What’s your plan for Valentine’s Day? If you’re like most Americans, you’ll give cards (52%), candy (48%), dinner/night out (35%) or flowers (34%). All told, Americans will collectively spend $13 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts. (Some of that money will even be spent on those scary looking stuffed animals sitting desperately on store shelves.)
While flowers and candy are lovely, I believe what most people want is to feel they are seen, they are understood and they are loved. It’s that deep connection to others that people are craving and Valentine’s Day is a great time to remind someone how much they matter to you. And though many people frequently say, “I love you,” (never mind the common sign-off many of us do when ending a call to a loved one, “Okay, I gotta go. Love you. Bye.”) very few of us let our loved ones know WHY we love them.
Which brings me to my favorite Valentine’s Day gift: a little book called “Five Things I Love About You.” Each book contains five little envelopes with manila tags, each with a number to write your adorations on. You can stick to written sentiments, or you can include small little gifts to bring the feelings to life. The book is small (3” x 5”) and its petite size somehow makes it even more intimate. At a price of $10, you can’t ask for a Valentine’s Day gift that delivers greater bang for the buck. (The artist, Connie Lee, who offers them on her Red4Short Etsy store, says she has seen her books given as gifts at parties and the reaction is overwhelming. She’s even seen guys give them as marriage proposals.)
Take a moment and think of the five reasons you love your partner. Is it because he makes you laugh, has amazing energy, is unflinching in his beliefs, has kisses that make your knees weak and makes you feel like a princess? Is it because she’s the smartest person you know, has an uncanny ability to connect with anyone and everyone, possesses an endless compassion for animals, has blue eyes that still take your breath away and can unfailingly recite Shakespeare’s sonnets? My guess is once you get going, the hardest part will be stopping at just five reasons.
Now, imagine how special your loved one will feel when reading these sentiments and how much deeper the connection between you will be. I’m willing to bet the joy YOU experience when giving this gift is even greater. Wow! Now that’s what a Valentine’s Day gift should do.
This gift works well for romantic and non-romantic relationships and occasions beyond Valentine’s Day. I was lucky enough to receive this gift from a dear friend for my birthday. Though we’ve friends since before kindergarten, it took my breath away to read the reasons why she loved me. My friend also included little trinkets in each of the envelopes to symbolize the sentiment—for instance, a nail file because she admired my ability to ‘file away all sorts of information.’ Her expression of love in such a creative way sits in a place of honor on my desk.
Whatever the reasons are you love someone—let them know, whether with this charming little book; written in lipstick on the bathroom mirror; or in a handwritten note you slip into their lunchbox. I promise that letting someone know WHY you are glad they are a part of your life is a whole lot more meaningful and lasting this Valentine’s Day than a box of chocolates or a bunch of tulips could ever hope to be.