A Valentine's Day Filled With Love, Not Dollar Signs

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, as I'm sure you know. If you've been to any store in the past two months, you've seen shelves packed with candy, decorations and stuffed animals the size of a cargo van. You could spend anywhere from a few dollars to your first of the month paycheck to give that special someone a gift covered in hearts.

But what if you were to give a more thoughtful gift, something not found on a shelf or in a store? What if you could share your heart without having to take out a second mortgage on the house? A day like this should be filled with love, not dollar signs.

If this sounds like a wonderful, relaxing, less taxing plan, read on...

* Give your husband a handmade card, one that reminds him of a special time you shared. Think back (as far as you can) to when you were dating or first married and theme the card around a special moment or place. Let him know that those are still some of your favorite memories.

* Surprise him. What would knock his socks off? Show up at his work with a flower or a cupcake. (Or something else you deem appropriate.) Leave a note or card on his car seat for him to find in the morning. Bake some homemade cookies and send them with him when he leaves for work. Go out of your way to show you care.

* Make his favorite dinner instead of going out. You know, the one he always asks for and you just never seem to get around to making. Spoil him a little and let him know that you're actually listening to him.

* If you look around the house, you're sure to find all sorts of ideas for love-themed stuff. Present your man with everything in the shape of a heart - the cinnamon rolls at breakfast, drawn on the mirror in the bathroom, coffee in a lovey-dovey mug, the tie in the back of the closet covered with hearts. Pull them out and put them to good use today.

* Turn your bedroom into an oasis for the evening. Clear out all the clutter. Dust everything. Wash the sheets. Sweep the floors. Use fabric refresher and air freshener everywhere you can. Open the windows and air out the room. Candles and rose petals are definitely optional.

* Let him know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the love of your life. You already know exactly how to do that. Think about his likes and dislikes, his passions and interests, his hopes and his dreams. There are a million little things you can do to show him that you respect him, understand him and want him more than anything else in the world.

Just a note - don't go into this Valentine's Day preparation with any expectations. You're not showing him how much you love him so that he will do the same in return. You're doing these special things so he knows you love and respect him. That's all. Pray about your own heart attitude and then get busy!

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