My husband and I had a good laugh watching the movie “Skipping Christmas”. Originally written by John Grisham and entitled Christmas with the Kranks, we found the movie so hilarious with the couple’s idea of literally not celebrating Christmas and avoiding everything that has to do with it. They planned to do away with the Christmas Eve dinner, the fresh tree, the trimmings, the decorations, the cards, and all the gifts. They knew that to be part of the holiday celebration always entails a lot of spending. To skip it would mean being able to save a big sum of money.
The story gave us the idea of also wanting to skip other occasions because of our intentions to save money. Occasions like birthdays, Valentine’s Day and even our anniversary. My husband celebrated his birthday just last week, and he insisted that I did not give him any present. He took a day off from work, so we could spend it together at home, when my son went to school. I cooked us a simple lunch and just stayed home lazily. It was quiet and simple, but we enjoyed each other’s presence.
Now our wedding anniversary is around the corner. It’s my turn to insist that I did not want to receive any flowers on that day. I mean, it would be sweet and cheesy, but when the flowers start to wilt, I almost always regret my husband having to spend for it. I told him that I would not want any expensive gift, chocolates or anything on that day.
But I am a sucker for sweet occasions like this. I did not want to spend as well, but I still wanted to surpirse him with something I personally made. So I have thought of unique and nice little presents that could still warm my husband’s heart. I’m sharing them with you so you may have some ideas too:
1. A prescription of reasons “Why I love you”. I found an old prescription bottle. I taped a label outside with my husband’s name on it. I wrote the following: “Medication: Love Strengthener”. “Side Effects: Love sickness”. “Dosage: A tablet a day”. Refills: “See prescribing physician”. Inside I rolled small strips of paper. On those strips of paper, I wrote different reasons why I love my husband, and things that make him extra-special. Examples are “You are the first one to laugh at my jokes”, “I love your for being passionate with your music” or “You appreciate me for being the person that I am”.
2. A Love CD. I created a CD of pictures. Nowadays, computers can aid you with creative ways of coming up with photo albums with various editing abilities.Using Adobe Photoshop, you can crop, design, alter the color, and then arrange pictures in creative ways. You could come up with a slide show presentation, complete with captions and with your choice of songs as background. Then save your creative work in a CD. Your memories would be saved and presented in a very beautiful way. My husband would enjoy viewing these many pictures because I have arranged them from the time we started dating, until now that we have our son already.
Other than pictures, you can just compile a set of love songs that are meaningful to you and your sweetheart. I have compiled my husband’s personal favorites, and songs from movies that we saw when we were just dating. Choose songs that have become part of your relationship. You might have a theme song, so naturally you have to include this. Add songs that became popular when your relationship was just starting. Include songs that you listened to when you had your first date, or when had your memorable out-of-town trips, or any special occasion.
3. A collection of momentos. I have tried to gather memorable things that I was able to keep. My husband used to write (long hand, mind you) beautiful love letters. I got a few of this, combined with old greeting cards that he sent me, and ribbons from the flowers that he gave on my last birthday. I twisted the ribbons with other colorful strings, then made a collage out of the letters and cards. I included a photo of the two of us and put everything in an old frame (the kind that holds thicker stuff, not just the one for pictures)
You could use anything that you have kept. This could be an old shirt that your loved one gave you, a ticket stub you have kept when you watched your favorite movie, a gift wrapper or gift tag, or dried flowers or anything that is of value and meaning to your relationship. Put in a frame, this could truly warm up your bedroom wall.
Showing your love is the most important message you want to impart when you give a gift. Whether you want to splurge or –like me and my husband who want to skip a few occasions– want to be just creative and spend as little as you can, just remember that your gift must be meaningful and well thought of. It becomes meaningless when we just go on with the commercialism of the occasion and buy anything just for the sake of doing it. Remember, you want to give a present so you could share something that really comes from the heart.