Being ever so practical (and admittedly not the best gift giver probably because of my practicality) I offer the following range of ideas for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday:
- An emergency fund. Nothing says "I care about your future" like having money set aside for an emergency.
- A firearm, and of course, proper training. This is especially useful if one spouse is often at home alone. Having only one spouse who owns and knows how to use the firearms in your home is a mistake. Both halves of the couple should be well trained in the care and handling of firearms since you never know which one of you will be home when the worst happens.
- Life insurance, a Will, and a Living Will. No one ever thinks of these things until someone is dead and by then it is too late to go back and fix the mess that is sure to be created if you die without any of the previously mentioned items.
- A commitment to exercise together EVERY day. With two thirds of the people in the US overweight and verging, if not knee deep into, a host of medical disorders that come along with obesity, taking care of your health and your significant other's health should be right up there at the top of your "to do" list. Exercise is much more enjoyable when you have someone to hold you accountable to show up and keep you entertained while participating in something as simple as taking an after dinner walk.
- An emergency kit (actually three) for your significant other's home, office, and car. Very practical and actually very useful in many circumstances.
- A date to share an activity that your spouse enjoys. Hate poker and wouldn't know a tell from a big blind? Make an effort to learn something about the game then take the spouse to a poker game and actually be supportive (even join in if you are so inclined). Think getting a manicure and pedicure is a girly thing? Men actually do get manicures and pedicures so take your wife out for a date to her favorite nail salon and jump into the chair next to her--the shock value alone will be well worth the expense to your ego...your nails will look nice too.
- Commit to a weekly date night. When we get really busy we tend to take those closest to us for granted. We assume they will always be there and that we will spend more time with them "later" when we aren't as busy. This doesn't usually end up well in the long run, mostly people end up getting divorced or one of the couple dies, either way the end result is that you don't get another chance to spend the time together that you should be spending together each week.
- Do a project together. Working hard together--whether it is a round the world backpacking trip or building a deck together--you become closer when you are working together for a common goal.