Americans will spend about $26 billion this week on Valentine’s Day, which is about $2 billion more than last year.
Yep, inflation is even hitting our heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, not to mention the cost of roses and steak dinners.
And didn’t we just finish our Christmas shopping?
At least Easter is still two months away.
America—and America’s retailers—do like their holidays.
Five free Valentine’s gifts . . . maybe?
It’s good to have a day dedicated to the joy of having people to love, but we don’t need to break the bank to do that. Cosmopolitan Magazine had a few ideas for free, or almost free, giving:
- Decorating a mug with oil-based Sharpies using personal ideas or dates. (Don’t forget to bake the mug at 250 degrees for two hours after drawing on it. Apparently, that makes the marker permanent, and spreading ink all over someone’s hands does not say “I love you.”)
- They suggested a cheap feast of a person’s favorite junk foods, like Mcdonald’s fries or Oreos. (I’m not too sure about this one . . . but it would be cheap!)
- Rewrite some song lyrics to personalize them for the one you love. (I suggest you choose wisely. You might want to avoid certain 70’s classics like “Send in the Clowns” or “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown.”)
- Write notes, roll them up, and place them in balloons all over the room. (This sounds like a great idea unless the notes are an extension of the honey-do list. Imagine popping your valentine’s balloon only to read, “Please pick up my prescription while you are searching through the last seven valentine’s cards at CVS! Love ya’!”.)
- Fill a jar with future date-night ideas. (Caution: This one may be cheap for Valentine’s Day but then could really cost you for the next few months!)
Six expensive gifts that are sure to impress . . . maybe?
SuccessStory.com went another direction with their article. They listed the most expensive Valentine’s Day suggestions they could find:
- Italian sunglasses from someone I never heard of that cost $412,000. (A person probably shouldn’t keep these in the cup holder of their car.)
- An expensive pen that costs $720,000. It’s covered with diamonds and gemstones. (It will, however, run out of ink just like the free pens you get at the bank.)
- A small heart-shaped purse that costs $3.7 million. It is covered in gold and diamonds. It does not, however, hold the extra-large cell phones that most of us carry.
- A gold iPad will set you back about $6 million. (You can play Words with Friends in style, but it will still be tough to play the Q if you don’t have a U as well. Hint: Go with the word Qi if you can use a triple score for the Q.)
- If your loved one isn’t tracking their steps on their watch, try the 201-carat watch that costs $24 million dollars. They won’t be congratulated when they reach their walking goal, but they will probably feel pretty good about themselves when someone asks them for the time.
- Finally, if it is time to trade in the SUV, you can purchase the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO for only $70 million. But, let’s face it . . . if you can afford that car, you probably don’t have the ability to get in and out of it anymore.
How does God say “I love you”?
If Jim drove up in that Ferrari, I would know God had performed a miracle.
If I ever signed a check with that diamond pen, the person I was writing the check to would need to report a fraud alert.
I often try to win the HGTV Dream Homes, and I’ve given the Lord opportunities to “provide” me with a million dollars, but let’s just say God’s response has always been, “Remember, the last shall be first and the first last.”
Actually, I am a very blessed person in many ways. But I’m old enough to realize that no matter how much we have, we usually define enough as just one or two things more. One of the best things about heaven is that we will live completely content with all we have because we will know for certain it is all we need.
Do you remember the first time you heard someone quote the familiar saying, “I asked Jesus how much do you love me?”
“This much,” he answered. Then he stretched out his arms and died.
I repeat that quote again because it is memorable and pretty well says it all.
How did God say I love you?
- He gave his one and only Son so that we could be saved (John 3:16).
- Even though we were sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
- God has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
- The Lord is on our side (Psalm 118:6).
- The Lord is abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8).
- God is love (1 John 4:8).
Whom will you give God’s love to this week?
God’s love is free to us but cost him his beloved Son.
Interestingly, we receive God’s love freely, but it will likely cost us something to give it away.
What are you willing to pay in order to give the very best valentine?
When I was in elementary school, we covered shoe boxes with paper and then the teacher cut a hole in the lid so our classmates could drop valentines in for us. It was so fun to look through the cards and read them all several times. Those little heart-shaped cards were not expensive, but they were valuable.
I remember the year I got a valentine that wouldn’t fit in my box. It was a real, grown-up valentine from a boy in my class. I felt special and proud to receive it. I still remember the boy’s name.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I hope you get a special card this week from someone who loves you. But I also hope you know that every day you have a message of love sent your way by the God who is love. His love is perfect, profound, and permanent. His love saves, is sufficient, and strengthens.
One day we will dwell with the daily blessings that are the gift of being greatly and powerfully loved. We are treasured by the One who owns all there is. That thought kind of makes that Ferrari pale in comparison!
I wish all of you, my readers, a very blessed Valentine’s Day filled with the knowledge that you have been chosen by God and you are his beloved.
(And if you get that heart-shaped purse, just buy a little burner phone at the drugstore to go inside! If you get that “feast” of all your favorite junk food, just enjoy the fries and buy yourself some chocolates the day after Valentine’s Day. They are half-priced then anyway!)
Whatever your gift is for Valentine’s Day, you can know you are greatly loved by our great and perfect God.
Happy Valentine’s Day!