It’s time again for the Snappy Living Valentine’s Day Roundup. We’ve got crafts, tips and even some recipes. And a section for guys worried about choosing the right gift for a woman.
Picking the right gift
So you’re in love with a woman and you want to show her how much you care. Flowers? Diamonds? Perfumes? Candies?
While some women love these traditional gifts and most of us who don’t will keep quiet because “It’s the thought that counts”, these sorts of gifts have almost become a stereotype. They’ve been done to death. And some of us are allergic to flowers, are avoiding candies, have political issues with diamonds and can’t stand perfumes. What’s a guy to do?
There’s no short answer: every woman is unique, and a great expression of love is taking the time to find a gift that will be uniquely enjoyable for her. You need to start asking questions and investigating so that when you’re ready to give her a gift, you know what she likes. It could be a hard-to-find CD, a massage, a crockpot (but only if she enjoys cooking and you know that crockpot is something she’s missing), or a new shotgun to add to her collection. You have to ask questions about what she’s into, what she enjoys, etc. Listen to her stories of good childhood times – maybe she used to ride horses at her cousin’s farm years ago and misses it, and a nice little horse figurine from you would be touching in the extreme.
If you do all that, and still no gift is springing to mind, here are a few general tips to remember.
- Don’t, for heaven’s sake, get her something practical, unless it goes with something she does out of passion rather than as a chore – i.e., someone who truly loves cooking might welcome a certain skillet she’s been looking for, but a vacuum cleaner is never romantic. The one exception is when you’re married or living together and sharing finances – then a tight budget might necessitate practical gifts (she may even resent if it you spend hard-earned money on something frivolous for her). But add something sweet, like a card you made yourself or a hand-written gift certificate for a massage from you, or a certain number of extra chores you’ll do for her sometime (I’m assuming you already do at least some chores, married guys: if not, taking on a few might beat the hell out of a gift).
- Don’t buy her something obvious: if she says she likes sci-fi movies, the odds are she already owns the Star Wars videos, or else doesn’t want to.
- Gift certificates are okay with the right spiel: you need to convince her that you hunted and thought and made a lot of effort, but in the end you wanted to make absolutely sure she got what she most wanted, and this is the only way to make that happen. If you opt for a gift certificate, make sure it’s for a store she likes, or she’ll never believe you made an effort.
- Don’t let the stores tell you what “she” wants. They don’t know. They think women who are technobuffs want their computers, phones and everything else in pink – trust me, many technobuff girls would be mortified by pink electronics.
- Clothes can be a real landmine, so I would avoid them. Unless you know precisely what colors she likes to wear, what fabrics she likes, dislikes and is allergic to, what styles suit her, and what she feels she needs more of, your chances of picking the right item are kind of slim, because there are just so many options out there.
And if you need to avoid spending much…
Valentine’s Day crafts, recipes and tips
- Belle at Belle and Burger’s tutorial for these very cute stuffed fabric hearts you see in the picture.
- Embroidered heart hair clips from The Long Thread
- Also from The Long Thread, a roundup of links to delicious Valentine’s Day themed baked goods. Mmmm, drool.
- Kewpie Valentines from Zakka Life
- Make a pop-up Valentine’s Day Card. Gives you a little template to print off and cut out, and all the steps you need to make it work. But you might want to get fancy with decorating it, so have a look at:
- The Long Thread has some printable Valentines for you. As does Bella Dia.
- Give your sticky notes a Valentine’s Day cozy this year. Or, well, if you weren’t thinking of buying your stickies a gift, I suppose you could turn them into a cozified gift for someone else. (Makes a wonderful office present.)
- Make chocolate bath melts - low cal, high comfort!