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Finding the Right Valentine's Day Gifts?

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Quick Answer

Celebrating Valentine's Day with a significant other can be stressful even with the right gift, and the options are nearly endless. Learn how to decide among flowers, wine or a new set of golf clubs.

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Full Answer

Why Are Gifts Important on Valentine's Day?

Material gifts carry different meanings for people. The tradition of giving on Valentine's Day starts young, with school children sharing cards and candies to celebrate friendship and budding relationships as they pass through middle and high school. As people age and relationships bud into love and romance, gifts become more personal, changing to poems that confess one's love, flowers to match the beauty of their betrothed and jewelry to take relationships to the next step such as commitment, engagement and marriage.

Giving Loved Ones Edibles
Cookies, candies, nuts and fruits are just some of the edible gifts people give on Valentine's Day. These are almost always appreciated, are relatively inexpensive and can be made at home. Before choosing food, make sure the recipient doesn't have any medical conditions such as allergies or special diets. No matter how long the relationship, homemade gifts come from the heart and can mean a lot to any significant other.

Evergreen Gifts for Him and Her
Flowers are sweet, but even the most expensive dozen of roses will dry up and die after a week. Another option that works great for loved ones of either gender is an evergreen present such as hanging flower baskets, potted indoor plants or even ones that can be transplanted outside when the weather is nice. To be more specific, popular choices include miniature fruit plants that stay inside, tabletop items such as succulents or miniature cacti. Another way to give an evergreen with a little spice is a desktop terrarium. These are tiny gardens surrounded by glass.

When Are High-End Items Appropriate?
Timing is everything so start small with new relationships. Consider the edibles, a bouquet of flowers or a novelty gift such as a bobblehead figure from a favorite TV show or movie. For example, when a couple shares a love of Dr. Who, a throw pillow in the shape of the Tardis is a great idea. This gives couples more to build on for future gift-giving times such as anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas and even promotions.

It's not uncommon to want to spend big on someone special, no matter how long the relationship has been going. That's fine. Just remember that giving someone an expensive gift on a first or even a fifth date can be awkward, specifically if feelings sour. Also, consider the budget of the other person as giving is often reciprocal and the lack of funds to match high-end items could cause a rift in the relationship. Some ideas for expensive Valentine's Day gifts are jewelry, romantic getaways and electronics such as the latest iPhone.

It's the Thought That Counts
In the end, the thought of the other person counts more than the gift, which is why planning ahead wins more points than stopping at the corner grocery store on Valentine's Day and getting a cheap box of chocolates and a generic bouquet of flowers. Plan the day or evening with care. If the day doesn't work because of conflicting schedules, make an alternative date. If money is an issue, plan a picnic and a bike ride or a candlelit dinner at home and a movie. If invited to dinner or a picnic, bring a homemade card with a poem and pick wildflowers from along the road.

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