501 Life Magazine | To my valentine …
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To my valentine …

So, I’ve been considering things to give that will not break the budget, but are a slight bit more exciting than a heart shaped balloon with “Be Mine” on it! Isn’t it interesting that even the message reverts back to “what matters to me!” Oh well, on to the musing of what I can give.

Last year, my wife and I presented all our adult children and their spouses with a 12-month magazine subscription that fit their personality. It was lots of fun and, indeed, a gift that kept on giving, for a year, at least! We have five married children, so 10 magazine subscriptions added up to a car payment. I may have to gear back this year.

One Valentine’s Day, we gave each couple their personal copy of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” I still love that movie!

All our family loves chocolate — but have you noticed the price of a few nuggets of Godiva can rival 5 gallons of gas?

Besides, most of the Bingham physiques do not need the additional enhancement that such epicurean treasures would afford.

So, I’ve come up with the following potential ways of Valentine treats; there’s still time to explore all of them, and what fun on the journey!

The local antique stores: There are several of them, and it is not difficult to find antique Valentine greeting cards, an odd cup and saucer, an old piece of sheet music, and the vintage jewelry case is full of small treasures!

Goodwill and Salvation Army: That’s right. It is more fun than you can imagine to explore what was one person’s junk that can be your treasure to give! One-of a-kind baskets, single brass candle sticks, a surprise edition of old books – always a prize and the small investment can help others as well.

Here’s a novel idea: Write a card or letter about the ways that special someone has touched and encouraged your life! It takes a little time and thought, but the rewards are greater and packed with long-lasting results.

Hide-a-note! I recall the time when cleaning out my folks’ house after their passing, the delight of finding notes here and there that were written by my parents. This is to say nothing of the change money found stuffed in unlikely places. I’ll never forget finding $1,000 hidden away inside an antique clock! It could be a treasure hunt that would last for years — a written record of “the greatest of these” that may appear at the most needed and unexpected times.

That special book:
One of my dear friends has spent a small fortune on books for his family and friends. I happen to be the recipient of some of these generous books. He finds them online, even hard to find “out of print” books. I caught this “book finding fever” from Ronnie Newton and for years, this has been one of my favorite gifts to search for and give. Look for hardback, early edition, used but in good shape, books. They make wonderful gifts at affordable prices.

One of the best Valentine’s Day gifts that can be given is to give gifts that the recipient likes, not just the one giving would like to be getting. Be a student of the recipient for a while. My wife would love a foot massage, a pantry cleaning, the heat and air filters changed, the yard raked — (boring!) but the things that will encourage our loved one’s should be our goal. It may take a little time to wade through the thoughts to remind ourselves of what that special someone really enjoys.

Now as for me, I’d like a trip to New York, tea at the Ritz in London, a new Mercedes-Benz, a “what not to wear” trip to Joseph Bank, a whirlwind tour of all available desserts in the 501 area (complete with a guarantee for “no weight gain”), an out-of-print edition of a Puritan writer! To each his own I suppose.

I’m anxious to see what I’ll end up giving or receiving! Happy Valentine’s Day!