Did you know that after Christmas, Valentine's Day is the biggest retail holiday? That means a variety of things for you the consumer, but mostly it means the market is saturated with a plethora of heart-shaped, cutesy, not so worth it products. I have a philosophy?one that is not always popular?but here it goes. If you love someone, then saying "I love you" is a full time job, not one accomplished by dime store shrink-wrapped chocolates and plush toys holding bags of candy hearts.
Don't get me wrong. These things were great when we were 10, but we are adults now so here are a few ways to ensure you have a classy holiday that shows you put a lot of thought into it.
The key to success if knowing your significant other's tastes and not stepping on a land mine in the process of telling her how much you care. Yes, this article is geared mostly towards the men out there who are trying to get it right this year. However, women, you can take heed of this advice as well because I don't know a man alive who wants a teddy bear holding a cheap satin heart.
1. Ask yourself "Do I know her tastes well enough to buy a personalized gift?" We are going to help you sort this out, but you are going to have to too.
2. What is your budget? Financial troubles as a result of overspending on Valentine's Day are not going to help your romantic life.
3. Always be classy. You don't have to spend a fortune to achieve style.
We have broken the choices down by the major items generally purchased for Valentine's Day. This by no means is an all-inclusive list, but will put you on the road to victory.
Does she like it? If not, then obviously skip this traditional gift.Does she have a favorite brand? Or favorite ingredient?Whatever your answers to those questions, do not buy shrink wrapped, generic chocolate. We are not a big fan of the heart shaped, fake lace and Elvis velvet. You know what I am talking about. Now avoid it! A simple, elegant box with a nice ribbon is much classier.
Does she like flowers? (Remember some people are allergic to certain flowers)
Does she have a favorite? There is not a rule that says you must be red roses. I happen to love yellow roses and it would be a sign to me that my mate understood me if he bought me yellow roses instead of traditional red.
Now talk about a land mine. If you are determined to buy jewelry, consult her friends and family to find out what she likes and wants if you are not absolutely positive. Good jewelry is an expensive proposition to screw up. Avoid heart shaped anything?please, I am begging you. The act of giving her the jewelry is saying "I love you," there is no need to tattoo it on her forehead so to speak by giving her a heart shaped necklace she feels obliged to wear all of the time.
Dinner or Brunch:
1. Go where you will both be comfortable
2. Make reservations to avoid waiting
3. If you want to try something new, go somewhere that you both have wanted to try.
4. If you are nervous about a new place and you want the perfect evening, check out the place ahead of time.
5. Be yourself. For example, if you are not a wine expert then ask for help from the staff. We women like a guy who will ask.
Or be daring?don't go out to eat. If you are not a very good cook, order take away from a local establishment (not fast food or pizza) or hire a personal chef, and put your time into setting a beautiful table. She will be very impressed that you made the effort.
Oh yet another land mine. Do you get the feeling this holiday was meant to test the best of relationships? Be careful here. Your fantasies may not be her desires. And please, please, please again be classy not tacky. Cheap lingerie does not say "I love you." It says "I'm cheap or you are a tramp." If you aren't sure about this one at all, then make it a partner activity. Tell her you want to buy her something nice and that you want to do it together.
There is no rule that your Valentine's Day gift has to be heart shaped, red/pink or traditional. I don't recommend buying her a blender or cordless drill, but if there is something that she has really been checking out and you can afford it, then show her that you have been paying attention and go for it.
Many places offer weekend specials for Valentine's Day, but often are booked well in advance. As an alternative, plan a weekend away at a different time and give this to her as a gift over your Valentine's Day dinner.
OK, we saved this one for last because it is a big one. For some reason, the multitudes feel that proposing on Valentine's Day is the thing to do. In case you couldn't tell from this article, I am encouraging you to think out of the box. Valentine's Day proposals have come to be expected. Why not be different, propose at a random time and really surprise her. However, if you feel that you must succumb to the pressure, do it right. Follow all of our tips above and crank them up a notch. Again, be creative but classy. You want her to remember this special time.
So here you are at the end of the article and about ready to chuck in the towel. Don't! We know you can do it. Take a deep breath, do not wait until the last minute and if it all seems a bit too overwhelming, call in help. Use your resources and make this a truly special day that is only the beginning of a truly special year of romance.
Indra A Books, author of this and many other lifestyle articles, is the owner and founder of ON THE GO 4 U, Personal Shoppers & Concierge Service in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The company's creed is to provide its clients with the ultimate life management experience. In addition to its shopping and concierge services, ON THE GO 4 U also publishes a monthly e-zine and conducts workshops on wardrobe, entertaining and decorating. For more information about the author and ON THE GO 4 U, please visit http://www.onthego4u.net
RELATED ARTICLESKids Halloween Costumes! Your Pint-sized Witches And Goblins Can Look Their Spookiest & Cutest Ever
It's not only the candy that puts smiles on kids' faces on October 31st! It's the fact that they love getting dressed up and scaring everyone along the way! Kids look cute in any sort of costume, but now that you can purchase their costume online, you'll be able to find the best selection of kids Halloween costumes ever!We can definitely say that Halloween is likely a kid's favorite time of year, and why wouldn't it be! They get to dress up as one of their favorite characters like Scooby Doo, or Pooh Bear, and go out and get the motherload of candy. Now just imagine how much happier they'll be if the family can go online and look at halloween costume ideas together! With the click of a mouse, you can find classics like that cowboy costume, ninja, Batman, black cat, as well as the adorable Disney costumes, and don't forget Bob the Builder! It's that easy! Halloween shopping has never been so fun and stress free!Find great costume accessories as easy as 1-2-3!Not only will you find great costume ideas, but you'll also see unique childrens costume accessories to accentuate that adorable Barbie doll dress, or that precious Princess gown.
