Alright fellas, this is finally a post for you. More particularly, this is for those of you fighting a full-blown freak out about the particular February date that’s looming ominously in the very near future.
I know V-day is mere hours away now.
I know you have no idea what to get your significant other.
And I know you’re scared.
Stores are overwhelmingly stuffed with candies and floral arrangements that cost an, a leg and a hefty car payment.
But that doesn't mean you have to empty your bank account to buy your sweetheart something that'll show your love.
Yes. A lot of pressure comes with major holidays.
You have every right to be flustered (or a more manly version of flustered).
But, the good news is, I’m here to help.
Our mission: find something your lady will love, while saving you some cold, hard cash!
But for quite a bit less, you could do a lot more. If you're willing to get creative.
Just for fun, let's cover all the Valentine’s clichés, only with more unique, (and more affordable!) options.
And unless your girlfriend’s life goal is to become a Real Housewife of Any County, I can nearly guarantee she’ll love any one of these ideas.
Your wallet's welcome!
It’s perhaps the most cliché (but still appreciated) go-to for V-day.
Something sparkly. Something shiny. Some kind of bling.
Unfortunately, we all know that can get pricey. Quick.
So, what’s a guy to do?
Think outside the velvet-lined box. Contrary to popular belief every kiss does not begin at Kay’s.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on those name-brand Pandora bracelets create a one-of-a-kind (and far more affordable) gift your girl will still treasure.
Head to a mall kiosk (yes, a kiosk!), or even a local craft store, and pick out sterling silver charms meaningful to you and your lady. Creating a bracelet from scratch is not only more thoughtful and special than picking something from a catalogue. It will also leave plenty of dollars in the bank for a nice night out on the town.
If a silver charm bracelet isn’t really her style, consider a statement necklace instead. Yes, every department store is going to be peddling diamond-studded heart necklaces this time of year. But this is a chance to show your girl you get her.
Instead of going with the standard Valentine’s fair, pick a bold, beaded necklace in her favorite color. Or interlocking circles, representing your life joined together.
Something nautical commemorates your last beach vacation. While a simple initial necklace celebrates your shared last name.
Just remember, the price pales in comparison to the thought behind it.
So if you pick something she will like, it won’t matter what the sticker said.
Before you head anywhere, though, the perfect bling for your loved one may already be under your own roof.
If your wife’s engagement ring is collecting dust because it no longer fits, get it resized for her.
The first gold locket you ever bought her stashed in a drawer ‘cause the chain broke? Replace the chain (and maybe update the photo inside).
Get her favorite ring cleaned. Or replace the battery in her watch.
*Often restoring something old is even more meaningful
than splurging on something shiny and new.
Do not get me wrong. You can’t go wrong with flowers.
Unfortunately, you can go broke with them. Especially this time of year.
If your lady just loves roses, then yes. You’re gonna have to spend a pretty penny to provide her with them. This month the pricetag on roses goes through the roof (lovely supply and demand).
But even if she wants red roses, it is possible to create a lovely bouquet without forking over a Benjamin to do so. You just need to put in a little work, instead of picking up the phone.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a big chain grocery store you have access to beautiful, affordable fresh flowers. (Whole Foods and Central Market have great selections.)
And with pretty minimal effort you can create an arrangement she’ll love, for far less than the Big Flower Guys will charge.
Step one is to pick her favorite flower(s).
If you don’t know, call her mom or sister. Chances are they’ll have the scoop.
Step two is to head to the grocery store.
Grab stems of her favorite flower. If her very favorite is out of season, ask the florist what’s similar. Then pick a handful of them up (they should range from $5 to $15).
Then, the trick to creating a masterful display is picking something else that complements it nicely.
Mix big and small. Bright pinks with yellows. Purples and greens.
Or just choose a variety of blooms all in her favorite color.
Get playful with it.
Step three is the fun part, though, where you can really let your imagination fly.
You need something to put the flowers in. And instead of forking over $20 for a super generic glass vase, I want you to hit your cupboard, or a local thrift store instead.
Pick a vessel more meaningful than the standard vase, and those $5 stems of sunflowers and baby’s breath can look like a million bucks. Truly.
If she loves her morning coffee, trim the flirty carnations down to fit in a pretty porcelain cup.
If she’s an avid owl collector, find a cute owl planter (readily available at craft stores, and even Walgreens) and stuff it with beautiful peonies.
Pitchers. Tin cans. Canning jars. Trophies.
The possibilities are truly endless.
