I started passing little notes of love to my classmates in the first grade. It was Saint Valentine’s Day. It was the beginning of my years of coming up with romantic Valentine's gift ideas.
It seems like just yesterday. I remember Daddy, helping me pick out a pink and red cellophane wrapped box of perforated Valentines Cards. Once home, I carefully separated the little themed cards and chose who was to get which card and what I’d dare say. Of course the card face said it all – "Hi There Valentine”, "Let’s Be Friends”, etc. I can’t remember if I selected the box of cards with Loony Tune Characters like Tweedy-Bird and the Tasmanian Devil or Disney’s Cinderella, Snow White and Prince Charming. The years blend together, and I’ve sent lots of Valentine’ s Day cards since then. Either way, I remember that I simply signed "Love, Jean”, but even that required a boldness, that on any other day of the year I may not have been able to muster. When Valentine's Day finally did arrived, exuberantly I stuffed my classmates’ red hearts and white lacy doilies decorated shoe boxes with my little declarations of love, love for friends and especially my male version of Charlie Brown’s "little redheaded girl”, a boy named Mark.
Of course, I had high hopes that I’d receive lots of "Will You Be My Valentine?” cards and especially, one from "him”. I did! In fact, during the Valentine's Day class party when the teacher and room mothers were not looking, he and I managed to "accidentally” meet in the coat room. It just so happened that more romantic Valentine's gift ideas had crossed my mind and I came prepared. I presented him with what I know now to be the traditional tiny candy conversation heart with Kiss Me printed on it. In that very moment, I received my very first real kiss. Mark was either inspired or liked following instructions, either way he and I have joked about our first and only kiss even some forty years later.
As my classmates and I entered middle school love notes of another form began to be passed. You know what I’m talking about, the carefully folded love note. Typically made out of Blue Horse ruled notebook paper, these tiny love notes were handed off by a trusted messenger on behalf of a best friend. Either by biological drive or example, one twitterpated classmate after another sent forth on paper, the near heart-stopping question: "I like you. Do you like me? Check: Yes or No.”
It is easy to think that I am well beyond these childlike maneuvers, especially after twenty-nine blissful years of marriage. However, these simple expressions of love were effective then, so why not now?
Let me offer this thought, whether it is a new love or a "tried and true" love, who wouldn’t like to hear that they are adored and, like songster Nat King Cole sings, that they are unforgettable?
This Valentine’s Day 2013 as I contemplate more romantic Valentine's gift ideas,perhaps I will return to what I know works. Perhaps I will compose a love note to my Valentine.
If the same thought has crossed your mind, yet you are asking yourself, "What can I possibly say or do?”, consider composing a from-the-heart message for the one you hope to cozy up to this Valentine’s Day. You could possibly start by looking into the past.
Think back to days of…
tiny pastel Be Mine and Kiss Me candy hearts,
cut out red paper hearts declaring Be My Valentine! and
messenger-delivered notes with the near heart-stopping question "I like you.
Do you like me? Check Yes or No.”
These simple expressions of love were effective then, so why not now?
For a grown up version of passing a love note to your Valentine, let me offer a few fresh romantic Valentine's gift ideas:
- If your Valentine routinely checks his or her phone messages upon arrival at the office, deliver your love note via voice mail.
- Formality can be fun! Ask your Valentine out for a date! Your written invitation can be styled as a love note. To really WOW your Valentine, special delivery of your invitation with flowers, will create quite the impression at the workplace. I know. I sent flowers to my boyfriend at his workplace twenty-nine years ago. The message was clear, "Neil, I’m crazy about you!" To his co-workers, it was "Hands off ladies. He’s mine!” My husband l still relishes the memory.
- Another much simpler approach to deliver your invitation would be to place it strategically where your Valentine will easily find it, yet be surprised. Perhaps under the windshield wiper while the car is parked at work; inside a bagged lunch; or in a favorite coffee mug. As for the invitation itself, give a little taste of what the evening will hold, but maintain a sense of mystery! Then deliver - a night to remember. I'm sure you can come up with a few romantic valentines gift ideas of your own.
- What about a love note in the form of a poem? No worries, if it sounds good to you, it is sure to earn an A+ from the one you desire. Of course, you can get a little help from the famous poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, by starting with the first line of her poem: How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways. Then create your own. If you’re not up to penning your own poem, I’m sure a poet would not mind that you borrowed from their poetry on Love’s big day! Though the poet gets credit for writing the poem, you’ll be the one who scores this Valentine’s Day. You may be thinking, how do I introduce the poem? Keep the delivery simple. Perhaps start by saying, ”I’d like to share with you a little poem by (the poet’s name). It expresses so well what I’d like to say to you.” You can take it from there.
- If you want an effortless way to express your love to your Valentine, not just on February 14th, but every day, present the one you adore with a classic symbol of your love and affection – a heart along with a little love note. Here are some fresh romantic Valentine's gift ideas of heart jewelry gift giving. The Pocket Heart is private, it’s fun and it will remind him of you. In fact, every time your Valentine puts his hand in his pocket he will think of you! Then there is the Loving Heart Pin worn inside a man's jacket over his heart and is for his eyes only. For a woman, giving her a symbol of your heart to wear over her heart is like passing her a little love note each time she wears it. Consider a heart necklace.
So here you are days before Valentine's Day. If you ARE considering sending a love note this Valentine's Day, I hope these romantic Valentine gift ideas have ignited your imagination and inspired action.
Then again, those tiny pastel Be Mine or Kiss Me candy conversation hearts worked for me in the first grade. If I get too busy, I may try them again with a slightly more grown up message.
Happy Valentine's Day!