The nearing of Valentine’s Day has me thinking about gifts that are more strikingly personal than the ones which routinely show up at this holiday. It’s true that most women delight in getting roses and chocolates: who wouldn’t want either of those things, or even just a sublimely romantic card? If your sweetheart is a traditionalist, then my advice would be to show up at her (or his) door with at least one of the aforementioned things, if not all three, and just ignore the rest of my post. (You don’t want to disappoint a traditionalist.) But, on the other hand, if your honey is turned on by gifts that are not only unique, but uniquely tailored to her interests, then what follows is my list of five gifts that might help you to think along those lines. These are gifts I received from various people over the years — not necessarily on Valentine’s Day — which proved memorable because they were so very unexpected yet, at the same time, so totally in tune with my tastes, making me feel like the giver really knew me. And it’s true that you don’t have to break the bank to make a lasting, favorable impression on someone. Most of these gifts are relatively inexpensive — it’s the way they are presented that makes them priceless.
Does your sweetie like to cook or bake? Consider an apron in a fashionable stripe, and to romanticize it a bit, tuck a bottle of wine in with this gift and a romantic card. “Can’t wait to make waffles with you this weekend!” isn’t a bad line for such a card — it builds anticipation of when you’ll be spending time together. If you do decide to go the apron route, be certain you don’t write or say anything which sounds like a request (or worse, a demand) for your babe’s culinary services. (“You can make me dinner tonight!” is a no go.) On Valentine’s Day, presentation is everything, and though it might sound corny, that line from an old Hank Williams song — “How’s about cookin’ something up with me?” — is close to the approach you should take with this kind of gift.
Let’s turn that question around now. How about you — do you like to cook? Then by all means, whip up something special for your darling. One of the most memorable Valentine’s Day gifts I ever received was a package of chocolate truffles that my boyfriend in college made for me himself. He wrapped them beautifully in foil and put them in a little basket shaped like a kitty, because, at the time, I was a cat person. You can say Awwww and roll your eyes now, but if you’re even half-tempted to try this, then I’ve already got the recipe for you. Just follow the link (for Amaretto truffles) in the caption under the photo above.
Authentic Greek sandals.It might seem like a funny gift to receive in the cold month of February, but could it be that your dear love is a ‘summer love’? No? Well, chances are she or he knows that summer (or perhaps a Mediterranean vacation) is just around the corner, and that’s reason enough for a gift like this. A perfume-blogging friend from Greece once gifted me with the sandals pictured above, and I consider them a unique treasure from a place I someday long to visit. If your summer-lovin’ darling loves shoes, you can’t go wrong with sandals. (Especially sandals with straps like these, which go all the way up the calf!) It’s a great gift to consider if you’re planning a getaway this year with your Valentine because, again, it’s a way of saying that you anticpate being with them, especially on a romantic holiday.
How about daffodils — preferably a big bouquet of them — for their sunny nature, which is so uplifting at this time of year. No one expects to get daffodils for Valentine’s Day, and if you carry a vase of them to your sweetie’s office, they will stand out from the sea of roses and carnations that are the typical fleurs de jour that day. My husband gets me a big bundle of daffodils every spring and they make me feel like I’m (to quote an old Katrina and The Waves song) walking on sunshine, baby. Yeah!! Speaking of which …
Shortly after college, I was in a long-distance relationship with a guy who had a very creative way with love letters, and in one of them he stuck in a 45 of this very record pictured above. “This is the way you make me feel,” he said, and yow! I felt it, too. I didn’t even have a record player at the time, but it obviously didn’t matter. Some thirty years later, whenever Walking On Sunshine comes on the oldies station, I still get revved up and so, so happy!
For not much cash, you can say a lot when you say it in vinyl (and you can say it with old-school cool).