|A gift doesn’t have to be cost money to be meaningful. It can even be impermanent like these words in the sand and still have a lasting effect.|
February 13, 2012
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. If you haven't already done so, shop owners are hoping you'll come into their stores today and buy-buy-buy. As lovely as many store-bought presents are, spending cash isn't the only way to express love. A wealth of gifts awaits that special someone and the only thing needed to procure them is a little creativity.
Flowers — Flowers are a Valentine's Day staple and the sweet smell of roses, carnations or a fragrant orchid can linger long after the blooms fade. But don't forget, flowers grow in earth, not in a florist's cooler. Consider taking a walk around your own yard to pick a bouquet of your own making. If you notice a particularly pretty or sweet-smelling bloom in a neighbor's garden, knock on their door and ask permission to pick one or two. Most likely, they'll say yes. Not only will you return home with a floral display that is uniquely yours to give, you will also have given a second gift to your green-thumbed neighbor. Your appreciation of their garden will make them smile for many days to come.
Sweets — Is any gift sweeter than chocolate or candy? How about a treat from your own kitchen? It doesn't take long to whip up a cake, sweetbread, muffins, a tray of cookies or a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries. These days, the Internet makes it easy, even if your baking experience is next to zero. Actually, inexperience is a plus in this case because the recipient of your efforts will know you took extra effort to make them something special. For step-by-step help creating that perfect dessert, check out YouTube videos as well as online recipe websites.
Pampering — We can all use a bit of pampering and a trip to the spa is a wonderful way to tell your love interest how much you care about their overall well-being. But massage sessions can be pricey, especially on a limited budget. Fortunately, you don't need to schedule an appointment or spend any cash when you create a spa in your own home. The only things needed for this gift is the willingness to turn off the phones for an hour, dim the lights, put on some soothing music and focus on your partner. Brushing your loved one's hair may not be a normal part of a massage treatment but it can be a wonderful way to pamper your partner and pampering is what this gift is all about. Remember, you don't need strong hands or expensive oils to give a massage. Soft strokes, light scratches or gentle tickling all go a long way to demonstrating your loving touch.
Honey-do list — We've all got them: long lists of chores that need to be done. Taking it upon yourself to do one or two of the most demanding tasks without being asked (that's the key ingredient here) can result in benefits store-bought presents may never realize. Cleaning out an unkempt closet, painting a wall, weeding a garden, unclogging the gutters or vacuuming the house may not seem like the most romantic offering but be forewarned: Doing these chores can result in unexpected displays of gratitude. Make sure the bed is made if you decide to go with this Valentine's Day suggestion because there's a good chance you'll be landing on it in a romantic way by the end of the day.
Time out — Is there any better way to express your affection for the most important person in your life than to provide them with your undivided attention? Taking time out of your busy day doesn't cost a penny but it pays back in dividends that last forever. On Valentine's Day — on any day of your choosing — take time, make time, for your special someone. You don't have to do much. You can stay home and watch a movie. You can go for a walk or simply sit and talk. The main thing is to focus on the one person who means more to you than anyone else.
Businesses have seduced us into thinking the only way to express love is with material items, but that's simply not true. Valentine's Day isn't just a commercial venture. It's a time for each of us to remember what really matters in life. If someone is important to you, use this day to let that person know. Tell him you care. Give her a hug.
It doesn't cost a dime to give love away. It just makes sense.