Saturday, January 19, 2008

Valentine's Day - Different Ways To Spoil Your Loved Ones

Valentine's Day is a day for romance. Traditionally a day when we hope to receive cards, flowers and maybe a gift from those that we love or admire. Cards are usually given anonymously. It's great fun to try and disguise your token of appreciation and maddening trying to work out who the sender of your's is. It is always a thrill to receive a Valentine from someone we have feelings for, particularly if it is a new potential relationship.

The story goes that in the 3rd century St Valentine married a couple in secret at a time when it was banned by Emporer Cladius 11. For this he was sentenced to death and while in prison he fell in love with the jailer's blind daughter (allegedly the power of his love restored her sight). Just before he died he sent her a message signed "from your Valentine".

Gifts for your loved ones

Long-established symbols of love are hearts, red roses and kisses and traditional gifts of flowers, chocolates and perfume are given at Valentines. Heart shaped gifts or items decorated with Hearts are also popular. If you've been with your sweetheart for some time then you may be past flowers and chocolate and need inspiration for a more original gift. Heart shaped pottery or pottery decorated with hearts would be a long-lasting token. Your partner would think of you each morning as he or she sipped their morning tea from their Heart covered mug or serve a romantic breakfast in bed on Hearts pottery. You could fill a jug with flowers or add a personal message or their pet-name to a mug or teapot.

It is traditional to give your partners gifts for Valentine's but it's also a nice gesture to show your other loved ones how you feel about them on this special day. Secret cards to confuse your children (my grandfather always used to send me a card from whoever my love of the moment was be it David Cassidy or David Soul). Anonymous cards to friends, but with a clue that it might be from their best friend so that their hopes aren't raised too much, nobody wants to be cruel.

Surprise someone

I know we show our appreciation on Mother's and Father's Day but still, particularly if people are on their own, it's nice to feel that you are loved - send flowers to your mum or an "I Love You" mug to your dad. They won't expect it and will be thrilled to be thought of.

Restaurants are always packed on Valentine's Day - full of little tables for two. Your favourite local never feels the same on this night. If you are determined to go out together for a romantic meal why not try something different. What about a picnic (I know it's winter) but if it's a bright, dry day nothing could be nicer. You could take hot chicken or sausages, flasks of soup and a bottle of red wine. Find a sheltered spot somewhere beautiful and tuck in. You can always drop into the local pub for something warming once you've had your lunch.

Whatever you do for Valentines Day do it with the ones you love.

By: Andrea Cox

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Would I Be Happier With Someone Else?

Oh that heralded question:"Would I be happier with someone else?" Maybe, but I doubt it. Here's why. Forget not the benefits of the one your with my friend. That's it in a nutshell. Why is that so important? Sure, perhaps you could have more physical intimacy, more laughs, more happiness with someone else, but for how long? And when will that relationship begin to look like the war ravaged one you have now?? Soon my friends. Too Soon.

Remember when you first started dating your husband or wife. Everyone is on their best behavior, your looking good, your passionate, your making every effort to impress. Then seven years later you find yourself irritated by every single thing your mate does! How does that happen?

Well, I don't know. It seems though that I've taken my mind off of the dream a bit too much and have done a 360 and I'm looking too much at realities. I have a wonderful wife. No, I have a one in a million wife whom any guy would die for. Problem is, perhaps like you, I sometimes focus far too much on her negatives.

Another thing too, as a man, I have to be the one to initiate things, and I often forget that I cannot expect her to be the one to make the first moves when it comes to physical, spiritual, or financial matters. I have to be the first.

I share this article from my heart to those who are struggling in their marriage. Yesterday I told my wife I felt like two angels crossed my path. After a series of arguments yesterday I met a wonderful elderly couple who simply looked over at me and said: &quotYou really have a good life, don't you sir!"

I turned around and saw two pearly white smiles of a contented vacationing elderly couple. The man was wearing tan bermuda shorts, wire-rimmed glasses, and a big blue Hawaain shirt. The lady, his wife, simply smiled at me, a graceful lady with long flowing white hair. I replied, &quotYes sir, I do."

Believe me, you wouldn't be happier with someone else no matter how pretty, how passionate, or how handsome. Why is that? After time you will simply revert back to all your old problems and issues. Sure, certain areas may improve, others may improve grandiously, but sure enough, your temper, your upbringing, and everything else will show it's ugly face over time.

Unfortunately, I do speak from experience. I married twice in my life for the wrong reasons, one because I was in a hurry to get married, and the second, because of an solely physical relationship that lacked any substance at all. Finally, through prayer, and pre-marital counseling, I met the woman of my dreams.

Things are not perfect for me, and I'm sure many of you can relate to the feeling of: &quotWhy do I put up with this?" The reason you put up with it is because you made a vow and you did it with your heart, not just your ever changing mind.

There are many times in marriages where the other person doesn't give like they should. It's up to you to be the giver, and hopefully your mate will come along over time. Marriage counseling may help, but ultimately you're going to have to give your problems to God and be willing to change yourself.

A very good friend of my wife's, let's call her Kimmy, recently shared that she &quotput her husband's stuff on the doorstep" after nearly twenty years of marriage. She was frustrated and fed up. Long story short, he cried profusely, something he had never done in front of her, and she took him back.

She then went on to say that she had never let her husband love her because she had all these walls up. Then she said: &quotI realized I'm the one that needs to change, not him." I looked at my wife, had a deja vu, and thought-that's my wife too! Kimmy then shared that for the first time she is starting to share her love with her husband even after eleven years and three children! Who can truly understand the heart of a woman?

Kimmy and her husband went to a couple at their church who counsels marriages, they call themselves marriage mentors, and they poured out their problems for hours to this experienced couple. Kimmy said she learned more about marriage in those three hours than she had in her entire eleven years of marriage.

I've heard many couples at my church state that they are getting success by enliciting help from other successful Christian couples. My advice is to seek out a couple in your church or friends that you can trust, to help you move through the tough times. Stamp and seal them your &quotmentors" and stick to their advice like crazy glue!

Also, keep one thing in mind, Kimmy said it and I'm saying it now. You are the one who needs to change. Not your mate. You. Who out there would divorce a giving, loving, passionate, and caring wife or husband? No one I dare say. Become an extreme lover of your wife and perhaps you'll see as I have, that she'll never let you go...

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