The V-Day Gift-Giving Guide

Victoria Cubera

February always fills me with a sense of trepidation. The month tends to involve unfortunate situations and unlucky mishaps; if I am superstitious about anything, it’s February. Not that there aren’t good things about February: Black History Month, American Heart Month, Library Lovers Month, National Bird-Feeding Month, the Super Bowl, President’s Day, often Mardi Gras and of course, Valentine’s Day.

Hailed as the holiday of love, Valentine’s Day provides a socially-acceptable opportunity to express affection, whether for a family member, a friend or that certain special someone. Valentine’s Day is definitely one of the greeting card and floral industries’ favorite days of the year. Sending roses or a pretty card to a sweetheart have become staples of celebrating the over-commercialized, high-pressure amorous extravaganza.

If one is in a relationship, acknowledging the holiday has become almost an obligation. Guys, forgetting Valentine’s Day falls under the list of top five ways to screw up a relationship, along with forgetting birthdays or cheating with a family member. Don’t worry though; several classic methods exist for winning her heart all over again.

Flowers are always nice, typically roses on this holiday, assuming she’s not allergic to them. Asking months in advance what kind of flowers she likes is a wonderful way to avoid mistakes. Bonus points can be earned for being especially creative and paying attention to what the different color types symbolize, and purchasing accordingly. For example, yellow roses, symbolizing friendship, may not be the best choice for a girlfriend with whom one has a passionate relationship, unless she is from Texas or has explicitly stated this color preference.

Chocolate might be a winner while buying for girlfriends, boyfriends or Friday night flings, especially if it comes in a heart-shaped box. An array of sensual varieties is available on the market, and again, going beyond the ordinary is appreciated. Instead of buying chocolate-dipped strawberries, why not propose making them as a couple? Also, some people regard chocolate as an aphrodisiac. A little time in the kitchen just might add some extra spice to your love life.

Speaking of the more physical aspect of love, giving lingerie as a gift has increased in popularity over the last decade. Approach this with caution, or just let her pick. While sexy in theory, this idea might just come across as trashy or that she is simply a sex object and not the object of your affection. If this is actually the case, be classy and break up before Valentine’s Day so that she can go out and have fun with her other single friends and trash-talk you all night.

On the contrary, if the relationship means more than just inebriated hooking-up, jewelry could be an appropriate selection. Not necessarily an engagement ring (although February 14 is an incredibly popular proposal day), but a tangible, shiny expression of fondness to brighten her day. If rings seem too dangerous or serious, there are always earrings, pendants and bracelets, often in matching sets. Pearls are classically feminine and diamonds are a girl’s best friend for a reason, but if these aren’t her style, look for birthstones because you should definitely know her birthday by now.

For some, Valentine’s Day is the best day of the year, filled with love, happiness, chocolate, flowers and little stuffed animals that play music when squeezed (another cute gift option). Personally, I find Valentine’s Day to sometimes be artificial, and I often see more genuine romance in spontaneity. I certainly have nothing against romance, love or couples. I just believe that the important things about Valentine’s Day are being genuine, doing what comes naturally, and taking the time to express affection for someone. And remember, if all else fails, you can always be your own Valentine.