Tag Archives: presents

Who is Valentine’s Day for?

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Valentine's Day card - vintage, 04It’s Valentine’s Day again, and you know what that means.  This is one of those holidays with certain expectations, and it can cause great distress and disappointment in the relationship if those expectations aren’t met.  Let’s take a lighter look at that…

If you’re a man with a wife or girlfriend, you’re typically expected to buy her a nice (sappy) card, give her chocolates and roses (which are inconveniently greatly inflated in price during February), and take her on a romantic date.  These aren’t all bad things.  I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day or anything like that.  It’s good to show appreciation to your significant other, and we tend to take our loved ones for granted.  I don’t particularly like the idea of it being “forced” on a certain day, but it’s a good reminder.

So the woman in the relationship gets showered with nice stuff, like she deserves, because we cherish her.  What are the expectations going the other way?  Well, guys typically get a card, which may not mean as much as it would to a woman.  Now before you accuse me of being selfish, it’s not about that.  I don’t care about getting more gifts.  I just wonder who created these expectations and how many people are aware of how it is.  Why are they this way?  That topic is beyond the scope of this discussion, but it’s a good thinking exercise if you’re interested.

Maybe we should start some new traditions, for the guys.  What kind of affordable stuff would guys want to receive every year and which would also make them feel loved and appreciated?  (That “affordable” modifier limits the ideas, so no monster trucks or flamethrowers or tanks.  But we need to be practical, I suppose.)  For starters, how about cheese dip?  Either homemade or Stoby’s cheese dip would suffice (plus no comments about how it’s not healthy or that a tub of cheese dip is not a meal by itself).  Bacon should probably be included in this.  Maybe chicken-fried bacon for dipping in the cheese dip?  Just imagining that probably makes you gain weight…

I figure most guys would like a time of playing video games, since that time typically gets dramatically reduced when in a relationship (and more when married and even more when you have children).  This may not seem practical, since the day is about quality time in the relationship, and that’s fair.  It could be applied the next day.  Or the woman could join him in the games, if they can find something they both enjoy.  That would probably count as quality time, to him anyway.

These ideas might not fly, but that’s okay.  I can dream, right?  🙂  If you have any ideas, I’m open to suggestions.  (Your comments can be anonymous if you’re scared of getting in trouble for speaking out on this.)

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how to enjoy wrapping presents

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I enjoy wrapping presents, but I sometimes get tired of doing it the traditional way.  (Why do I have to conform to what is “normal”?  Plus randomness is fun, as evidenced on this blog.)  Also, one of my pet peeves is when people are able to easily guess what is wrapped.  When I wrap presents, particularly for my brothers, they aren’t going to guess what’s it in.  I’ve employed various techniques to disguise it, such as including rocks, pennies, bricks, pine cones, etc., inside the box.  And of course, the box should be one other than what the actual gift came in.  You want to vary the size, weight, and sound it makes.   There’s no anticipation if they already know what it is before opening it.

One year I put pennies inside a hard plastic case inside the main box, so when the present was shaken, it would make a crashing sound that happened after the normal sound, so it sounded like it was broken.   🙂   I’ve also made presents exceedingly difficult to open before, using numerous packagings and duct tape.   Some of my presents cannot be opened in under a few minutes.   That helps people savor the moment…  🙂

But beyond disguising it, I like to make it look unique.  One thing I’ve started doing is saving the scraps of wrapping paper from other gifts to use on one package.  Last year I did this on two different presents, which are displayed below.  (Click the images for a larger picture.)

present #1

present #1

Present #2, top

Present #2, top

Present #2, side

Present #2, side

Present #2, bottom

Present #2, bottom

Hopefully this inspires you to be more creative with your wrapping this year.  But a quick word of warning: not everyone appreciates this “art” the same way.  It seems to work better on brothers and male friends, rather than parents, grandparents, and in-laws.