February is quickly approaching and St. Valentine’s Day with it and I am here to give you a few tips on how to prepare for the holidays with a good gift. To be honest, in our family we decided that we don’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead, we should do little things without an occasion, to put a smile on the other person’s face and make every day special. For this reason we have never celebrated Valentine’s day and refused to participate in all the craze. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t like romantic gestures and we don’t exchange gifts. In fact, I think that we have exchanged more gifts than most couples, simply because we don’t wait for a whole year to celebrate our love. Here is what I have learned from all this time.
Gifts For Him
I will start with tips for him, because I find it easier to speak from experience.
1. Do buy your man something he will use. As much as you may fancy that “Be my Valentine” picture frame, you can be sure that it will only collect dust. Some men might like a little bit of romance, but usually they find it cheesy and definitely won’t drink beer in front of their friends in a “Happy Valentine’s Day” mug. Having said that, do buy him practical things he would love to use and show off to his friends. A cordless keyboard, or a mouse, or an iPhone skin are all things that a guy might enjoy.
2. Do buy him personalized things. If you can’t come up with anything practical and personalized, then add a nice card and wrap it yourself. This will add the personal touch it needs. Otherwise you can improvise with “25 reasons why I love you”, “10 things I am grateful for / will remember forever”, etc.
3. Don’t buy him socks, underwear and after shave. As much as TV adverts will try to force that on you, keep in mind these are very cheesy and I hope no one gives them as gift anymore. Unless they are Star Trooper boxers, Star Trooper boxers are always cool!
4. Don’t buy things for yourself and spin it as a gift for him. He will see what you did there.There are better times to pamper yourself with tight lacy sleeping gown, or expensive lingerie to surprise him. Don’t get me wrong, he will like that very much, but don’t forget to add something just for him as well.
5. Unleash your creativity. Do something yourself. DIY tutorials are all over the Internet, you just need to determine which projects you can do with the talents you have. Here are a few ideas:
If he likes travelling: These amazing map coasters are easy to do and will make any traveller happy. You can make coasters of the places you have visited together or plan to visit – Tokyo, Paris, Dubai, London, Barcelona. What are your favourite or dream destinations? If he is not a traveller use something else – comic book pages, Game of Thrones posters, etc.
If he likes sports: You can buy him something from the official shop of his favourite team. Stephen for instance is a soccer fan and loves Liverpool. On the first birthday we celebrated together I gave him a keyring and a YNWA mug. He absolutely loved it! If you want the gift to be made by you, you can always embroider the initials of his favourite team, engrave them, or make a book cover.
If he likes new technologies and geeky stuff, you can always DIY a case for his phone or tablet, mouse pad or other improvised stationary that he will enjoy. Don’t make the mistake, however, to break the bank and buy him the tablet or the phone yourself. I once did that and I received a strange reaction made up of mixed feelings. Stephen was both surprised, happy and frustrated. There was awkwardness and no one really knew what to say. I didn’t know whether to apologise, to cry, or to laugh. He didn’t feel at ease to accept my gift and he felt very bad that he has never given anything like that to me. I started explaining how I wanted him to have the tablet and I wanted it to be from me. I knew he would use it every day and I wanted it to remind him of me. Oh, well.. it wasn’t my best idea apparently.
Men just don’t expect extravagant gifts even for birthdays and anniversaries, let alone Valentine’s day. In addition, if you buy him something expensive, it will make him feel bad about his present. Imagine if all he got you is a box of chocolates and a fancy card!
Lastly, but not least, I would like to say that whatever you decide to buy for him, you should do it because you want to, not because it is Valentine’s day and you feel pressured. You should do it because you want to show him how important he is to you, how much the relationship means to you and how much you cherish all the memories you have. Do it is an expression of your feelings, not because the calendar says so. In my next post you can find gift ideas for her.