Thoughtful Valentine gifts to give this year
��Valentine's Day is round the corner. It's a time to celebrate love. The romantic amongst us look forward to this day and go all out. The more cynical type label the day as a marketing ploy and insist that: “love should be celebrated every day”.
To those cynics we say: “You have a point. But the truth is that few people actually do celebrate their love every day.” So, why not take the opportunity to show our loved ones what they mean to us? Why shouldn't we express it on February 14th? You don't even need to spend money if you don't want to.
Here are some thoughtful gift ideas that will help you express your love towards your partner this Valentine's Day…
LOVE IN WORDS
Unlike spoken words, that flutter into the air once they leave your lips, the written word is more permanent. The fact that you've taken the time to write something means you've put thought into it. You mean what you're saying and you're willing to put it black on white.
Let your loved one know what you love about them. From the big reasons like “because you're always there for me”, to the smaller things such as “because you stick your tongue out when you concentrate on something”. Make their day with a jar full of heartwarming compliments.
Write a letter
As inhabitants of a digital world, our written communication with our partner is usually via text message. Of course you can express your love via text, but this is delivered in an impersonal standardised font. So how about delivering a handwritten letter this Valentine's - for a more personal message that speaks from hand to heart?
First edition of a favourite book
If you don't feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing, let others do it for you. If your partner has a favourite book, try to get hold of a first edition. If this is too difficult or expensive, take some meaningful quotes from that book and handwrite them in a note to your partner.
CELEBRATE YOUR STORY
Every couple has a special love story. There are the complex stories that involved unexpected twists and turns. And there are the smoother we-always-knew-we-were-meant-to-be tales of undying affection. Whatever your story is, you can turn it into a memorable gift worth treasuring.
Love map frame
Map out your story with a love map frame. Simply print out or draw the geographical spots that mark milestones in your relationship: where you met, the place where you shared your first kiss, your first date, your first real fight (and where you made up) and so on. Then frame the maps and label them with a personalised message.
Since you've been together you've gathered lots of memories. Many were captured through photos or video. In some cases you may have kept a token of a special evening, such as a cinema ticket or wine bottle's cork. Get creative and turn those cherished items into a special gift. You can make a video montage, print photos and organise them in an album, or get one special photo converted into a custom puzzle. You could also create a memory box to hold all the meaningful tokens… pointing out that there is still lots of space for new memories.
Create your own personal love-story soundtrack. Compile a playlist made of any songs that evoke special memories: that song that made your heart flutter on your first night out, the beat you jumped to together, the tune you picked to walk down the aisle. Enjoy listening to the playlist together on Valentine's Day as you travel back in time together.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
They say that the fastest way to the heart is through the stomach. And there's good reason why. Apart from the joys that come with eating great flavoursome food, sitting down to share a meal allows you time to talk and connect. So treat your loved one to a homemade delicacy this Valentine's.
Get baking to express your sweet, sweet love. It doesn't have to be anything complicated. Some simple cupcakes will do to surprise your partner on Valentine's Day. And, if you're up for it, throw in some personalised frosting such as a heart-shape or a short romantic message written in icing.
Dinner for two
Surprise your partner with a homemade, three-course dinner for two this Valentine's Day. Set the stage to have an open and honest conversation about your relationship. The menu is entirely your call. You might want to consider opting for food you can share, such as cheese and chocolate fondue where you get to dip into the same pot. You could also throw in a few special touches, like a message in the napkin.
Chocolate and wine
If you're not the baking or cooking type, you can opt for the classic, foolproof chocolate and wine combo. Make the experience a bit more special and personalised by, for example, driving to the place where you had your first date - and reminisce while you savour your chocolate and wine together.
Life can get hectic and we're left with little time to spend with our loved ones. So let your partner know that you treasure time with them and organise something to do together.
All couples need some form of romantic getaway where they get to spend time together. No friends. No children. Just the two of you. So take the opportunity to organise a Valentine's getaway. You can spend as much money or time as you like. A getaway can range from a long weekend abroad, to a night in a hotel in Malta, or a romantic dinner for two at a restaurant or at home.
Sometimes couples are not as available for one another as they'd like to be. So acknowledge this with “love vouchers”. Simply print out a couple of “vouchers” (paper slips) and write down what they stand for. From “back rub voucher”, to “I'll turn off my mobile voucher”, to “unquestioned cuddles”. Personalise the message according to your relationship's needs.
Remember the memories box? How about creating new and memorable experiences to immortalised in your box? Try out something new with your partner for a fun-filled day that is sure to be special and memorable. How about scuba diving lessons, horse riding, cooking classes? The list is endless.
Sometimes the gift you want to give your partner is something you need to buy. But even store-bought gifts can be special and personal. The key is creating a romantic context in which to share the gift.
Over the past months your partner may have mentioned certain little things they want or need. From a book he'd like to read, to a voucher for a beauty salon because she mentioned she really needs time for herself. Create a gift basket with a few of these items your partner will love - because what they really mean is: “I've been listening.”
Regale your partner with a personalised gift. There are countless options to choose from when it comes to personalisation - printed clothing, engraved key rings, bespoke jewellery. Tailor the idea to suit your partner. If, for example, he's a coffee lover you can order a mug with his all-time favourite quote or life mantra.
If your partner has a longstanding passion or hobby, or just started showing interest in something, treat them to a gift that encourages them to spend time doing what they love.
�No matter what you do or give your partner this Valentine's Day, it will surely be one to remember if you put some thought into it. If you'd rather keep things low key you can always opt for the Valentine's Day gift classic - flowers.
Surprise your loved one with a bouquet of flowers, or a plant, this Valentine's from any of the florists listed on Yellow. No need to go overboard. One flower can be enough to show your partner that you care.
Discover life with love - www.yellow.com.mt