The best gift you can give someone is yourself. Your thoughts, your thoughtfulness, your time and effort are priceless and the memories you can make by giving yourself are timeless. With all the layoffs and cutbacks we’re experiencing due to the economy, most of us are having to cut back on a lot of things. But you don’t have to give up romance or fun this Valentines Day. Here’s one way to make the occasion a memorable one for both of you, without having to break the bank. It’s fun too. I call it “Turning the Tables.”
You’ll need to set the stage, of course, with some candlelight or romantic mood lighting, maybe a table set for two-tablecloth and fine china, etc., along with a favorite dish. Don’t forget the romantic music; especially “your song.”
Wait until the time is right to pop the question; like when you’ve finished dinner and maybe even shared a dance or two-don’t be shy.
Instead of an engagement ring, you’ll be giving him a ball and chain with a personalized shackle. You can make one for next to nothing. Instructions are below:
Buy a black ball or black balloon –they have black balloons in the party sections of most stores. If you can’t find a black ball or balloon, you can buy a child’s ball and wrap it in black crepe paper. Use tin foil to make chain links and hook them together just like Christmas paper chains. Using tape, attach one end of the chain to the ball. Next make the personalized shackle.
Make a shackle from heavier card stock paper. Measure it to fit his ankle and wide enough (from top to bottom) so that you can write “Your Name’s Man ” on it or both of your names and the date or “Valentines Day 2009.” Punch two holes on each end of the shackle. You’ll tie the ends closed with red ribbon–if he says yes of course. Attach the other end of the chain to the shackle…use tape or staples. You can detach the ball and chain and save the shackle in your keepsake box. Perhaps you can share the story with your grandchildren years from now.
Some other ways to say it with little or no money…
2. Serve heart-shaped pancakes loaded with strawberries and whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup in bed. Cover the bedding with a tablecloth and enjoy. Don’t forget the coffee and juice.
3. Make a banner that says “World’s Greatest Lover” or “Most Handsome Guy” or “Most Beautiful Woman” or better yet, “Love of “Your Name” Life” and tape it to the bathroom mirror while your mate is in the shower or just before they go into the bathroom.
4. Just before bedtime, hang the banner over his or her side of the bed. Make paper rose petals and write something you love about him or her on each one, then scatter them on the bed.
5. Send an e-card; most are free.
6. Make a valentines day goody bag and fill it with his or her favorite candy or snacks or put a favorite muffin or breakfast pastry inside. If you save gift bags like I do, you might have one you can reuse for the occasion. You can make a brown sandwich bag or plain bakery bag special bay adding your own touch. Write some little sweet nothings like “Be Mine”, “Cutie”, “Hot Stuff”, etc and draw hearts on them with red marker. Tie the bag with a red ribbon and tuck it into a briefcase, satchel or bag.
7. Recreate a special event such as your first date, or some other special occasion you shared as a couple. Try to duplucate the setting as closely to the original one as possible with decor, music, menu, etc.and read some romantic poetry together. Read some romantic poems out loud to each other.
8. Write little love notes and tuck them into pockets, stick them on the mirror, on the rear-view mirror of the car, on his or her computer monitor, in a lunch bag, a briefcase, a purse. If your mate is a smoker, roll the note up tightly and tuck it into a cigarette pack.
9. Fill the bathtub with very warm water and bubbles and share a twenty minute splash and soak together-guys like bubble baths too. Add a couple of boats and don’t forget the rubber duckies.
10. Say “I Love You” every chance you get!