Photo: Flickr / Dazzling Expresso
There’s nothing like a cheap, tacky gift to put a damper on romance.And who wants to be that guy—you know the one—toting around a bouquet of chocolate flowers because he waited too long to get a gift?
Actress Delta Burke put it best: “If you want to say it with roses, a single rose says I’m cheap!”
We tapped Dana Holmes, editor-in-chief at Gifts.com, for some tips to help you stay classy on Valentine’s Day.
'In general, these gifts are such an obvious last-minute grab,' says Holmes. 'A card is fine, but put in some effort!'
Under no circumstances should you purchase:
Those tacky heart-shaped boxes with cheap chocolate inside
Anything that says 'I'm generic and lazy'
The latest trend in gourmet goods, these treats pack fewer calories than cupcakes and truffles and come in just as many flavours, Holmes says.
Order some from Harry and David or check your local bakery to see if they're in stock.
'Be wary of splurging on lingerie or anything for your own benefit,' warns Holmes.
Likewise, avoid any gift that points out her weight, like a Bally's membership or sneakers.
Shel Silverstein's 'The Missing Piece' has stood the test of time with its heartfelt stories and poems.
'That's the sort of message you want to send about your relationship,' says Holmes. 'All you have to do is pick a page and mark it with a bookmark.'
Or be a real Casanova and read her the darn poem.
Not only are you guaranteed to find something she likes, the salesperson is there to help you find it.
'Valentine's Day is a time you'll probably need it,' says Holmes. 'Don't be too proud to ask questions.'
'Tell her in advance that she needs to dress up,' says Holmes. 'Guys don't understand how something small like that can get a lady excited. Just don't ruin the surprise by telling her where you're going!'
Ask your friends for the names of good hole-in-the-walls, or visit OpenTable.com for budget-friendly ideas.
Also read 12 ways to save cash on eating out to keep the tab down.
'(Trinkets), especially vintage ones, have stood the test of time and gotten better with age,' says Holmes. 'That's the sort of message you want to send about your relationship.'
Holmes likes this 'Key to My Heart' from Pottery Barn ($29), which can be set on her desk or dresser to remind her of you.
She also likes these cool key chains from Red Envelope ($29.95), which pull double-duty as bottle openers and pair up to create a heart.
Film Movement is a DVD-of-the-Month club (see site for membership fees) that actually offers decent movies--new, award-winning indie and foreign flicks--before they hit theatres. It'll turn her couch into Sundance.
'Add an extra touch by buying a throw blanket and saying this is for movie night,' Holmes suggests. 'Whatever you can do to make it more personal and fun.'
'The idea is to make him feel like your hero, not your puppy dog,' Holmes says. 'Valentine's Day is a good time to feed his masculinity and celebrate who he is.'
That means if he's a steak and potatoes guy don't expect a dapper tie to turn him into Don Draper and vice versa.
Get a gift that speaks to his interests and he'll be impressed.
The key to his heart really is through his stomach, so get cracking on that beef-of-the-month club.
'Being a carnivore is really in for men right now,' says Holmes, 'use Valentine's Day to celebrate that.'
Her pick: Manhattan meat mecca Lobels.
'The place makes you feel like an aficionado and their Meat Bible ($25) is just an excellent, beautiful book.'
'Survival gear like rugged canvas bags, multi-tool sets and bear grill survival knifes are excellent,' says Holmes, who says to get it engraved beforehand. 'Guys love that stuff.'
Her pick: The Leatherman Freestyle tool, a knife/fly fishing tools hybrid from L.L. Bean ($39).
For whatever reason, guys really dig stuff with motors too.
'Anything with ships, cars and big machinery tends to go over well,' Holmes says.
Spring for something that'll get rave reviews at home (and the office) like this Battleship USB hub ($20) ... or the sweet ride pictured at right.