Forget the overpriced flowers, cliché heart-shaped candy box, and predictable greeting cards. Show your significant other that you care enough to put serious thought into the gift.
Nothing says "I love you" like paying attention.
Some of you just hate Valentine's Day as a commercialized artificial demand to demonstrate your affection by shopping… get over it.
You don't have to spend a lot of money or observe the floral ritual, but can you really afford give the impression that you are the Curmudgeon of Romance?
I think not.
This is not the time to be an activist. If you must, do something special on February 13th to register your disgust with the system. But do something. This requires you to spend some time thinking about the object of your affection.
What do they like to do?
Do they collect something? Is there something they keep meaning to do for themselves that you can do for them? An indulgence or small luxury you can treat them to?
Before you rush off to eBay to find a gift… there is a No-No List. For a woman, no matter how much she needs one, do NOT buy her a vacuum cleaner or a handy car emergency kit.
"I just want to make your life easier, honey!" Time and place, dude… make her life easier with a new mulch shovel on Arbor Day, not The Big Romance Day.
Same goes for men's gifts; even if they really want a riding mower, save it for a birthday. Certainly don't buy them the tools they need to fix YOUR car.
Or a gift that reflects the job you want them to get, the clothes youthink they should start wearing, or the healthy habit you think they should have.
Gifts should show that you spent time, and thought, not money. Sure, some people love expensive gifts, but more likely, it will look like you spent money to hide the fact that you couldn't think of something good.
If you spend a bundle, do it because you tracked down something rare and wonderful. Never spend big money if money is a big issue in your relationship. Spend time, not cash.
So, what is on the Yes-Yes List?
GIFTS OF SERVICE.
Give a weekend of your time fixing or cleaning everything that needs it, without making the person feel be-holdin' for it. Give a gift certificate for a meal you cook and clean-up after, especially if you never do that. Even if you can't cook, the effort will be both amusing and thoughtful.
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