Here are just a few of the ways I can remember receiving tokens of love or giving them:
The best Valentine’s surprise I ever received from my late husband, Pete, was actually a bouquet of flowers – which he ordered from a hospital bed, recovering from a surgery - to be delivered to me at work.
Pete worked a graveyard shift for many years. One year, my daughter and I waited until he left for work and then covered the garage door with butcher paper and made him a giant Happy Birthday card. His grin the next morning could have lit up all of San Diego!
Another year, I blew up 100 red balloons and wrote love notes on all of them, then stuffed them into my hubby’s car for Valentine’s Day. He drove to work with all the balloons still in his car and showed his work buddies what his crazy wife did.
I will always treasure one gift from Pete. During a time when we only had one car, I rode the bus to work. On a bright San Diego day, the rain clouds came and I had no umbrella. Pete realized this, bought me one and drove 38 miles round trip to bring me an umbrella before he went to work, so I wouldn’t get wet later in the day when I stood waiting for the bus.
I have a collection of all the wonderful handmade Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Mother’s Day gifts that my children have given me over the years. I surprised my daughter one year but pulling out a string of clay beads she’d made when she was five and wearing them to work. My now-grown daughter still loves to go to the pottery shop and make me cups and vases. I treasure every one of them.
My son had a habit of buying me Christmas presents for several years that made me cry. They would be books about strong women he knew I admired – Katherine Hepburn, Amelia Earhart, etc. The year he bought me Women Who Dared, he wrote an inscription inside telling me I was proud of me. Is there really a better gift than one of praise?
I rarely give gift cards, except as extras. Every gift I give, no matter how small, I try to find something special that reflects who the person receiving it is. I’m sure I don’t always hit the nail on the head, but I try, because I can see no other reason to give a gift except to say “I care.” I’m also a huge fan of love coupons – you know those written promises to do something for someone you love. I love getting and giving those!
Luckily for me, this is just a tiny sample of the love tokens that have been exchanged between my family over the years. My Valentine’s Day wish for all my online friends is this – may you get that little something that makes you smile!