At this time of year, gift-giving is especially on our minds. For many, it's hard to make that "just right" choice. And in today's economy, the task may become particularly stressful. In years past, folks would make the gifts they gave. And if you think about it, when a present is homemade rather than store bought, it means that a lot more effort went into it. Of course, many may get stuck on ideas or feel that there’s not enough time to create the items. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I've created 7 DIY gift ideas that will be sure to send your partner the message that they matter to you.
1. Make A Puzzle
If you're artistic (even somewhat!), draw a picture or a sentiment on a large piece of paper. You can also purchase a poster with a loving sentiment. Or, blow up a picture of the two of you. Once you've made your choice, glue it on a piece of cardboard. Then, cut it up into puzzle pieces and pack it up into a gift box for your mate to put together.
2. Sing A Song
Lots of folks just don't feel comfortable with their writing skills. If you're one of them, then record a song! You can either pick one that's already written or be daring and create your own. Make an mp3 and send it to your honey! And relax: you don't need a voice like Aretha's to make a lasting impression.
3. Give Hugs And Kisses
We all know the benefit of getting physical attention. Now you can also add a little chocolate to it! Go to your local supermarket, buy bags of Hershey's kisses and hugs and fill a pretty box or bowl with them. Now your mate can enjoy the sentiment, the candy, and the box when it's empty.
4. Present A Trophy
There are many gift stores that sell miniature trophy's for "World's Best ___". When you give this gift, also make a little speech about what your mate means to you and why he or she deserves this trophy. If you're not into the trophy idea, you can also make a banners, certificates, or ribbons. Bonus: record what you say so they can hear it over and over again!
5. Coupon For Relaxation
Print out a coupon for relaxation to be turned in at the recipient's discretion. When the coupon is turned in, prepare a bubble bath, set up some lit scented candles and have a towel warmed by the dryer ready for when your partner steps out of the tub. Who doesn't love a nice warm towel after a bath?
6. Think Big
Get a cardboard box from an appliance store and make a giant greeting card, letting your mate know how special he or she is to you.
7. Give Flowers
Sure it's easy to call an 800 number and have flowers delivered. But what's not so easy — and a lot more meaningful — is if you pick them yourself. Take a drive along a country road and pick whatever wild flowers are growing there. You can easily put them into any container. If you're creative, decorate something that you get at a crafts store that can then be used afterwards. Special container or not, hand-picked flowers with a note that says, "I picked these just for you" are sure to be a hit! If you live in a climate where not much is growing this time of year, consider creating a winter bouquet with pine branches and holly berries.
Of course, these ideas are ones that can be used at any time of year. For relationships to stay strong, they have to be attended to. As a relationship expert, I always remind couples that it's the little things that will make a big difference.
I wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season — one that brings you lots of little treats that offer great joy!
More relationship expert advice on YourTango: