Cheap, Creative Gift Giving Ideas for Valentine's Day

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Personal historian and Living Celebrations CEO, Sheryl Entwistle, offers unique "story gift" ideas for celebrating this most romantic day of the year.

Typical handmade gifts are great, but are often more about the skill of the person who made them than, say, the personality of the gift recipient

Faced with shrinking budgets, a shaky economy, and job loss fears, Americans may not shell out much for Valentine's Day -- or gift giving in general -- this year. But even in these leaner times, personal historian and Living Celebrations CEO, Sheryl Entwistle, believes people can spend little or nothing on Valentine's Day gifts without skimping any on sentiment.

"Times like these call for new and creative ways of gift giving," says Entwistle. "After all, gift giving is not about dollar value, but emotional value; to express just how much someone means to you."

The trick, Entwistle says, is to get personal. Her suggestion? Give the gift of stories.

"We are all living stories," explains Entwistle. "And when someone shows you that your own story is important to them -- well, that's about the best feeling in the world." The way she sees it, giving the gift of stories is also a great way to preserve a bit of family history at the same time. Here are a few ways she says to do it:

Creative Story Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day

1. Write a "what I admire most about you" essay to your loved one. "It doesn't have to be just a list of accomplishments," says Entwistle, "but might also be things like, 'I think it's sexy that you know how to change a tire' or 'I love your infectious laugh.'"

2. In a handwritten letter, recount a favorite memory you have of your sweetie in as much detail as you can. Maybe the story of how you met, or a special day the two of you shared. Include the date, description of the place, why you were there, who was present, what happened, and what was said.

3. Have a knack for drawing or painting? Create an artful representation of a place that has special meaning to you and your loved one. Perhaps a favorite vacation spot, your first home, or your alma mater. "Don't forget to sign and date it!" Entwistle adds.

If you're willing to spend a little cash on the project, Entwistle suggests hiring a calligrapher to transcribe the story gift onto handmade paper and then framing it.

"Typical handmade gifts are great, but are often more about the skill of the person who made them than, say, the personality of the gift recipient," says Entwistle. "The idea here is not just to give a handmade gift, but to give something with personal meaning and sentiment attached to it. A piece of personal history."

When it comes to helping people celebrate their lives and make their mark in history, Sheryl Entwistle is something of an expert. Her company, Living Celebrations, turns personal histories into custom-made biographical works of art. These artfully-made personal histories are unique and unusual gift ideas for anyone who is celebrating a milestone birthday, anniversary, retirement, or other special occasion that deserves extraordinary recognition. Visit the company's website, livingcelebrations.com, to view a gallery of their work and meet the company's team of award-winning artists.

For more information about Living Celebrations, please visit livingcelebrations.com.

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Sheryl Entwistle

Laurel Hostetler
Living Celebrations
(480) 570-0215
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