I may not be the best person to write a post on gift giving. On our first anniversary, I gave Diane a car battery. A few days earlier I heard her say we needed a battery. I had been wondering what to get her and now I knew. I secretly bought the battery, wrapped the box in nice paper and set it on the dinner table anticipating an emotional reaction. When she opened it, I saw tears come to her eyes. I thought “Wow!” I have hit the mother lode! Look how deeply moved she is.
After I regained consciousness, I was informed that there was nothing romantic about a car battery and it was not the kind of gift a woman wants on a special occasion.
So have I learned anything? Yes! You can teach this old dog new tricks. In our family, here are the most important considerations when giving gifts on a special day like Valentine’s Day.
1 Remember the day. The Bible says, that there is an unforgivable sin. Theologians have differing opinions on what that sin is, but there is little question about what the unforgivable sin is in our home… forget the special day! I have committed this error more than once. The worst consequence was the horrible feeling I got when she handed me the card she got and, at that moment, I remember that I forgot. The second worst consequence was regaining consciousness.
2 Be creative. Candy is dandy, flowers have powers, but a creative gift that you gave special thought to, something that took a little more effort than a trip to Walgreens, means a lot more. The most appreciated gift I ever gave my wife was a milk carton. When Diane looked through the pouring spout, my message of love could be read on the inside of the resealed carton. A creative expression of your love will outperform Walgreens almost every time.
3 Be present. This Valentine’s Day we are planning to have a quiet dinner at home. It is too easy to get distracted in even the nicest restaurant. I will find a way to make it special. On the table will be a simple creative gift and a homemade card. There may also be a piece of jewelry or box of candy, but I will pay special attention to these considerations. And this year I am going to wrap up a pair of jumper cables for that battery I gave her so long ago.
What gifts do you like to give or receive on Valentine’s Day? I look forward to your comments!