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Heartfelt Gift Makes Lasting Impression
By Dawn R. Hanna
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Traditionally when people think of Valentine's Day they think of hearts and flowers or chocolate candy. This year, try surprising your loved one with a special valentine gift made with love.
"Some people set themselves up for disappointment because they have preconceived notions of what is the appropriate gift or response from their spouse, friends or even a boyfriend or girlfriend," said Dr. Ann Jarratt, extension 4-H youth development specialist at Mississippi State University, "Problems occur when the other person does not share the same understanding."
Keeping up communication about expectations may ease the stress in a relationship, regardless of the occasion.
Jarratt said partners talking about what the holiday means to them individually can make for a happier Valentine's Day.
"If it is a very meaningful holiday to your loved one but not to you, then knowing this will enable you to make the right decision about gifts or special activities," Jarratt added.
Jarratt suggested that gifts be exchanged because you want to and not out of a sense of obligation.
"The thought behind the gift counts for much more than the amount of money that was spent on the gift," said Jarratt. "Something made by hand or with a personal touch can be more meaningful because it's an act of love."
A thoughtful or creative gift can be an alternative to traditional Valentine's Day gifts.
"A poem or a personal letter of appreciation can be a treasure to its recipient," said Jarratt. "A handwritten card decorated with original artwork could bring a happy smile."
Jarratt suggested personalized certificates that may promise your loved one a special treat. Certificates could include a night of dining at your loved one's favorite restaurant or a special home cooked meal -- receiver's choice.
Other creative ideas include a handmade gift booklet which includes slips that outline individual gifts for your loved one.
For example, one slip could designate a day for the person to have complete control of the remote control. Each slip should be something this person would appreciate.
Another option is to buy several small gift certificates from some of your loved one's favorite stores to slip inside a valentine's card or other decorative wrapping.