Valentine’s Day Giving Guide

Valentine’s Day Giving Guide

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Lindt Chocolates conducted a survey for Valentine’s Day 2007, and the results are shocking. Ladies, we aren’t looking too hot when 70 percent of men do not expect to get a gift in return on this day of love. Don’t believe it? The numbers don’t lie – 52 percent of women say those men are right. They aren’t giving a return Valentine’s Day gift.

How did it get to this point? For starters, it is hard to buy a man a gift for Valentine’s Day. After all, a fluffy teddy bear holding a heart doesn’t exactly scream masculinity when sitting on your guy’s desk. That’s not to say chocolates and flowers are a no-no, but what do you get a guy when you really want to say, “I love you.”

Big Spenders ($100-more)
Around the Tri-State, there are many places to go and things to buy for your man when you want to splurge. So there are many options when it comes to getting a stellar Valentine’s gift. Here are some ideas for women who want drop some dough:

Get Him “The Good Seats”
Check out for an upcoming show or game you know he’ll like. The key thing here is to spend the extra money for the front row or box seats. Check out the Official Reds™ site and pick a set of season tickets from all sorts of packages, or see what Riverbend has scheduled – and get the pavilion seats. The important thing here is to get the tickets for something he likes, not a show you want to see, or might be more of a duty than fun for him to attend.

Bet on Your Love
Take your man to one of the gambling boats in Indiana and let him take his chances with the cards. Stick a ton of cash in a Valentine’s card and let him have some fun. Go together and try playing numbers like your anniversary or birthdays on roulette, or blow on the dice for a lucky set. Whatever you do, go together and leave your credit card at home. The important thing here is to have a night out and let him take a chance with money that’s not his – not to lose everything you own. Maybe even foot the bill for a nice hotel room if the night gets a little late.

Bring out the Sports Fan
If your man fancies himself a sports fanatic, get him something that works for his sport of choice. Try Golf Galaxy for a customized grip for a club, or take him to Dick’s Sporting Goods and let him pick out a new bat. This way, you get the points for letting him choose the gift, plus you can see the kid in him come out when he runs down the sports store aisles with eyes the size of footballs.

Take Him out for a Night on the Town
Make dinner reservations at a nice restaurant. Then, go out to his favorite hot spot. Pay for his meal, his drinks and do the driving for the night. For an added kick, wear that outfit that you know he really likes. For a romantic setting, check out places to eat along the river from Bellevue to Lawrenceburg. Or, take him to a place offering a Valentine’s Day dining special, such as The Golden Lamb, Morton’s The Steakhouse and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant.

Take a Breather
If you have kids, or just find it hard to get some alone time, find a sitter and turn off your cell phone. Use a hotel search engine, such as or , and get a hotel room for a weekend.

Get Him His Toy
Men like their toys, whether it is a TV, gaming unit or expensive power tool. Whatever he’s had his eye on, surprise him with it and earn yourself remote privileges for years to come.

Pseudo Big Spenders ($31-$99)
Not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to spend a pretty penny on our sweeties, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love them any less! It’s easy to show how much you care about your Valentine without breaking the bank. Some thoughtfulness, love and a little cash can get you a long way:

Food: The way to His Heart
If you are good in the kitchen, prepare a meal with all the fixings. Don’t skimp on anything; ask the butcher for a high grade of meat and go for fresh versus canned products. Buy a nice bottle of wine for the meal and his favorite drink for relaxing when dinner is finished. Add the good old lover’s touch and have a dessert of strawberries dipped in chocolate or whatever might tickle his fancy.

It’s a Date
Instead of your man footing the bill for date night, treat him. Let him pick the movie and you pay for the tickets and all the movie snacks. The kicker here is to enjoy the movie of his choice – avoid rolling your eyes or making that face when he tells you he wants to see a guy flick. Newport on the Levee has an awesome theater, and the Rave Cinema in West Chester has a ton of great restaurants surrounding it.

Get Comfy
Get your guy some nice pajama bottoms. Don’t just get any PJs, go for a high quality fabric, even a designer label. Skip the cheap cotton, flannel kind that cost less than the gas you burned driving to the store. Men love lounge wear like this, and they look hunky in it too, so it’s really a win-win.

Box It Up
Pick up a box set of your sweetie’s favorite movies. Check out movie sets or even grab a couple of television series. The older the season, the cheaper they are, so you can score big if they are into some oldies but goodies.

Reds™ : The Color of Love
If you can’t fork out the cash for Reds season tickets, go for just a couple of games. The ballpark is always fun, plus it’s a local pastime. This is also a way to extend the romance well past the cold months. Who knows, maybe you might end up on the Kiss Cam!

Laughter is the Key to Happiness
Check out a comedy show at a local comedy club. Funny Bone at Newport on the Levee and Go Bananas off of Montgomery Road are both great spots to have a night of laughs and are sure to put anyone in a carefree mood.

