Christmas Cupid Takes Aim

You’ve made your list and checked it twice. Aunt Joan is getting slippers, and your brother is getting golf gloves. But the spot next to your sweetheart’s name remains blank. The pressure to find the perfect gift can be overwhelming, but if you tap into your sense of romance and ingenuity, you might find that you have just the thing to elicit a delighted kiss from your sweetie on Christmas morning. Here are some ideas that will help get your creative juices flowing.

Customize Your Affection – Anita Thompson <> , who creates kiln-fired glass jewelry, suggests custom baubles for a tender gift idea.

“If you don’t know her favorite color,” directs Thompson, “choose jewelry that complements the color of her eyes.”

Paintings, pottery or other artisan designs can also be created with your partner’s taste in mind.

Fulfill a Dream – How many times has he said that “someday” he’s going to own a hot Corvette convertible? Make him a king for a weekend and arrange to rent his dream car. Find a miniature model or ornament of it to wrap and tuck under the tree. When he opens it, explain that you plan to zoom away for a weekend of his choice in the wheels he’s always wanted. Avis and Hertz both offer Corvettes in limited cities, but some local, non-chain agencies provide this car, too.  If a fancy sports car isn’t possible in your town, a limo stocked with a bottle of bubbly for a night on the town with you may be just the thing to make him smile.

Enhance Knowledge – Expand your partner’s mind by giving the gift of education. Contact a Spanish tutor and purchase five lessons. Wrap the gift certificate with a beginning Spanish book and a coupon to a local Mexican restaurant. Or plan to learn together. Contact your local dance studio for a beginner’s package. In no time, your one moment of romance will blossom into many opportunities to hold each other close and relive the intimacy of the holidays.

Geocasche Your Love – Give your sweetheart a treasure hunt in the form of a pocket GPS. Visit different points around town and program them into the unit. Purchase small gift cards at each place and tuck them into numbered envelopes that correspond with the numbered points in the GPS. Wrap them all together to slip under the tree.  When your holiday honey successfully tracks down a point, he or she can open an envelope and be treated to another surprise.

Craft Some Coupons – Pick up a package of colorful index cards at your local office supply store and get creative. Draw a picture of the fridge for a free kitchen cleaning, a picnic basket for a free “I’ll cook,” or a pair of feet to suggest a foot rub. Cut tabs across the bottom for six free “I’m sorrys” to really win your love over. Whatever your Christmas Cupid likes, make it into a coupon.

Take Flight – Sweep your love off her feet in an airplane or a hot air balloon.

“Flight has many appeals: freedom, nostalgia, romance, scenery, science,” explains John H. Campbell, Chief Glider Pilot at Mile High Gliding in Boulder, Colo., <>. “Our glider flying provides silence, more viewing area than that available in a typical small airplane and is available to the public with no prior experience, training or physical prowess.”

Airports around the country are home to small companies that will happily participate in your Kris Kringle creativity by offering a flight of fancy for about $200. Look in your local phone book under “aircraft charter, rental or leasing” to find an airplane ride, or search under “balloons – hot air” to silently lift off under a brightly colored orb.

Be Insightful – Show your Mr. or Mrs. Claus that you’ve been listening to those little desires all year. Notice that he’s wanted a new tool belt and give him one filled with the little tools he can’t ever find at his fingertips. Remember that she wished for a deviled-egg plate, water ski gloves or a massage at the local spa.  Small things that are only mentioned one time in passing can seem very significant when wrapped and tucked under the tree. They show that you listened, cared and tried to find a sweet way to please.

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10-12 years.” — Robert Parker 91-93