According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of gift is a thing given willingly to someone without payment. But most gifts are not free for the giver! Many Americans will pack the malls this Christmas to spend money on gifts for their loved ones.
A Gallup survey conducted in November 2011 estimates that consumer spending on gifts will go up by seven percent this year, which adds up to an average of $764 per person in the United States. With the cost of goods going up, many shoppers find they are getting less for their money, so creating gifts instead of buying them is an appealing way to make the consumer dollar go further.
If you’re short on cash this year, or just want to infuse more meaning into your present, considering giving a gift that will only take time and a little creativity, like writing a love story.
To write a compelling love story, draw upon memories created during fun, romantic, and even challenging times. Your story doesn’t have to be about elaborate vacations spent traveling the world; you can also express your feelings about everyday matters, such as how she brushes the dog because she knows you don’t like to do it, or how he responded so caringly to a family member who needed his help.
If you want to write a love story and give it as a gift, here are five tips to help you organize your thoughts into a tear-jerking story that will be remembered for a lifetime. If you follow these steps, you will be on your way to creating a unique gift for your special someone just in time for the holidays.
TIP ONE: Carry a small notebook or use your smart phone to jot down memories as you think of them. Any time you are waiting in line or waiting on the pump at the gas station, reflect on your experiences together and make notes. Keep the notes simple but try to express how that memory made you feel then and now. If you feel stuck or can’t remember certain details, ask a friend or a family member to share a few of their memories. Browsing through old pictures is another good way to jog your memory.
TIP TWO: After collecting your memories, take a few minutes, read through all the notes, and cross off any that you don’t want to include. Next, arrange your memories in a chronological order so your story will flow from when you first met or fell in love, and come forward to the present.
TIP THREE: Start converting the notes to complete sentences, using simple language as if you were having a relaxed conversation with her. Your love story does not have to be perfect; it only needs to be real and from your heart.
TIP FOUR: After you’ve created your love story, read it out loud. Does it make sense? Can you read it without getting your words twisted? If the answer is no, recruit a trusted friend or family member to help you compose any sentences you may be struggling to write. When you can read your story out loud and it flows and makes sense, you are ready for the big reveal.
TIP FIVE: Once you feel confident that your love story will evoke the perfect emotions, decide how you will present it. Reflect on his or her favorite pastime, flowers, or food and try to combine your love story reveal with something else that he or she loves.
- If he loves his morning cup of joe, wrap the love story in a sealed bag and drop the bag into the can of coffee.
- Put the story in a picture frame and place it on the fireplace mantel alongside a single rose in a vase.
- Tuck the story into his motorcycle helmet and invite him out for a ride.
- Slip it into the pocket of her favorite sweater and invite her out for a walk.
- Record the story using your smart phone video and upload it to YouTube. Send a link to her email address.
- Take him to one of his favorite places and tuck the story into his napkin as you prepare a picnic lunch.
The love story you took the time to beautifully craft is a surefire way to express your love in a way that will have a profound impact on the recipient!
If you’re ready to go a step further and propose marriage, and want it to be special but are not sure how, visit our Proposal Ideas page, or contact our Proposal Hotline to chat with our industry experts.