Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day Score

I have to do it. I can't help myself. I had another topic in mind, but it will wait for another day. I simply must record my husband's great success this Valentine's Day. He gave me what I consider to be the perfect kind of gift. It wasn't expensive or materially precious or showy grand, but instead very thoughtful and sweet and put together by his own hand, not just bought out right.

But first, a few words about Valentine's Day itself. Neither of us likes consumeristic spendathon holidays when you buy stuff simply because.
We don't want to just get the usual chocolates or flowers (Mostly, although it has been done), or just go out to eat along with everyone else on the planet. (I tried dinner out one year a long time ago. I have never yet done that again.) But we also can't go without doing something. An official day to celebrate love is too good an opportunity to pass up. We both view this holiday as a challenge to find a small sweet gesture to communicate love in a fresh, inventive, and personal way.

Here I have to note that my husband has it harder than some men. My birthday is the 17th, just three days after Valentine's Day. He has two holidays for which to ante up within a week. He gets extra points for degree of difficulty.

This year, while searching for inspiration for Holiday #1, My Beloved found a lovely idea that he decided to put together himself rather than just buying off the web. He filled a three-picture frame with the numbers of our wedding date, created by obtaining images online, manipulating them into the appropriate shape and size (He's a photo shop fan), and printing them out. Someday it's going to look great hung with the black, white, and gray-tone portrait of me in my wedding finery that he did for my birthday last year and his matching wedding self-portrait when he gets it done (when we have a house again). It's a keeper for sure.

He's a keeper, too, but not because of his facility with gifts. He could send the biggest bouquet of flowers or buy the most expensive handmade chocolates at the expected holiday and dishonor me the rest of the year with inattention and lack of consideration. So while I appreciate a good gift, if I had to pick, I would take every day love and respect instead. Those are the marital meals which sustain the relationship. The holiday gifts are desserts.

In case you're wondering, I gave him a Waffle House coffee mug. That doesn't sound like much, but that choice too reflects thought. Months ago he told me that he would like to have one at home. I remembered that wish, and found out online that the shops will sell them.
The mug only cost a few dollars. What impressed my husband was that I even remembered what he said and then went to the trouble to track it down.

Our gifts to each other this year were the product of a little purchasing, a little assembly or research time, and, most importantly, a hefty dose of thought. And it really is the thought that, as they say, counts. The simple fact that he thinks of me in his every day is the biggest reason that I know--every day--that he loves me. Isn't that all any of us really wants?

I'll know what the picture frame cost on Friday when I check the bank website. The thought is priceless.

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