Valentine’s Day is a time to show the people we love just how much we love them. Beware though because advertisers spend millions to tell us to spend a lot of money on Valentine’s gifts. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that how much we spend on someone reflects how much we really love that person. Overspending, even on small gifts, can result in some financial problems. Considering that over 70% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, it doesn’t take much to knock us off balance financially.
Rather than trying to show how much we love someone by showering the person with expensive gifts, we can focus on meaningful, sentimental gifts. Give the gift of a special experience or a sentimental gift. Put on your thinking cap and consider what’s important to your significant other. Would he or she appreciate a photo album of a favorite vacation? What about going to a favorite park, or having a double date with good friends?
For example, since I saw it in film class in college, my favorite musical has been the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. Kelly, singing the title song, had a 103 degree fever when he shot that iconic scene! But I digress. Needless to say, I enjoy the film tremendously. My wife bought me an early Valentine’s Day gift of tickets for us to go see this classic movie on the big screen while it was playing in town at an area theater for only two nights. I’d seen the film over a dozen times and I own it on DVD, but I’d never had the opportunity to see it on the big screen. I received a relatively inexpensive Valentine’s gift that was incredibly special, memorable and priceless to me.
Guys, one thing that is greatly appreciated by many women is acts of service. Surprise her by cleaning the house, doing the dishes, doing laundry or similar action. Often times those acts are very well received and it doesn’t cost us anything but a little bit of time and effort. My wife and I split up household chores. She regularly does the dishes but doesn’t much care for it, so I often will surprise her by doing the dishes myself. One of your gifts could be doing the dishes. You might even consider making your own gift certificate to give such as, “I’ve got dishes covered for the rest of this week” certificate. Costs nothing, but it’s worth doing if you know she would appreciate it; that it’s important to her.
Take just 15 minutes sometime to sit and brainstorm some creative ideas for giving a special experience or sentimental gift. If you feel like you just aren’t very creative and come up empty, ask friends or relatives of your significant other for some ideas. You’ll probably end up with a few.
It takes more a little more thought, time and energy to think of something really special or sentimental, but I think you’ll find it’s typically worth it in the end.