"OPEN WHEN" LETTERS
"Open When" letters are the most romantic gift you can offer your sweetheart on Valentine's Day or a similar occasion. It's thoughtful and heartwarming especially if you're in a long-distance relationship. I gave this gift to my husband (boyfriend at that time) on his birthday a few years ago when I was studying in London. We didn't see much of each other during this time so my boyfriend was super excited to open the letters and find out about his gifts. It certainly made the long-distance relationship more tolerable.
It took me some time (around 3 weeks) to prepare all the small presents, find hidden spots to hide them in his apartment, write the letters with clues to all the presents, and figure out what to include in each envelope. I managed to hide all the presents one day when I was by myself in his apartment - some of the presents were hidden, others were just in gift wrap within his reach just to remind him that he had letters to open to find out about more gifts.
The key to making this gift thoughtful and special is to know what your partner wants and likes.
WHAT TO PUT INSIDE "OPEN WHEN" LETTERS
I prepared 25 envelopes in total. Let's see what was inside.
A letter with detailed instructions on when to open letters and how to find out about all the hidden gifts. I included a cute letter opener to add charm to the present 🙂 I couldn’t find the one I actually used but here is the cutest Game of Thrones Ice Letter Opener.
It's Your Birthday.
A birthday card with directions on how to find his present
You feel creative.
I know that my love is a very good artist when he wants to be and has time for it. The present following this envelope was a set of pencils, a drawing sketch album, and a book on how to draw horses. I included a letter a quote from Ray Bradbury to encourage his creativity: "Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things". Idea: you can add a blanket to this gift and make him go to his favorite part, enjoy the weather, and draw his surroundings. Of course, you can ask him to send you an image of his creation
You want to feel closer to me.
This was probably one of MY favorite presents. I ordered a stamp with his initials, wax to seal an envelope, and asked him to write me a letter. Surprisingly he was very excited about this idea and it became a tradition during our time apart to send handwritten letters to each other.
You had a bad day.
A letter, stating that he should go to a shower, turn on music and sing his favorite song out loud (it's one of my favorite ways to deal with a bad day). To make this experience more pleasurable I got him a shower speaker.
It's been 6 month
You can't fall asleep.
I put together a kit with camomile tea, deep sleep spray, a sleeping mask, and wrote him "10 reasons why you can't sleep and how to fix them". I found it somewhere online. You can add other things that help to sleep.
We are going to Jamaica.
We have a tradition to take a cheese selfie of us kissing in different parts of the world. Here I wrote a cute letter of how excited I am about this trip and that he should get ready to make another kissing picture. I also included pictures of us kissing from previous trips.
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You need to laugh
This letter had our funny stories and silly pictures of us. You can describe your personal memories and how things went down, or what made you laugh and cry at the same time.
You want to give yourself a gift
This was a tricky one - the gift was a task to write a letter to himself to open in 5 years. I'm sure he will thank me in a couple of years when he reads it 🙂
You are feeling down
A love letter telling him to call me to feel better and instructions on where to find his favorite chocolate in the apartment. Because what can be better than chocolate? Idea: you can also get a yellow mug and write something cute with a sharpie on it.
You are going on a business trip
A letter to read on the plane and a travel kit for him.
You feel like learning Russian
My beloved has expressed for quite some time his desire to learn Russian. He also wanted to prepare for our upcoming trip to Moscow and Elbrus, so I prepared for him a tutorial of basic words and also got him a book "Russian for Beginners". To his credit, I'm quite impressed with his pronunciation and amount of words that he knows
You think about our future
Along with a letter I gave him my bucket list and offered to create a list of things we want to accomplish together. It was a fun memorable time to come up with this list and now it is even more fun to cross this thing off and add new ones
You are mad at me
Funny enough, my sweetheart never opened this letter. Needless to say, there was an apology letter (it was very hard to apologize in advance haha) and some sweet pictures of us, reminding him how awesome I am and that he shouldn't be mad at me 😉
You want to know more about me
A heartfelt letter offering him to ask me any question that I promise to answer truthfully, a list of things about me that we had never discussed before, and where to find in his apartment one of my favorite books that he can read so we could discuss it (which is "Lady L" by Romain Gary)
You are stressed
it included a letter stating he shouldn't be stressed because life is too short, directions where I hid his favorite bottle of wine, and a stress relief candle
You need a boost of confidence
letter about how amazing he is and that for a man to feel confident he needs to have shiny shoes, so I got him a shoe shine kit.
You miss me
"Missing someone isn't about how long you've seen them or the amount of time since you've talked. It's about that very moment you find yourself doing something and wishing they were right there by your side".
Before our trip to Moscow
a book about Moscow with beautiful views and places to go and an envelope with rubles for him to spend during our trip.
You need to know how much I love you
It included a love letter and this awesome personalized collar stays that my sweetheart still wears every day to work. You can find it here and can add any text you want. You can always make these letters even when you're not in a long-distance relationship. It is a very special gift for your loved one. If you need more inspiration about topics for "Open when" letters you can find it here.
What are your ideas to surprise your sweethearts? Share in comments, I'd love to know what you are planning to do!
If it seems like too much work for you, you can always make breakfast in bed and bring it on the trays that you have made yourself *wink*. It's all about thought and a little effort 😉
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I hope you enjoyed reading about my cute little present idea. If you like it, follow me on Instagram @ifonlyapril. I try to post in stories my progress with all the projects.
Here is the link to my YouTube Channel where I post videos about simple DIY decor, mom hacks, thoughtful presents ideas, and activities for kids.
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