By the look of it, Valentine’s Day is coming

My husband and I don’t do anything special for each other on February 14th.  Restaurants are always to busy, flowers are out of season and expensive, cards never really sound like me or something that I would say.  I do on the other hand I always try to make Valentine’s for my mother and my sister.  My father was the only man that would give me a Valentine every year.  He wouldn’t get us chocolates or cards but something that said that he knew us.  One year he got me a vintage compact (something that I love to collect), another year it was an ArtBin for my craft supplies, as I got older it would be a hand crafted item from an artist that he had bought when we were on a trip or that he found in a small shop that he knew I would like.  My father was an amazing gift giver.

Gift Box

Gift for my sister

I learned from my father that there is a skill to giving a gift.  You can give any gift to anyone, but the skill in gift giving is to give something that you know that person appreciates, and that lets them know that you appreciate and know them.  Giving is hard.  It takes time, work and sometimes research but it doesn’t always require a lot of cash.  That is what I like about giving gifts.  I spend a lot of time taking notes on my friends.  I look at what they collect in their cupboards (vintage pyrex, handmade glass cups, pottery), I check out the art that collections (looking for a specific color palettes, artists, animals or patterns in their art), I pay attention to the way that they talk about food and drink.  I even have a small notebook where I write down things that my friends are interested in, collecting or looking for.  The lists under their names change all the time.  Relationships are always a WIP (work in progress).  I think that one of the keys to giving is listening.

Notes on friends

Just a few of the notebooks that I keep

As for my husband and I, instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day we choose a totally random day in the year to do something special for the other person.  It makes it a fun surprise to receive a gift, go out to dinner somewhere special, and be appreciated.  These random days of appreciation and love mean a lot to me.  This year for Valentines Day I am making little bouquets for my mother and sister.  Here is a preview of what I am working on.  I will post the finished project a little later this week.

Valentine's Day Gift

This years Valentine’s Day present for my mom and sister

What is a special gift that you received that meant a lot to you?