*Flowers look pretty in a whole slew of things that aren’t pricey vases.
So pick something unique that’ll let your lady know you care.
P.S. If your girl’s a gardener, you might want to skip the grocery store altogether.
Instead head to the hardware store, or a local green house, and pick out some beautiful blooms she could plant and enjoy all spring.
What woman doesn't have a sweet tooth? And most everyone loves a good chocolate now and then.
But, there’s no need to spend a bunch of money on gourmet chocolates. ($50, for 15 pieces? Seriously Godiva?)
How ‘bout picking up a slice of her favorite chocolate cake instead?
Maybe deliver a mocha latte this Friday to help her beat those 3 o’clock blues.
If Haagen Daaz is more her style, take her out for a celebratory Valentine’s Day scoop.
Or hit her even closer to home and get the kiddos involved.
Oreo balls and almond bark are two super simple dessert options, even the novice can make. They require few ingredients, no baking, and can be customized to fit your tastes. Perfect for an afternoon project.
But nothing says Valentine’s treats have to be chocolate, or sweet.
If your lady’s trying to eat healthier the last thing she needs is a box full of temptation taunting her from her desktop.
Consider emptying a chocolate heart box (I’m sure you can find a way!) and then filling it with a spa certificate instead, or some nail polish in her favorite shades.
*Just remember, the golden rule of gift giving
is to choose something the recipient will love.
As the recent flower commercial puts it, "If it's not her idea, it's a bad idea." Keep this in mind if you're considering any household appliance, or something with the word "Diet" or "Exercise" in it.
Above: you don't have to be a poet to let her know that you love her.
If a very simple bear can express his emotions, so can you!
Anyone can pick out a lovely Hallmark card. And that’s one great way to go.
They do know their sappy stuff.
But what girls are really looking for isn’t a gold crown emblem on the back of an envelope.
It’s the thought behind the envelope. It’s the sentiment scribbled inside the card.
That doesn’t mean you have to be uncharacteristically sappy, or write some romantic mush.
Be yourself. That's who your Significant Other fell in love with, after all.
If you won your sweet’s heart with witty rhetoric, write something silly that will make her laugh.
If you do have a mostly-secret softer side, now’s the time to show it.
Even if you’re not a wordsmith, you can borrow from someone who is.
It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare either.
*The point is, simply, say anything. Meaning write something.
And keep in mind bonus points are up for grabs, if it's more than "I love you."
Like "I like you," for instance.
B-T-Dubs, even if your kiddos have beaten you to the craft supplies, that doesn’t mean a homemade card is out of the question.
Yes, glitter glue can be quite intimidating. But a homemade card doesn’t have to be perfect (or even that pretty) to mean a lot.
The sentimental value of something handmade is priceless, whether it comes from the tiny shaky hands of a toddler, or those of a grown man willing to forgo his machismo to make something his gal will cherish.
I really truly hope this guide will help you come up with a perfect gift for your girl this Valentine’s, and that these tips will save you some hard-earned money in the process.
But, if you’re still at a loss just keep these key ideas in mind:
A.) Most of all don’t panic.
Remember, it really is the thought that counts.
B.) Also, dig deep into your heart, not your wallet, when it comes to V-day gift giving.
Girls just wanna know you get them, regardless of what you’re giving them.
C.) And if, try as you might, you still really don’t get her – at all – then go to those who do.
Ask her friends for advice what she might want, or peek a glimpse at those Pinterest boards she’s always yakking about (hello endless inspiration).
The days of circling gifts in catalogues are gone. And we get it. You're not all great at picking up our super subtle (often ridiculous) hints.
You're not cheating the system - or invading our privacy - if it's a publicly posted Pin board. :)
Just something to keep in mind, for V-Day and beyond.
Happy hunting fellas!
*Order in her favorite meal *Light a candle to make it romantic *Buy a DVD of the best movie you saw together last year * Buy or download the new book she keeps talking about wanting to read *Give her an afternoon off to actually read it *Frame a photo of the two of you, or a concert ticket from a great date… *Coupons for a day off from her most-dreaded chores (dishes!!!) *Create art using her favorite lyrics, or a movie quote *Get the recipe for her grandma’s cake, or her mom’s roast, and make it for her *Lay out her favorite dress with a ticket for a night-out-on-the-town, or a very fancy Netflix date *Create a mix CD, those never go out of style *Better yet, play her that City and Colour song you both really love *Or Wonder Wall, just ‘cause