Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012 - Gift Guide

February is already upon us!  A month greatly celebrated for the day of love, Valentine's Day.  More formally known as Saint Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day has become an annual celebration of love and affection.  Not limited to only lovers but for those that we hold dear and near to our hearts.  The act of exchanging cards (Valentines) began in the late 1700s when a book The Young Man's Valentine Writer was published.  Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 1800s that they were then assembled in factories.  Back then Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons!  Today Valentine's Day has become such a Hallmark holiday with billions being spent on cards, flowers and chocolates.  Did you know teachers are the #1 recipients of Valentines? 

For many, the thought of having to purchase a gift for that significant other can prove to be quite stressful, especially if the relationship has been long term and the ideas begin to run low.  What about adding a twist to the traditional gifts! 

1.  Chocolate.  Each year the chocolate industry experiences a huge influx in sales due to Valentine's Day.  This year you can still give chocolate but there are a lot more ways to give it! (If you know what we mean!)  Chocolate can be used for intimate play and add some color in the bedroom.  Chocolate is known to also increase endorphins - the body's same reaction when falling in love. 

2.  Jewelry.  Sure you can give her another diamond necklace or give him another pair of cufflinks but what about other accessories you normally don't consider, for example: money clips.  Has your man been wanting to try using money clips, a Valentine's Day gift would be a great way to test it out.  Many jewelry gifted are now symbolic.  Edward Mirell makes an eternity band in which gold rivets or diamonds encircle the concave black titanium band.  Many gift givers use these rivets/diamonds to mark each promise that is made to the recipient.  These rings are designed for both men and women.

3.  Cards.  If you have kids, having them handmade a card is priceless.  With a little guidance for tiny hands, create a heart using two handprints on cardstock.  Write a few versus from the heart and it will be cherished more than any other Hallmark purchased card.  No kids?  Adult hands may not be cute to handprint into a heart but using your thumb, you can strategically create a thumbprint heart and stick a picture of you and your sweetheart onto the cover to create your own custom card.  Taking the time to make the card gives it meaning then grabbing one off the shelf.  E-cards are NOT acceptable.  Nice try!

4.  Flowers.  Flowers die.  However, if you want to get creative you can use white roses to dye them into a variety of colors by simply using food dye.  Roses come in yellow, red and white... but what if your Valentine's favorite color was purple?  Simply cut the bottom stem of the white rose at an angle (about half an inch) so the rose will drink the water and place them in a vase of water with a few drops of purple food color (red and blue make purple).  Check on the rose often and remove it from the vase when you reach your desired color (usually about 1-2 days).  Trim the stem again and arrange in a vase with fresh water to give.  Other colors combinations to create for someone could include school color combinations or even favorite sports team color combinations.

5.  Lingerie.  What's the point, it comes off in less than 2 seconds.  To add your own twist you may as well take your own white undershirt and get creative with a pair of scissors. 

Whatever your final gift is, have fun and enjoy the day with your special someone.  It doesn't have to even be a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, but just that someone special in your life, a close friend, your child(ren), colleagues, mentors, etc.  Appreciate them for who they are and try not to get too caught up in the commercial aspect of the Holiday.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!