Valentine’s Day is one of those special days which can cause both great joy and great horror – especially if you feel pressure to make it unforgettable. In Friday’s post, I will make a recommendation for how you can take the pressure out of Valentine’s Day; but, in the meantime, let us assume you plan to shower your honey with the traditional bells and whistles this year.
T-minus four days until Valentine’s Day. What does that mean to you? Maybe it means:
- Oh no! I still have not shopped for my boyfriend or girlfriend!
- This is going to be great. I will nail this Valentine’s Day!
- Who cares? V-Day is for the emotionally shallow. My babe and I do not need a holiday to act all lovey dovey.
Are You A Selfish Shopper? Apparently, I Am!
This past October, Eric sat surrounded by his birthday gifts and looked a bit downcast – not the look you hope to see after someone opens the presents you have spent hours pondering, buying, and wrapping. When I inquired about his response to the gifts, he hesitantly commented that the gifts did not fit his personality. (Before you think poorly of his response, let me back up a bit.)
For years now, Eric has been gently requesting that I think of him, his likes and dislikes, and his personality when selecting gifts. We have plenty of clutter in our home and thus we are not in need of more stuff which does not fulfill a purpose in our lives. When I wrote the book Gift-Giving By Personality Type, Eric loved his section! He fully agreed with it. He said that he would love the type of gifts I suggested for his personality type!
So, what did I do? Nothing. For whatever reason, I kept right on buying him the types of gifts I have purchased since we were married. So, as he sat surrounded by more “Heather” gifts, I suppose he could not keep his disappointment to himself any longer. He did not mean to hurt my feelings and he regretted his timing; but, in retrospect, I know I needed a painful moment like that to make me finally take his request to heart.
I have shopped with myself in mind for far too long. What a downer to realize I was still a self-centered giver! This was not always true, I suppose. If I knew of an item a friend or loved one wanted, I was happy to give it (assuming it was in my price range); however, in those situations where I was left to completely figure it out for myself, I was unknowingly rummaging around in my own personality box to uncover “nifty” gift ideas.
He likes C.S. Lewis! I will buy him a movie about Lewis’ life. (I LOVE movies!)
He likes the Detroit Tigers! I just found the cutest stuffed tiger! (I LOVE stuffed animals.)
He likes Thailand! I will give him a pair of comfortable Thai pajama pants! (I LOVE wearing pajamas whenever I am home.)
(Yes, these things happened. And I have given him more stuffed animals than I care to admit.)
Giving With Others in Mind
After his less than home run birthday, I tried extra hard to put Eric’s desires, passions, and personality in the forefront of my mind before I ordered any Christmas presents. I was not hasty. I looked and even prayed about my selections. I reviewed his section (ENTJ) of Gift-Giving By Personality Type several times. When Christmas came, I was full of anticipation. I was so hoping to show him that I love him and that I see him and that I want to bless him simply for being him.
Did I nail it? Not quite. (I still did give him a stuffed animal… you know, tradition. ~wink~) I have yet to see him do a happy dance after opening one of my gifts, but I have not lost heart. Though my gifts did not shoot him straight to the heart, I did give him several items he genuinely appreciated. I made a mold of Ramsey’s footprint as a Christmas tree ornament – sentimental. I bought him a few strategy games – ENTJs love strategy games and game nights! I figured out a riddle he gave me and purchased a specific gift he wanted. (Not to brag, but I am still undefeated in the Eric Christmas Riddle Challenge.) ~smile~
Connect with Your Gifts
Do not only show your sweetheart you thought of him or her this Valentine’s Day (if you choose to give gifts – remember, they are not required!), but give a gift which will connect your hearts together. As silly as it sounds, I became emotional one Christmas when Eric gave me a TV series I wanted. It was clear that he spent his personal blow money on it because it cost more than we had budgeted for Christmas. My reaction was similar to when he proposed. ~smile~ He gave me something that really spoke to me. It said, “You noticed me, you cared, and you sacrificed to make me happy.”
If your lady says she would rather have an experience than a physical item, pay attention to what excites her and give her an experience you think she will like. If you are nervous, you can always have a small wrapped gift to offer as well. ~wink~ Or, you can buy her a souvenir to remind her of your special experience together.
If your fella has been talking non-stop about that action movie, get tickets! Even if you have to cover your eyes for half the movie, at least you will be together, right?!
Sometimes I am more touched by the thought than the actual gift. It feels so good to be noticed, and when someone gives you a gift that is 100% totally you, you cannot help but feel seen, heard, and prioritized.
We at PreEngaged wish you and your special someone a super happy Valentine’s Day! Come back Friday for a non-traditional (but perhaps life-changing!) way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
When is the last time your heart was warmed by a special gift? What made it so special to you? [Comment below!]