love Languages. Acts of service include things like cooking a meal, doing the laundry or the dishes, vacuuming the car or washing the dog. For this kind of gift, you need only ask: what would your partner appreciate? This will, of course, be most suitable for couples that already have a history together, but it is another chance to express love creatively and meaningfully.
If there are lots of tedious chores around the house or apartment, consider making your partner a coupon book. Does she like backrubs? Make her a backrub stamp card. Does he loathe walking the dog in bad weather? Give him a get-out-of-dog-duty-free card. Acts of service, though simple, are sure to please when you tailor to your partner’s likes and dislikes.
Personalize Your Gift: Release Your Hidden Talents
Have you got any special skills, talents, or hobbies? Do you sing, write, knit, play violin or guitar, enjoy cooking, drawing, or photography? Consider the things you can do and how they might translate into romantic gift-giving. You might write your love a poem. You might compose and sing your partner a song—or, if you lack composition talent, play him or her a round of “Hey There Delilah” with “Delilah” changed to their name and your own improvised lyrics. If you love baking, consider homemade cookies, truffles, or a nice meal. Are you a charcoal artist? Your dear might fancy a portrait. Using personal skills and your own two hands is one of the best ways of making a meaningful romantic gesture.
One Last Hint
To really celebrate your love, you don’t have to wait for a holiday that comes around once a year! These ideas are applicable at absolutely any time and – like flowers “just because” – special efforts are most charming when given out of love and without occasion.
Featured photo credit: pixabay via cdn.pixabay.com