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3 Photo Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day That Your Spouse Will Love

3 Photo Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day That Your Spouse Will Love

Looking for a gift idea for your spouse this Valentine’s Day? The traditional gift of chocolates and dinner is nice but I think it’s part of why so many people want to avoid the holiday—it just seems boring and expected. Put some meaning into your Valentine surprise with these photo gift ideas.

the giving of love is education

    Capture The Year In Memories

    Put together a collage of photos from the most recent year you’ve been together, and include photos from trips, with friends, family, and all your favorites. Use iPhoto, Picassa or one of the many other programs to make the collage look nice and not overly cluttered.

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    Save the collage as a .jpg or .png picture file and print it at Costco as a 16×20 print for about $6 (or wherever else you like). You will need a frame unless you choose to print it on posterboard for about $15 (no frame needed)

    This is a fabulous gift to put together every year and hang in a special place in your house. Note—you may want an extra copy of the picture to take to work too! This photo gift is a great memento of your life together that you could see and enjoy every day, filled with the moments that make you both happy.

    I’ve been putting one of these together as a gift for my husband for 5 years now, and it’s just about time to make the 6th. We enjoy it and the kids do too. The photos are hung on the walls beside the staircase so we pass them often, and the first year I gave the gift to him we both purchased extras to keep at work as well.

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    Give Your Spouse a Pick-Me-Up

    Sometimes we could use a great memory to bring us out of a funk, and this photo gift aims to provide just that spark. Match photos to a phrase or emotion that would make your spouse happy, so when your spouse is feeling down he/she can bring out the photos and pick one based on the emotion or phrase that interests them.

    The photo should be of you: either of the two of you together, or possibly a few of your whole family.  Sometimes all we need to improve our day is a great memory to focus on, and photos do a wonderful job of making that memory real to us again.

    The great part of this gift is that it can be used again and again. I was inspired to use photos for this gift idea as they are very visual and say a lot without the need for words. Several years ago, I put together a jar of love quotes written on small pieces of paper for my husband—he keeps it next to his computer, and chose to put a picture of me inside the jar. He still reads the quotes in the jar to this day as a pick-me-up whenever it’s needed.

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    How to create this photo gift:

    1. Choose 10 or more phrases, emotions or such that you want to use for this gift. Suggestions are: love, lust, joy, wonder, happiness, inspiration, and unique phrases between the two of you.
    2. Pick out 10 or more pictures: 1 that represents or evokes the feeling of each of the phrases or emotions.
    3. Next, print the pictures on photo paper in a small size, such as 2″ x 2″ . I would suggest putting all the photos on 1 page using collage software or in a word doc and then printing to avoid printing a whole sheet of paper for each separate photo.
    4. Fold the paper into quarters.
    5. Write the name of the appropriate phrase or emotion with a sharpie.
    6. Place the photos in a nice box or jar. Add pretty wrapping if you like.

    *You could do this with larger prints and envelopes as well.

    Have a Photo Re-created

    Amazing things can be done with photos these days, so consider choosing a photo that your spouse loves and having it made into a painting. You can have this done for $5 on Fiverr.com. Use a high-quality photo, and when you receive the final product, use it to create a larger print that you can frame and use as a photo gift.

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    These gift options will bring more love and happiness to your Valentine’s Day celebration, as a thoughtful gift is so much better than the last box of chocolates on the shelf, picked up on the way home. These ideas can each be put together within an hour or so, and will be enjoyed for years to come.

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    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

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