Giving The Gift of Words

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Whether you are a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, the reality is that it’s a hop, skip and a jump away. At Burning Soul Press we are all about getting to the heart and soul of the matter, which is why it is so easy to wax romantic on the power of love stories.

Wait, wait, wait!

Before I lose you, this is not a piece of chic flick drivel. In fact, I’d like to offer you some mostly off the beaten path choices for wooing your sweetheart with the gift of words this year. Take these notions into consideration:

Bookstore Date Night.

This is probably one of my favorite date destinations ever {record stores run a close second}. Imagine sipping on a hot coffee as you walk hand in hand with your sweetheart into a brightly lit store with rows upon rows of books and nooks filled with paper goods and treats. Some soft jazz permeates the airwaves, putting you at ease. A novel catches your eye and your love spots a magazine on the tanks of World War II.

You look at each other and barely nod.

It’s time to pursue words, stories and topics that you may not have in common. You meander away from each other weaving in and out of aisles maybe with a mission or maybe just absorbing all the covers and titles and genres…

OH MY!

An hour goes by, and you are book drunk. The smell of his Armani cologne brings you back to your senses. You look up and see a silver head floating above the aisle beside you. You follow the scent, turn the corner and see a blazer full of broad shoulders. Your heart skips a beat as he makes eye contact and smiles. He carries a couple books, a magazine and a game for the grandkids. He points to a shelf to your right. There’s a book he thinks might interest you. Indeed, it does. And you’ve fallen in love with him all over again. Okay. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Go. Take her. Take him. Trust me. It’s a date like no other.

Write a poem or a letter.

Today I read and reread a little piece of paper with a typed poem that was written to me by my husband on this very day several years ago. Tears stream down my face. The poem is both heavy and liberating. It’s simultaneously pragmatic and ethereal. It’s romantic, and not in a syrupy sweet kind of way, but in a transparent I-can-see-your-soul way.

His words display to me how deeply he knows the journey I’ve been on and how wholly committed he is to walking with me the rest of the way. It was written in 2014… we’re still walking… hand in hand.

These kinds of words live on longer than the day they were written. They get tucked away and when you come across them again, you gasp. Those words have the power to take you back, to bring your forward, to make you smile, cry, laugh and love in a whole new way. They offer perspective and wisdom.

We’ve tucked several little literary mementos away over the years. I’m a sentimental lady for sure. He’s the manliest man I know, and a closet romantic to boot. These letters, poems, cards, little notes and messages aren’t something you can force somebody to give. These words have to be offered from the heart and soul. When they are, it is a treasure to cherish. My advice: don’t overthink it. Just write from your heart and let it be received as it will.

Time to read.

Now this may not be a very popular entry, but it is a gift of great value. The next time you see your sweetheart reading a book, how about you just resist the temptation to interrupt them? {Talking to myself here too}

Seriously. Don’t.

It may even go completely unnoticed, but that’s okay because subconsciously it will be noticed. You are doing a great service by not interfering with the development of your sweetheart’s mind, heart and soul.

Reading has the power to entertain, educate, inspire, reduce stress, improve cognitive skills, and a slew of other benefits. All things we want for our loved one. Amma right?

Look, I know what it’s like to live with the demands of professional careers. The hours can be long, the phone notifications can seem unrelenting, and the focus is sometimes not on you or vice versa.

Welcome to being a grown up in 2021. Balancing this is the content for a whole other article… ahem.

Oftentimes, just when our love settles in to read, we think… Oh! They’re free! Now I can pontificate on all the mindless prattle rattling around my brain today. But I implore you…

Don’t.

Resist. Shut your mouth, and don’t let them shut that book. Find something else to do. Open your own book.

Unless the house is on fire…

DO NOT DISTURB A READER.

And if you need any other convincing, is there anything sexier than a man reading in bed? Um, I submit that there is not.

But how about this image:: There’s a stack of books on your sweetheart’s nightstand that he just hasn’t made time to read. It’s the middle of winter. He’s worked a thirteen hour day, and after a quick dinner, shower, a few YouTube videos, and a few more work Slacks answered he finds himself in bed. He had the choice to pick up his phone and scroll, but he chose a book instead.

You glance over. His glasses are still on, but he’s fallen asleep. The soft glow of the nightstand lamp shines on his bare chest where an open book has collapsed just like him. He fidgets, and stirs long enough to remove his glasses and the book. Then he falls into a deep restful sleep. Maybe he’s finished the chapter. Maybe he’s just read a paragraph or a page. Maybe it’s none of your business. :) Whatever the case. That time to read is a gift he’s giving himself. You extend that gift by leaving him at it.

Gift card.

Say what you want, gift cards can be an amazing present. And they don’t have to be boring. Bookstore gift cards are always a winner, but how about a nice coffee table book on the topic of your sweetheart’s fancy, or a journal or stationary set?

My husband appreciates nice pens, soft leather journals and little brown field notebooks. I know his hobbies and interests, so searching for books for him is never a chore; in fact I always seem to have a few in the cart ready to be purchased for holidays or birthdays or just because. He knows the same about me. I’m a gardener with affinity for flowers, cooking and all things homemaking. I’m easy like Sunday morning to buy for. But don’t get me wrong, a book wish list goes a long way too, particularly when it comes to fiction.

How about giving an amazing one of a kind gift by purchasing a signed copy directly from an author’s website. You’re supporting an author’s career and giving a gift that has a personal touch.

Does your love like to write? Burning Soul Press offers gift certificates for our Soul Writer Journey, 1:1 coaching, and publishing packages. Check out all our offerings at burningsoulpress.com What at admirable thing to support and advance your love’s passion for writing! Now that is a direct path to their heart and soul.

Love language.

Valentine’s Day is for sappy love. Indeed. It’s true. And I love it. Bring on the pink and red! But I am mature enough to not be disillusioned by the importance of love one day out of the year.

I know year-round gifts of love are important to a happy, peaceful relationship. We show it through both little and big acts of romantic and pragmatic service, through time well spent, through the discernment of knowing when to give attention and when to step back, through physical gifts and thoughtfulness, through forgiveness and patience, through giving and receiving. And through the power of words.

I hope your romantic story is a happy one this Valentine’s Day, and I hope you share the gift of reading and writing with your loved one. I hope that you put down your cell phone and pick up a book. I hope you hear the words you long to hear and read the words your soul needs to witness.

Lenora Henson is the Marketing Manager at Burning Soul Press. To learn more about our publishing and writing programs please visit www.burningsoulpress.com

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What has been your favorite Valentine gifts over the years?

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