To some people, Valentine’s Day is the day you’re supposed to buy flowers or candy for your loved one. But to others, Valentine’s Day is about expressing your innermost feelings about that special someone. Regardless of what you think about Valentine’s Day, this year you should tailor your valentine’s gifts to tell that special someone exactly how you feel. With a pinch of romance, a bit of planning, and a little creativity, you’ll be winning your lover’s heart in no time.
Making It Unique
Buy something they can use. The traditional “unique” valentine’s gift that bucks the trend of chocolate and flowers is something tailored to their hobbies. There’s a tremendous amount of flexibility in this genre of gifts as well: anything from a bar set for the would-be mixologist to hiking boots for the amateur outdoorsman. Disabuse yourself that the valentine’s gift is a certain sort of gift: in recent decades, it’s become as versatile as the Christmas or birthday present.
- For the well-kempt man in your life, consider an upscale grooming set. Try prodding for brand preferences from your valentine. Make sure it’s something he’s interested in, or else grooming materials might send the wrong message.
- If your valentine in a serious audiophile, try going in for some quality headphones. Something so regularly used is a gift that will be cherished often.
- For your lady valentine, find out what purse or wallet she’s pined after and make that your gift. Know this may not come cheap, however.
- Alcohol is a solid choice for the valentine who’s also a connoisseur. Find out their particular poison and order them a tasting set. This has an added benefit of something you could do together.
- Playful coupons are always a unique mainstay. Traditionally, these will be bawdy and intimate coupons offering time set aside for x, y, and z. It can be anything from breakfast in bed to whatever bedroom activity your valentine favors the most.
- Try a watch. For either sex a watch is a tasteful gift which is always in style. Hopefully you’ll have some sense of your valentine’s style; there’s a lot of good quality, reasonably-priced choices on the market.
- Go for a scarf. Most likely a gift for a woman, though men have begun to wear scarves more and more in recent years. If you live somewhere plagued by cold weather, go for a high-quality scarf to impress your valentine. Make sure it’s somewhat flashy or catches the eye, as a simple scarf tends to fall flat as a gift.
- Consider shoes or slippers. Slippers especially make for a cute thought if you know your valentine suffers from cold floors. On the more expensive side, shoes are a long-lasting and welcome addition to any valentine’s wardrobe.
- If you’ve no clue, buy a gift certificate. Follow it up with an offer to go shopping with them to make it an activity you do together, instead of gifting them the errand of visiting a store.
- Gifts which encourage you and your valentine to spend time together are ideal. Naturally this will depend on the message you’re trying to convey, but nothing accentuates the romance of a valentine’s gift like the ability to share it with one another.
- If you and your valentine are big foodies, one classic choice is to seek out cooking classes that you can take together.
- Think about a weekend away if you can spare the time and the money. Make a gift of the weekend and devote whatever you do to your valentine’s desires and interests.
- Concert tickets are another simple (though potentially costly) option for something to do together. Try and find out if there’s a show coming soon that they’re hoping to see.
Personalizing Your Gift
Know what your valentine likes. Whether it’s interests broad or specific, try to begin to get a sense of your valentine’s interests, hobbies, hopes and desires. This is simple enough if they’re already a significant other of yours–a wife, or a long-term boyfriend. If it’s someone a little less known to you, there’s a little more difficulty in this step.
- Remember to be subtle. It’s pretty obvious when you’re being prodded for gift ideas under the guise of playful conversation. If your valentine is established in your life, this might actually be a coy way of prefacing your gift. But if it’s a good looking co-worker or a fellow student, subtlety is key.
- Don’t be afraid to ask around. Try to inquire with friends or family of your valentine–hopefully people you trust to keep your gift-giving a secret.
- Ease it into conversation. Avoid just asking your crush “what are your favorite things?” Attempt to have it arise organically in conversation, coming at the question sideways:
- Try asking what they did this weekend, to get a sense of their preferred activities.
- Have curious follow-up questions: “That mountain bike trail sounds really great; do you do a lot of outdoors stuff?
- A good rule of thumb is to not to try and buy them what they would buy themselves, but buy them what they never even thought they wanted.
- If you’re looking for the active gift, browse local educational and hobby catalogs for classes and events that your valentine might find enjoyable. In this case, however, be sure it’s something you know they’ll enjoy. An undesirable gift is pretty bad, but when it takes up a whole day it might be pretty frustrating.
- If you decide to take the arts-and-crafts route and avoid the shopping, be sure to really make it good. Serious thought and work ought to go into these sorts of gifts to make sure they don’t appear last minute or thrown-together.
Saying What You Mean
- Avoid under- or over-giving. Match the gift to the current level of commitment you’ve made with your valentine. Don’t rent a cabin for the weekend as a gift to the cute girl at work. Don’t just buy a season of their favorite television show if you’re hoping to say “thanks for all the decades together.”
- This is really a more important step for those approaching valentines who are more unknown–the crushes and the loves-from-afar. Never trap someone like this in a gift like an outing (unless it’s very brief) or a scheduled event. For desirable acquaintances, it’s usually a stronger choice to impress them with the most unique possible thing that matches their interests.
- Consider omitting the card if it’s only an acquaintance. In this case, try to make the gift-giving a little more personal. If it’s a crush of yours it might even be a surprise, so try sticking around and explaining in your own words why you thought they deserved a gift. This doesn’t have to be anymore complicated than just saying “I’d love to get to know you better.”
- Prepare to be misunderstood. Don’t expect the worst, but know how to explain yourself, especially if your gift is a little out-there.
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