By Ben Olson
With the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching critical mass, many of us are left scrambling to find the perfect gift for our loved ones. Last week, I offered three suggestions for handmade gifts. This week, it’s all about the love, baby.
Here are some ideas for gifts that can help spice up your love lives this winter.
Nothing says “I love you” like giving your sweetie a massage. There are many talented massage therapists in town to choose from if you’d like to give your boo a professional session, but if you like to give massages at home, why struggle with the lumpy bed or couch when you can have a professional massage table ready to use anytime?
Professional massage tables have adjustable heights, so you can give an hour-long massage without throwing out your own back, and the ergonomics of the headrest make a world of difference when the person receiving the massage doesn’t have to bend their neck to avoid smothering themselves in a pillow.
A home massage table folds up and can be stored easily out of the way when not in use — plus, it can be set up and broken down by anyone.
The best thing to look for when purchasing a table is sturdiness. There are some cheaper options out there, but make sure they will support both of your weights. We purchased the Earthlite Harmony DX portable table last year and it turned out to be a worthy investment. It takes just a minute to set up and turns a home massage from a ho-hum affair to a deeply satisfying experience.
Complete the gift by dedicating a sheet to cover the table’s surface, which can be washed between uses. Also, find a good massage oil that your significant other enjoys and you’ll be VIP this holiday season.
Acid-etched wine glasses
Personalize a gift of wine glasses to your special someone by using acid etching, a technique that creates a “frosted” look on the glass.
First, create a stencil of the design you’d like to etch onto the glass. Use adhesive-backed vinyl and carefully cut the positive part of the image (the part that will end up being frosted after the acid etching), leaving the rest of the stencil intact.
Use glass cleaner on the wine glass to remove oils or fingerprints, then apply the adhesive stencil with the positive parts cut out onto the glass, smoothing out any wrinkles from the center moving outward. Apply masking tape around the edges of the stencil to prevent any spills on the glass.
Next, apply acid etching cream, making sure to cover your skin with gloves. The chemicals will burn your skin, so don’t be careless. Apply the cream to the exposed areas of the glass using a popsicle stick to push it around. A little bit goes a long way. Allow the glass to settle for 10 minutes, then dunk the glass into water, using your gloved hands to remove as much white residue as possible. The engraving will look faint at this stage, which is normal.
Remove the masking tape and stencil and rinse again to remove any residue. Once your glass dries, the engraving will show up much clearer.
Box of date night ideas
Here’s a fun one that you can make at home with materials at hand. Start with a small box and cover it with hand-painted paper to give it a personalized touch. Then cut out small circles or squares from any leftover materials you might have around the home, such as thin wood slats or card stock.
Now the creative part: fill out each circle or square with a fun date night suggestion and, next time you have a date night with your partner, reach in the box and draw a suggestion at random.
The suggestions can be fun, sexy or adventurous — whatever fits your relationship the best. Some suggestions include: “revisit a special place where you shared a moment together,” “bar crawl around town” or “spend a quiet night at home without any distractions.”
Have fun with this one and hopefully it’ll help spice up your love life.
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