April 16, 2014

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The Standards

It's true that the most special gifts are the unique ones with lots of thought or effort put into them that display an intimate knowledge of the person you are surprising, but there's something to be said about the traditional Valentine's Day gifts. They are always popular and sure to please.

Cards

Of course, the most popular gift for Valentine's Day, appropriately enough, is cards. The day is traditionally associated with the exchange of love notes, or "valentines." Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. Valentine's Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, coming in just behind Christmas. The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. Receiving a personal message is always preferred when giving a card, so be sure to write something with the receiver in mind. Don't just use the crutch of a generic card for someone who is special to you.

Chocolates

The giving of chocolates for Valentine's Day began in the second half of the twentieth century. Special packaging for such treats typically include a red satin, heart-shaped box. There are the popular brands, like Whitman's and Russell Stover, which you can find in any drug store. If you'd rather be more extravagant, Godiva Chocolatier is a popular choice that will mail its products. Even better are shops that make chocolates locally. Most cities have at least one local candy maker, and they tend to offer a more unique selection and may even be willing to personalize your purchase, making the gift extra special.

Flowers

Flowers are also an extremely popular gift on Valentine's Day, particularly roses. They can be ordered online, over the phone, or just by stopping by your local florist. Below are a few links to companies that are widely known and used:

Also, for someone who likes plants or gardening, a live plant might be a good option rather than cut flowers.

An interesting new interpretation on the traditional bouquet of flowers is Edible Arrangements. They make "fruit bouquets" and also deliver.

Sometimes flowers can carry a special message. Click here for different types of flowers and their meanings.

Gift Ideas For Him

Here's a list of some gifts that almost any guy will appreciate.

Engravable gifts with a personal message added by you. There are many stores that offer gifts with engraving services; chances are you can find one in your local mall. Some popular engravable gifts include watches, money clips, barware, bracelets, and even USB key chains.

Geeky gadgets can be fun gifts, whether your guy is a geek or not, and the Internet is a great place to find gadget gifts. Check out sites like ThinkGeek for some ideas. If you're not sure what he'd like, most sites offer gift certificates.

Gift Ideas For Her

Here are some favorite gift ideas that women will enjoy.

Bath products such as body wash, sprays, scrubs, and soaks. If you don't know her favorite scent, you can ask which are more popular or go with a gift card to her favorite bath product store. A robe and slippers are also a nice comfort to slip into after a relaxing bath.

Jewelry is definitely a traditional gift, and there are many options depending on where you shop. Not everything is expensive if you shop around. When buying jewelry, it is good to know a bit about the jewelry tastes of the woman you are buying for. You might even want to find a few shops with jewelry that is appealing and in a price range you are comfortable with, and then take your loved one with you later so she can pick out something she'll be sure to love.

Homemade Gifts

Make a "Mixtape"

Another romantic idea would be to share music with your loved one. Compile a CD with their favorite songs, or just include some songs that make you think of them, or vice versa. You could also add some new music to their MP3 player and surprise them the next time they pick up their headphones.

Click here for a list of some favorite love songs.

Have Dinner In

Never underestimate a good home-cooked meal. Making a special dinner for your loved one is a great way to show how much you care about them. They'll recognize the effort you went to, even if the meal doesn't turn out as perfect as a five star restaurant. Also, with the restaurants crowded on Valentine's Day, it's a very peaceful and intimate way to spend the evening without worrying about keeping reservations or trying to converse in a loud and crowded setting.

Get Crafty

Click here to check out some fun craft ideas for gifts that you can make for your special someone.

Wine Gifts

A perfect match, if you do decide to cook a Valentine's Day dinner at home, would be a bottle or two of wine to celebrate the day. It's much more budget-friendly to enjoy a bottle at home rather than in a restaurant where the markup can be significant. Pairing food and wine can sometimes be tricky, but there are lots of sites online that can help you. Try FoodAndWinePairing.org, where you can match the food you plan to serve with an appropriate wine, or you can instead select what wine you want to have and learn what foods would go well with it. It's a great tool if your loved one has a favorite wine already in mind.

A wine gift basket would be a great present for a wine-lover. Pick a red and white for variety or a couple of the same wines from different regions so the person can have fun comparing the flavors. Include some snacks that go well with wine, like cheese or olives. Add some glasses, wine charms, and an easy to use bottle opener with a knife to complete the basket.

Romantic Getaways

You don't have to go far from home or spend a week away to enjoy time with a loved one. Even taking a few hours to relax at a local park or favorite, memorable spot, perhaps one that is a significant part of your relationship's history, would make the day special. Turn off the cell phone, computer, TV, or whatever else distracts you from your loved one. Just spending time together can be the best gift of all.

If you want to go all out and book a getaway that's far away, check into some of the travel sites online that are relevant to their regions. You may also save money booking through a travel company. Some popular online travel companies that can help you plan are Travelocity and Expedia.

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