In about a month's time Valentine's Day will be upon us. My predicament, as strange as it may sound, is that I actually have a valentine.
Come Feb. 14 my boyfriend and I will have reached close to four months in our relationship. Since he's my first boyfriend, I'm having to consider some things for the first time. One such thing is appropriate Valentine's Day presents.
From what I've observed, most presents tend to fall into the categories of too intimate or silly with a high concentration of sugary sweetness. Neither seem very appropriate for our relationship. Do you have any suggestions for alternatives?
Congratulations, there's nothing like young love to make Valentine's Day that much sweeter. For starters, enjoy. I waited years to finally have a man (other than my Dad) to whom I could send cards and give gifts. So when it looked like Steve and I would be still be dating over Valentine's Day, I relished the opportunity.
You're right though. A trip to the mall or card shop can leave you feeling squeamish. Stay away from the red and while heart-covered silk boxer shorts, suggestive greeting cards and overly priced cologne.
It's not about getting gifts that Hallmark or Amazon says you should. As with other holidays, it's an opportunity to show your boyfriend that you really know him. What would he enjoy? What are his hobbies and interests? If he's a reader, buy him a book and inscribe something to commemorate the day on the inside cover. If he likes to cook, buy him some kitchen tools. Does he hike? Give him a headlamp or compass. Is he a musician? How about an iTunes card. Maybe he's an artist. You could give him some drawing pencils and a sketchbook. If he's a writer, I'd suggest a Moleskine journal.
As for the "sugary sweet" gifts, if they come in the form of dark chocolate (and he's got a sweet tooth), I say the more the better.
What to avoid? Gifts that are suggestive, either sexually or in a way that seems pushy (e.g., coupons for wedding tuxedo rentals). Don't feel like you have to give him a hyper-romantic gift just because it's Valentine's Day. Just ask yourself, what would bless him?
If the whole point of this holiday is love, what better place to start than with the definition of love, true love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Whatever gift you end up getting and giving, let these verses be your motivation. And remember, this is your first Valentine's Day together. If you end up marrying this man, you'll have years to perfect your gift giving. What matters most is that you enjoy each other and put forth a genuine effort.
I'll admit that my gift to Steve that first year left something to be desired (it was a pair of grey running shorts and a matching t-shirt; I know, boring). And truthfully, the red carnations he brought me were a little disappointing. (I'm a roses, tulips and gerbera daisies kind of girl). But what mattered most is that no matter what his gift, it was from him. He is what I most wanted to celebrate that February 14. And all the Valentine's Days since then.
Incidentally, the poem Steve wrote for me that first Valentine's Day (nearly) blotted the carnations from memory.
I wish you happy shopping. May the Lord of love guide you and may your romance bring Him glory.
P.S. Thanks for this opportunity to talk about St. Valentine's Day. I love this holiday so much that I often slip and call it Thanksgiving. But my affection for the day of greeting cards and roses wasn't always so. I had a love/hate relationship with Valentine's Day for a long time.
Copyright 2009 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.