Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and today you are reading a post on gift ideas – are you horribly late scrambling for last minute tips? Or, wondering if you can top up what you have already bought/got/planned? Or, a regular subscriber who reads everything I write? If you have said yes to any of the three-mentioned queries – welcome, I sincerely hope this helps. If not, at least I wish it will entertain you.
Valentine’s Day can be a capitalist juggernaut, a cringy festival, a day that does not necessarily need to be marked, still, having admitted to each of these factors, it is also nice to let the other person (partner or friend or xyz or fill-in-the-blanks) know that that they are valued. The explicit expression of this can make “the other” feel special.
Therefore, to help us achieve how to make our significant someone feel that they do matter, we conducted a sample study of 10 people, out of which the majority voted that indeed the below-mentioned are special suggestions that they would themselves like to receive. During the conversation it was fascinating to observe that time was the most valuable, followed by attention. So, keeping that in mind, here are the suggestions:
The Gift of Sleep: The ability to sleep when they desire and wake up when they wish to, without interruption, with the requirements they need to make the experience a success. This can be valid for as many sleeps as you wish to provide your recipient. Thus, one night or five nights. If the sleep is hindered due to extraneous circumstances the offer remains valid till the goal has been achieved. For folks who do morning chores days on end, have night duty or young children, or have an anxiety ridden mind, “the gift of sleep” is a game-changer. Please keep in mind that you do not put forth your idea of sleep or rest, and let the recipient decide what is that they would prefer.
Cook for You: I will cook one recipe from scratch of your choice. You could provide options of the recipes, chefs, or cuisines, for example, I will cook one recipe of your choice from Ottolenghi or Italian cuisine. This is especially nice if you can also plate and serve in a professional manner. You will need to schedule the day, and ensure that you deliver this in a convenient fashion.
I will Let You Be: For three days, five days, or even a week, I will not ask you any questions about your day, feelings, thoughts, ideas, mindscape. I will place myself on a verbal diet for that time and let you be. I will talk to you, communicate, however, I shall not seek opinion, information, or ideate. This is especially meaningful if we have teenage children who need some space, but also if you often receive the feedback that you ask too many questions, or are nagging. It is difficult to change habits, so this is a small way of letting them know you are mindfully working on it.
A Day for You: For one day, I will do whatever you want me to do. This can be expanded to encompass 24hours if you can afford such time, or an afternoon, or an evening. Please do not check your phone, email, or any other messaging device during the allotted time. This is difficult to achieve for those of us on duty for jobs that demand our attention, such as a friend who is currently working in the ER, but it can be modified to suit your schedule as well as make a thoughtful gesture of emotional awareness.
Draw a Picture: Take an A4 sheet of paper, and draw what your life with the person looks like. Design it. It could look like a collage of incidents, a page of little hearts, a perfect idyll. It could be colorful or black and white. It could involve stickers. Try as hard as you can to put to paper what your emotions are. Behind the page, write in 300-400 words why you drew what you drew. Roll this sheet into a scroll, tie it with a ribbon or string. Place it on their Valentine breakfast tray or cereal bowl.
Have a great Valentine’s Day!
Love, and permit yourself to be loved.