Friday, February 20, 2009

Man Advice: How To Choose Valentine's Day Gifts

By Art Barron

With February fast approaching, there's one thing on every guy's mind: "Oh my God, what do I get my girlfriend/wife/date?" There's going to be a pretty mad rush to the shops to get a nice present for the day. It's a day when every guy will tiptoe on eggshells just to find the perfect gift to show their affection and make that special lady feel special.

There's no need to panic. The good thing is, for men, the basics of what makes a great Valentines gift are already well-defined. There are three staples: flowers, chocolate and jewelry.

Flowers, of course, refer to the good, old bouquet of roses - in red, of course. They can either show a very deep and intimate connection, or that initial allure between two people. Be careful though, as even the mere number of roses you give has a meaning. While three roses mean "I love you", a single rose or a bouquet have a safer, more general meaning.

Chocolate is always appreciated. With rare exceptions, and mostly for dietary constraints, all women love chocolate. The great thing about choosing to gift this confection is that chocolate accommodates all budget limitations. You can buy a relatively more affordable sampler from a mainstream brand, or you can splurge and go for the big guns: pure Belgian truffles!

Jewelry is a bit trickier; it needs appreciation of your level of commitment and your girl's taste. If the two of you are already serious and steady, a ring may be appropriate and can be an affirmation of your bond. Otherwise, bracelets, earrings and necklaces should do the trick. The heart style is in fashion and many variations of this motif are just intricate. Note though that the gifting of really expensive jewelry can have negative connotations and it's best to appraise the context of your relationship before you make any extravagant purchases.

Apart from the obvious and more traditional gifts, there are more options you could choose from. If she collects a certain item, add something to her collection. If she loves books, get something that she might want to read. You can also get her CDs, DVDs, perfume, or even pajamas. It's just a matter of knowing what fits her personality best.

If you're up to it, a self-composed song, poetry or love letter is still in fashion. In fact, something you labored on may make a more valuable gift than an expensive product you bought at the store. Put your talents into good use. If you have a knack for making great videos, how about a musical montage? If you're good with woodwork, make a handcrafted jewelry box. Cook for her, even if you have to learn to. Your effort will make a statement.

And the one thing that can really set you apart is your originality and spontaneity when it comes to choosing and giving your gift. Why not set a picnic in the park? Or, you can get tickets to a concert that your girl has been wanting to see? Why, if you have the budget, you can even arrange a romantic getaway! The idea is to strengthen your bonds as a couple, and Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion to do so.

At the end of the day, as long as something is sincere, thought-out and from the heart, it'll leave a lasting impression. The spirit of Valentines Day is being with someone you'd like to spend the day with. Keep that in mind and everything else will come easy. - 16651

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