Saying “I love you” without words (the Secret of the Snickers)

My dad was a lover not a fighter.

He was. He was a lover. A big softie. 😀

And he was a huge gift giver.

Pick a year (any year), look at one photo from Christmas in our house and you would understand. You would see a brightly decorated tree with a flood of gifts underneath it and spilling out on all sides. Every year we had to remove bottom rows of branches from our artificial tree because there would not be room for all the gifts if we put all the branches on the tree. Stockings on Christmas morning were often laid on the floor in front of the fireplace because they were overflowing with “stuffers.” It was not unusual to find a stocking overflow bag with someone’s name on it. Serious gift overload.

Yes, Dad loved to give. Dad would write poems, give flowers, wrap up gifts. 

But the Snickers bars were the most interesting thing of all.

candy bar

On any random day Dad would come home with a Snickers bar for Mom. No pomp and circumstance, just ‘Here’s a Snickers I bought you.’ Sometimes they were just left on the dining room table to be found. Mom was always pleased to get them. I remember thinking once or twice, ‘Wow, Mom really loves Snickers, doesn’t she?’ Months might go by, but eventually, there would be another Snickers.

As my sister and I got older there started to appear three Snickers bars instead of one: one bar for each of his girls. What teenager will turn up her nose at chocolate? We thought it was pretty cool but, y’know, whatever.

It wasn’t until a few years after Dad passed away that Mom let me in on the secret. A Snickers bar was their secret sign, a private way of saying ‘I love you’ that wouldn’t mean a thing to anyone else except the two of them. Every time he brought home a Snickers, he was telling Mom, in their special way, how much he loved her.

It reminds me how important it is to tell our loved ones that they are just that – loved. Not just on special days like Valentines Day, but on the random days. On a day when the roast burned because the baby was crying. On a day when a dad soothed his sick toddler at 3am. On a day when nothing special happened and nothing terrible occurred. On a day like today and yesterday.

Maybe you need a secret sign between you and the one your heart loves, like a Snickers. Maybe it’s a peanut butter cup or a special IPA. Maybe it’s a back rub or knee squeeze. Obviously, make it something your special someone likes or you might end up in the doghouse.

Don’t forget to tell them. A secret sign does no good, if the person doesn’t realize what you’re trying to say.

Whether it’s with a Snickers or a kiss (the chocolate kind, right?), look for creative ways to say, “I love you.”

What secret ways can you think of to say, “I love you?”


Today, I’m linking up with:

Leave a comment


  1. I really love this. What is an IPA?

  2. Ethel M Miller

     /  June 4, 2014

    Janice, you really tugged at my heart with this reminder — yes, Dad was a lover and I knew I was loved — no question. The way it came about was at a couples weekend mini conference at church. The presenter told this story and urged us to think what would be the item that would give the secret message. I have no idea how the rest received it, Dad, loving sweets too, decided to do it and it was precious, even though we had covenanted to tell each other every day “I love you” in one way or another. So Snickers entered our home. One of those family traditions — like the summer sausage hidden in a gift at Christmas. What a lovely memory of a really loving husband. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. This is great! When my husband and I were dating, A Snickers bars and a Mt. Dew was our snack of choice. If we were out and about we’d stop at a store along the way and pick up our usual. Even after we were married, we’d take drives out and about and this would be our driving snack. One year at Valentines, my husband was out with the quartet he played for and it was late at night on their way home; the only place open was a convenience store. He still needed something to give me for valentines so he went shopping. When he came home late that night, he was carrying a brown paper bag. I opened it and there was a snickers and a Mt. Dew. To this day that is my favorite Valentine’s day gift yet. Much more romantic than the heating pad he got me for our first married Christmas, but, that’s a whole other story!. It is always the little things that matter – those special things that only the two of you share. Thanks for sharing your Mom and Dad’s special secret and for reminding me of my story.


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  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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