Flowers Aren’t Just for Girls
If you want to be daring, get your Valentine a floral arrangement. The important thing is to not, we repeat N-O-T, send them to the office or have them delivered anywhere. Bring them home to give to him, and hand them over in a hot little number you picked up in the lingerie department. According to Michael Skaff, ’s head floral designer, the top flowers for Valentine’s Day are: 1) Red roses (romance), 2) Pink roses (grace), 3) White roses (innocence), as well as the additional gifts of assorted chocolates. So, get the gift that gets your message across and play up the emotions. Yes, men do have emotions somewhere in there.

Taste the Love
Use a fondue pot to melt assorted chocolates, dipping a variety of sensual foods in them. As with flowers, flavors of chocolates suggest certain emotions. In the Lindt survey, 42 percent associate milk chocolate with love, and 53 percent say white chocolate stirs “innocent feelings of friendship.” As for that rich, dark chocolate, almost a third of people surveyed connect it with lust. Grab all different kinds and see what kind of feelings you can muster up.

Itty Bitty Spenders ($0-$30)
So, you’re eating Ramen soup three times a day because you “accidentally” bought cute Manolo Blahnik pumps the other day. Your sweetheart probably won’t enjoy a candlelight Ramen Noodle dinner, so you’re going to have to get creative with his gift this year. And so he doesn’t think you’re cheap, tell him anyone can splurge on a formal dinner or a pricey gadget, but it takes creativity, forethought and time to be truly romantic.

Valentine Heart Jar
Make a heart-shaped stencil and tape it onto the front of a jar. Spray jar with the spray paint and let dry. Spray a second coat, let dry. Once dry, take maroon paint and old toothbrush, and splatter paint around your heart design. Let dry. Gently pull stencil off gently, and tie ribbon or raffia around the top of the jar. Secure with bow. Fill the jar with his favorite candy to make a cute gift he’ll fall in love with.

Valentine’s Day Screensaver
Surprise him with a Valentine’s-themed screensaver to remind him of you when he opens up his laptop at work. Go here to select your free Valentine’s Day screensaver:

Love Letterhead
Go ahead and confess your undying love for him. But don’t do it on a boring piece of paper. Go to and download a free “love letterhead” to make your message go straight to the heart.

Love is Like a Box of Chocolates
Empty a box of chocolates. Then cut out 50 to 100 hearts from lace doilies, construction paper, or fabric. On each cutout, record something about him that you love. Be specific. Then, fold the cutouts, place them in the chocolate box and top with a red satin bow. The time you spend coming up with these ideas will contribute to your own romantic mood, and what he thinks is a plain box of chocolates will be a gift he’ll keep close to his heart forever.

Mentally Recreate Your First Date Together

What were you wearing? Where did you go? Do you remember what you talked about? Spend the evening reminiscing and reflecting on how far you’ve come as a couple.

Songs From the Heart
Make a tape of the songs special to your relationship. Include “your song,” songs from your favorite movies and songs that remind you of him when you hear them. Add a personal voice dedication and leave it in his car stereo.

card3.jpgHave a Scavenger Hunt
Write a few poems, wrap candy kisses inside and hide them around the house. Each poem should be a clue to finding the next one. Make sure the final clue lands your man someplace you want to end up for the entire evening. A romantic touch, such as a bottle of champagne or a new piece of lingerie, is a nice “treasure at the end of the rainbow.”

Make a Handmade Card
This card, designed by , is made from a dark red piece of paper and a cream colored piece of paper. Cut a piece of the dark red paper to fit the front of your blank card and glue it in place. Cut a large square from the cream colored paper and glue it just above the center of the card. Glue the piece of paper in place. Tear a large heart from the dark red paper and glue it in the center of the cream colored square. Type “Happy Valentine's Day,” print it on cream-colored paper and glue in the center of the heart. Stitch around the cream colored square and the edge of the card. Voila!

main021207SOCIAL2_intext.jpgMake a Love Brew
Put hot chocolate mix (homemade or purchased packet), Hershey kisses, mini marshmallows, a red peppermint stick and an optional red napkin in a mug or Styrofoam cup. Place in tulle, bring up ends and tie off with red ribbon. Then print this poem on pink paper, and tie it on the peppermint stick with ribbon: “This is Cupid’s love brew, made special just for you. Pour it in a cup of hot water, and use the love stick to stir. Inside is tucked a kiss or two, that is sure to warm you through and through.”

Antique Valentines
Go to your local antique store – there are quite a few in Miamitown – and buy some antique Valentine's Day cards. They won’t be any more than a couple of dollars, but he’ll love the extra time you took to find it. Plus, everyone knows men are history buffs, so he’ll love looking at the date it was postmarked, the message written on it and reflecting on what was happening in the world at that time.

Love Coupons
Make him a coupon book full of romantic gestures, hot and steamy favors, household chores, etc. that he can cash in at any time.

Spoon all night
Enough said.