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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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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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