Let me tell you about a perfect Valentine’s gift of minimal cost and yet tons of value (and the best one I have ever received). Through my life, I never cared much for Valentine’s day, or the gifts typically associated with it, like flowers and chocolates and teddy bears and the rest overly pink whatnots. I am not one for jewelry either.
All that, was to – eventually – change when I received the perfect Valentine’s day gift. And it had lots of pink.
One February day, many years ago, I received a package from my – then – long distance boyfriend. It was a big cardboard box, that had traveled across the world and contained a large glass cookie jar. (By the way, the jar alone won my heart – thick sturdy stuff). It had a little ribbon around the lid, curling out at the edges and a hot pink heart was hanging from it, writing “I love you” in Greek. Cute, right? A little bit?
That was not all. The jar was filled with hearts. Paper hearts in pink, white and hot pink, a perfect three color gradient combination, in three different sizes. Each heart was hand cut and each had a special message hand-written on it. Some where in English and some in Greek (that he barely knew and had to look up).
There were a ton of hearts in that jar; 365 to be exact. One for each day we were “together”.
I melt. Really, I had to mop myself off the floor. Then like any self-respecting adult woman would do, I ran to my mom to show her what I considered the most amazing Valentine’s gift ever. Now, I must tell you, my mom? And that whole “internet boyfriend” thingy? Not good friends. Have you noticed how mothers have this stonewalling look when they dislike something? It’s enough to chill your blood.
I burst into explanations. “Mom he made this himself!”. “Isn’t it amazing?”. “Every single heart is hand-written and hand cut!”. “And look at his taste! 3-color gradient!”. “He spent days making it!”
(For the record, she remained unimpressed.)
There I was, a grown up woman, swooning over a jar of pink paper hearts. A gift that had a monetary value of maybe 5 – 10 bucks (and a fortune to ship it over but, I digress) but, a HUGE, priceless, sentimental value.
He had indeed spent days making it. For weeks he was working on something while we talked online. He wasn’t telling me what it was (very annoying that – I was so curious!). He wanted it to be a surprise and he succeeded.
The fact he thought about it and put some much effort and personal time to make, made this gift so special. The time, effort and care, the love – if you like – that was put in it.
Several years onward, it still is the best Valentine’s day gift I ever got and I am still very much in love with the guy who made it. I don’t know if it worked out as well for him because, I married him* – one does not let a guy like this get away.
*(and then we bought a house and we had a nursery to decorate and all sorts of fun home improvements to make and in general, got ourselves in all sorts of happy mess.)
Your turn: what was the best Valentine’s gift you ever received and why?
ps. I still don’t know how he did it but he had placed the hearts so perfectly in the jar, it looked professionally done. I never managed to do the same.