Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Heart Act to Follow

Whether or not you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a sweetie, there is some gift-giving gold to be found amongst the pink and red –- especially if you are patient and forward-thinking. If you think outside of the (heart-shaped) box, you'll find lots of fun ways to buy now, give later.

  • Wrapping paper or gift bags with heart / love designs can be a festive way to package gifts for engagement parties, wedding showers, Sweet Sixteen events and anniversary celebrations any time of year.

  • Use gift wrap or gift items with Cupid designs for baby showers, Mother’s Day or weddings.

  • Heart-shaped candy boxes are a lovely way to present romantic gifts – especially if they contain something besides assorted chocolates and are given any time after February. Buy one on sale after February 14 and get rid of the candy (By the way, there are ways to do this that don't involve eating it yourself. Display it on a pretty plate and put it in the staff lounge someplace where people work hard, for example.). Then save the box and wait a while to fill it with something special for someone you love. Bonus points if you personalize the box somehow: a collage of photos? Words spelling out how you really feel? Inside jokes? Hints about the contents of the box?

  • A simple heart-shaped plate or bowl can be used later on to present small tokens of appreciation for teachers, volunteers, employees, retirees…or save it for a surprise breakfast in bed for someone a little closer.

  • You never know when you will encounter someone who might appreciate a surprise heart-shaped treat of pancakes or a PB&J sandwich or homemade cookies out of season. In the year to come, you might know someone who is fighting an illness, or a kid who survived a tough test, a friend who is feeling a little sad or one who did something remarkably generous. Stock up now on the tools you'll need to surprise the people you care about with a lovely, loving treat later.

    Love is forever -- not just for Valentine’s Day!