Tag Archives: Love

A unique gift.

So, this Sunday is Mother’s Day which, for me, always brings with it the quandary about what to give my dear old Mum as a token of my appreciation for her and all she has done for me (a great deal if I’m honest).  When I needed her she was always there and continues to be there for me no matter what (Mother’s job you may say) but considering my poor attitude and obnoxiousness at times (especially during my teenage years), I really have pushed the limits of a mother’s love in my time!

I know that people often say that it is the thought that counts and that Mums especially will be pleased with whatever you give them because it’s from you, but still, considering all she has done, I feel the need to get her something that she really will be pleased to receive.  But this is not the easiest of tasks!

I’ve made my mistakes over my lifetime when it comes to choosing that all important Mother’s day pressie. In this particular matter is seems I take after my father, who also, more often than not, purchases presents for my mother that antagonise rather than delight!

After numerous mistakes and leaving my parent’s home with a feeling of failure, despite my Mother’s efforts to reassure me that she “really does appreciate the thought” (my mum could never have made it as an actress) a solution had to be found. And I think I have finally found one, which, over the last few years at least, seems to ensure a happy Mother’s day for all.

My secret weapon in the battle of choosing an appropriate present for the woman I owe my life to is (drum roll please)…..Gift Vouchers!   Yeah, I know sounds boring but I have found that the benefits of buying a gift voucher vastly outweigh the fact you are not giving a gift that you can wrap.  The joy of gift vouchers is that the recipient gets some element of choice, meaning that it is harder to go wrong when making sure the present is something they really like.

However, as with everything in life, there are rules to make gift voucher giving work for you!  Some thought is still involved. It would be fair enough to get your Mother a voucher from Halfords if she’s really into her car, but my Mum’s main concern when it comes to her car is that it gets her from A to B (with plenty of space for shopping bags).  Therefore, a Halfords voucher isn’t going to work for her.  My Mother works hard (keeping an eye on me, my siblings, and my Dad, as well as earning a living) so I find that getting a gift voucher which allows her to treat herself and take time out from the daily grind goes down well.  Last year I got her a gift voucher for a spa day, the year before that I got her a voucher for a posh meal so she could get some ‘quality time’ with my Dad and not have to cook.

With the increase in things you can get gift vouchers for, they really have become a very simple way of giving something that the recipient can tailor to their own tastes, therefore ensuring they like what you give and you can truly show your appreciation of them.  A potential idea for a gift voucher, which may suit some Mothers this year, is one that gives her money off a holiday and offers her a chance to escape and relax for a while.

At Unique Cottages we offer Gift Vouchers for a holiday retreat to Scotland available in multiples of £25 which are valid for 2 years, so your mum not only has a choice of fabulous holiday cottages to choose from but also plenty of time in which to book her well deserved break.

Valentine’s Rules.

It’s that time of year again! The one day of the year when even the most unromantic among us are forced by social pressure to consider how we show the one we are closest to just how much we appreciate them.

Whether you’re a believer in Valentine’s day or not, failure to show your partner a gesture of how much you cherish them can result in all manner of unpleasant consequences, unless of course you enjoy sleeping on the sofa!

But romance, which of course, forms the basis of Valentine’s Day, is such a difficult entity to define. For different people it means different things, and trying to get it right for that one special person is never as easy as it sounds (I speak from experience). Although romance in its entirety is a difficult thing to pin down and describe, there are a few basic rules that I now stick by which make things a wee bit easier ensuring that even me, without a romantic bone in all my body, can show the one they love that they really are special! I hope that other people who (like me) are generally deemed as failures in the romance stakes can draw some benefit from these fairly simple rules that have served me well (so far…)

  1. Your time is one of the most valuable things you can give. Whatever your budget, your time is possibly the most valuable thing you have to give in a relationship. Taking time out of your usual routine to be with your beloved, alone as a couple if possible, will no doubt make them feel more greatly sought after. In today’s society time is such a valued asset that often the day-to-day pressures of modern life result in work, family and other commitments over taking your ability to have time together as a couple. Leaving the daily grind behind and going somewhere away from it all is a great way of ensuring you can focus your attention on one another.
  2. Romance has to be personal. Considering your beloved’s likes and tailoring your Valentine’s gesture towards this is essential if you want to show that you not only care, but that you care enough to find out what they like and include this in your token of love. In order to show your partner that it is them, as an individual, that you treasure you can’t go wrong if you include something you know they like! If you do choose to take time out from your usual routine to spend with your loved one then using it to do something they enjoy will only add to how valued they will feel.
  3. Romance is not practical. A new steam iron or a subscription to Weight Watchers maybe what you think your partner really needs, however this is not the time for sensible, practical gifts and gestures. Valentine’s Day is all about doing things out of the ordinary, so forget (as much as possible) the practicalities of your gesture, and go with the spur of the moment. Fair enough, a week away in the Bahamas may not fit in with your boss’s demands and your new year’s commitment to attend the gym daily, but taking a short break, not too far from home, somewhere secluded and private, to indulge the one you love might just be possible even with your tight schedule and everyone likes nice surprises! I remember one of my most successful Valentine’s day offerings was to take my long suffering partner on a short break in a wee cottage on the Isle of Cumbrae, we turned off our mobiles, left the world behind and enjoyed the beautiful sunset over the Firth of Clyde, together. Even a few years on we still both remember it as a time that was just about us and what we have together.

There is no doubt that being able to relax, in beautiful surroundings, with the person you think most of in the world is a wonderful way to spend Valentine’s Day, and when the flowers have wilted and the chocolates have been eaten, the memories of quality time spent together remains. Whatever you get up to this Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a great time and avoid relegation to the sofa, at least for tonight!

A Glorious (Romantic?!) Clyde Sunset.