What I Got For Valentine’s This Year

Dear children,

This year, your Papa outdid himself. He got me a Valentine’s present! Woo-hoo! Although, as you will soon begin to notice, we aren’t very big gift people, but he did give me something this year.

What’s that you say? Jewellery? No, no. I don’t think the thought even crossed his mind.

Flowers? Ah, no. He knows better than to give me a bouquet of fresh flowers (Besides, I think he’s more afraid that the flowers will wilt on the same day because I have been known to kill plants faster than their usual shelf-life.)

Can’t guess what it is? Let me tell you.

It’s an extra decoder for our cable TV to be put in our bedroom.

Hey! Don’t roll your eyes at me! Because that is such a great gift!

I know what you must be thinking. Mama is so easy to please. Mama is so gullible, because even something as meaningless as a decoder can already make her squeal in delight.

Well, I’ll have you know, this is very special to me. And you want to know why? Because it tells me that he understands me. He knows that after I work, I need to unwind for a few minutes before falling asleep and that I do it best by watching something –  my favorite TV series or movies I’ve seen a thousand times before, it doesn’t really matter. And since I’ve set up my work corner in our bedroom, he thought that I’d love to zap through the channels straight on the bed instead of walking all the way down to the living room and falling asleep on the couch.

He added $4 per month to our subscription for that extra decoder.

You see, gifts don’t have to be extravagant and grand because even the simplest thing can be meaningful already. Your father and I have always preferred to give experience as gifts rather than things. However, although this year’s present was great, I think that he still couldn’t top the Valentine’s present he gave me three years ago, when M3 was just a month old. Want to know what that is? He gave me…

3 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Hey, hey! No eye rolling!

M3 was just a month old. He didn’t want to be put down. He wanted me to carry him. All. The. Time. He was stuck to me like a third boob. But that day, on Valentine’s day, your father came home and had dinner with me. While we ate, he told me to get ready for bed because he will tend to M3 that night.

I got three hours. And while that did absolutely nothing to the dark rings under my eyes, it did a lot for my heart. I knew then that he loved me.

It’s the same with the extra decoder this year. I know that he loves me.

Gifting is not about doing major damages on our credit card to provide for each other’s extravagant gifts, simply to let each other know how much we love our spouses. It’s not about spending and putting a huge dent in the savings account due to massive shopping for Valentine’s gifts (like what some people in South Korea and China are doing right at this very moment. They are HUGE on Valentine’s!)

No, no.

Gifts are about letting someone know that she is in your thoughts. It’s about telling her that you love her. It’s not about luxurious, grandious, extravagant gestures, because even the simplest things can mean so much and can touch the heart like nothing else.

A second kiss. A sincere compliment. An open and genuine appreciation.

Three hours of uninterrupted sleep.

An extra decoder for an extra $4 a month.

Even the simplest things can mean so much. Especially when it’s really saying, “I love you.”



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