We have a rule in our household: NO “traditional” Valentine’s Day gifts allowed on February 14th!
Yes, you read that correctly. There will NOT be boxes of chocolates or roses found in our house on Valentine’s Day. I refuse to pay (or have my husband pay) the huge mark-ups on gifts for a holiday that can be made special in so many other ways by thinking “outside of the box” of chocolates! I would encourage you to think about doing the same and giving your significant other something meaningful that won’t be double the price just because it’s mid-February. Here is an example of one such gift and variations of it. What is it? It’s a “Summary of our Year Together” gift that can become an annual tradition.
My husband started the tradition in our house of giving me a personalized tile each year. This is a tile that he has painted to summarize the past year of our lives together in some way- a significant event, a summary of what we did often throughout the year, etc. He also includes the year somewhere within each tile.
We now have a tile from each year we have been together, and it is such a neat reminder of where we have been and what journey life has taken us on. He simply purchases and paints the tile at one of those pottery painting studios and picks it up after it has been fired.
The tiles are displayed in our home on small easels on a wall shelf display. Eventually, we will have too many to display this way and have contemplated creating our own tiled table to display them or have them framed in sets of 4 years each. It’s a fun tradition that helps us remember memories from each year. I look forward to the gift as it affords me an opportunity to reminisce each time I see it. My husband looks forward to creating something he knows I’ll love, and it helps keep him intentionally in-tune with what each year of life brings. The blessings that come out of both the good and bad in life are displayed as reminders on our wall, and they are cemented in our hearts, too.
A personalized summary of life together can take on more forms than just a series of painted tiles. The beauty of it is that a February holiday means a year has just ended so you know what that year brought for your family but still allows time for the creation or purchase of the gift before Valentine’s Day. Here are some additional creative ideas:
-Consider creating something like a picture-a-month framed collage of 12 photos for your spouse’s office or a personalized calendar with a picture from that same month the previous year for each month of the new year.
-Another idea could be to purchase a small wall hanging or painting from a family trip to save and give at Valentine’s Day to add to a wall collage of trip memories.
-To commemorate the growth of your children from year to year, a clay imprint of their hand could be created each year to demonstrate their growth and be displayed above kitchen cabinets in order of year.
The ideas are endless, and the goal is to make the gift personal and meaningful for your family. Even if you don’t start it this year, the annual summary gift is something to keep in mind to implement next year and carry on the tradition each year after that.