The best things in life are free


(But hopefully I can find some pretty good stuff for $24.50.)

Historically speaking, I’ve never put a whole lot of value on Valentine’s Day. So I don’t think I’m going to shock anyone when I announce here, for all of cyberspace to see, that I’m only going to spend $0.50 on a Valentine’s gift for Corinne this year.

What might be surprising, however, is the fact that this is not just me being cheap.

We’re trying something new this year, just as a creative challenge. Corinne and I are setting escalating spending limits for each gift-giving holiday. And it all starts next month with a $0.50 Valentine’s Day.

That will be followed by $1 gifts for Mother’s/Father’s Days. Birthdays (in July and August) will feature $5 gifts. Our anniversary (in September) will be celebrated with $8 gifts. And we’ll wrap up the year next Christmas with $10 gifts.

For those of you scoring at home, that’s $24.50’s worth of gifts for the year.

On a superficial level, I love this plan. I mean, getting through the year for less than $25, guilt-free? That’s sweet.

On a more profound level though, this is going to be a challenge. (And that’s kind of the idea, right?) I’m working hard to come up with something fun and meaningful (and maybe even romantic) for fifty cents.

Hmm. That’s a tough one.

We’ve made it a little more interesting by setting the standard that it’s okay to repurpose existing materials. (So if I want to take the cardboard box that’s sitting here in the family room and make it into a space ship to planet Lovetron for Corinne, that’s fair. But if I went down to the U-Haul Store and spent $0.75 on a box to do the same thing, that would cross the line.)

So wish me luck. I’m off to try expressing my love for four bits or less. Any ideas?