Valentines Day Love Letter - The Best And Most Romantic Gift Is Also The Least Expensive!
You don't have to spend a fortune this Valentine's Day to show your partner that you love them!One of the most romantic, creative and inexpensive gifts you can give your partner this Valentine's Day is a heartfelt love letter, written from the bottom of your heart!A heartfelt letter from a man can mean so much more to a woman than just a bunch of roses, box of chocolates or a piece of jewelry.However, most men feel challenged when it comes to expressing their love in words, especially in writing.
Happy New Year for 2005
It is 7:45 a.m.
Sometimes gifts that are truly from your heart have no cash value. But the value to the recipient can be more than any amount of money could provide.
Color Easter Eggs Naturally With Dyes From Your Kitchen
The most beautiful dyes for Easter eggs come from foodstuff you probably already have in your kitchen.I have been delighted with the results of the colors I have tried and my friends have been thrilled to receive them as springtime gifts.
Honor Mothers: Song Remembers Mom Forever
In the spirit of Mother's Day, two songwriters are sharing with the world their lyrics to a song that commemorates and celebrates a mother's love.Lyricists Neal R.
Holiday Health: Give Get-Fit Gifts
'Tis the season to celebrate -- and a time to eat! Most of us gain a few pounds during the holiday season. With family dinners, holiday parties and gift baskets loaded with goodies, who thinks of staying fit?Instead of giving a pyramid of chocolate, a basket of tempting treats or a bottle of bubbly this year, why not be different? Give your loved ones a Holiday Health Kit to start out the New Year right.
New Ways to Use Old Christmas Cards
Forty years ago when I was growing up on our dairy farm in Wisconsin, my mother always saved the Christmas cards she had received in the mail. In those days, people sent many more Christmas cards than they do now.
Tis The Season For Love - and Stress!
The holidays are upon us and for many people this is the most stressful time of year. There is so much to do and not enough time to do it in, places to go, people to see, gifts to buy, food to prepare, and on and on and on.
St Valentines Day, Festival of the Matchmakers
There are as many as eight possible Valentines Day origins and the three most likely contenders were all early church martyrs.However, before the Christian Saints, the day started as a festival to honour Juno, Queen of the Roman deities.
Give Presence Not Presents
Throughout the year we have many gift-giving opportunities to show love to those around us. From Christmas to Birthdays, Valentines Day and more, our thoughts turn to finding the perfect gift.
Trick or Treating Safety
Halloween is such a fun time of year for kids and adults alike, so its important that we take some precautions to keep it that way! Here's my list of trick or treating tips for your family.Wear comfortable shoes!!Carry a flashlightWear something with a reflector on it (you can even find reflector tape and paint at your local home improvement store.
Christmas Shopping for a New Love
Christmas is a magical time of year, especially for those of us paired off and in love. If you are in a new relationship, however, Christmas can be a bit unnerving.
5 Most Popular Styles of Christmas Ornaments
Traditionally Christmas ornaments were bulbs of all the same color which were placed randomly throughout your Christmas tree. Over the past few decades, Christmas ornaments have developed into elaborate pieces of art which are delicately planned out and placed throughout the Christmas tree.
Fireplace Decorating Tips for Easter: Give Your Rooms Natural Focal Point an Easter Look
Sure you decorate your fireplace and mantel for the winter holidays, but don't forget this important focal point in your room as Spring approaches. Here are some nearly-instant ideas for springtime and Easter fireplace decorating:Daffodils in crystal or glass vases on each end of your mantel bespeak the coming of Spring.
How to Make a Gift Basket
Gift Baskets are an ideal gift for nearly any occasion. Gift baskets provide a convenient way to find a gift for practically any occasion, but they also provide an avenue for creative and personalized gift giving.
Spooky Halloween Party Ideas
Are you looking for special Halloween party ideas that will give your guests a very memorable night? The easiest way to design and plan a Halloween party is to come up with a party theme. This makes it easier to chose decorations, and supplies for the party.
Inexpensive Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Kids
After all the gifts have been purchased and placed under the tree, that is the time that many remember in a panic that the stockings over the fireplace still need to be stuffed. Holiday budgets have most likely been spent and there isn't a whole lot of extra money available.
How To Stay Slim During The Holiday Season
The majority of people find themselves carrying additional fat once the holidays are over. Worst of all, most of them never lose this extra weight.
Christmas Gift Guide
Christmas is a magical time of year, both for kids and adults. They say that the joy of Christmas is the giving, not the receiving of gifts and the look of happiness on someones face once they've opened their perfect Christmas gift is indeed a wonderful sight.