Valentine's day might be over-commericalized and very unimportant in the grand scene of things. But I can't help but think that's it's nice to have a day where you stop running the rat race and try and make your partner's day a little bit brighter. Sure, you shouldn't just do it on a holiday but it doing so on Valentine's day won't take away any brownie points either!
1. Jewelry: Don't panic, folks. I'm not saying get her the million dollar diamond studs. Also, shopping for jewelry for someone else can be a bit intimidating for anyone. My suggestion: go simple and small. I'd confidently say that 98% of girls that wears ANY kind of jewelry - regardless of her taste - would wear a necklace. And the best way to win her heart? Choose something personalized. With this awesome thing called the internet, you can find any kind of charm on a necklace. Does she like origami, French history, Harry Potter, Cinderella, her home state, or Daryl from The Walking Dead?
Well, then I got ya covered! My suggestion is google this formula: what she likes + necklace + etsy. Etsy.com is a great website of handmade, quirky, and personalized products.
2. Perfume: Again, perfume tends to be a personal thing that can be difficult to pick out for someone. However, I believe that most women that wear any kind of body spray, perfume, scented lotions or specialized soaps would enjoy this kind of gift. Just peek into her bathroom - does she have any of this stuff and does she USE it? I do caution you though, this can be a popular gift so if she has more than 6 bottles of perfume, I would say don't bother getting her a new one. For me, perfume isn't something that I would personally buy for myself but I love getting it as a gift and I like changing scents to fit my mood.
Again, this is a great time to personalize. But you get to personalize it to YOUR preference! Test out a bunch of perfumes and narrow down to 2-3 scents that YOU enjoy and think would be nice on your girlfriend. Then find a lady. A sales clerk, a friendly female shopper. Ask them which scent do they like more. If you wanna go crazy, ask a couple people and take a tally. This part can tend to be a little tricky because everyone's nose is different so take it with a grain of salt. But, this will allow you to get a female's/other perspective, just in case. An added suggestion would be when you write in the card, tell her why you choose that perfume. It smells like sunflowers, which you know is her favorite flower. Or it smells a little spicy, just like her personality. Yes, it's cheesy. But if you can't be cheesy and lovey-dovey on Valentine's day, when can you?
Also, perfume doesn't have to break the bank. Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret, The Body Shop, Kohl's, Marshall's, Skin Food, and countless others all have scents under $30.
3. A Personalized Date - Some people aren't gift-givers (or gift-takers) and I think that's okay! Don't feel pressured to buy her gift because everyone else is and marketers are pushing Valentine's on you. Maybe the bank won't cover it this month or maybe she's a minimalist or concerned about her ecological footprint (wish I was better at both!) While you shouldn't have to buy her gift, I think it is nice to do something for her. And one of the best gifts is your time. Has she been dying to see the new art exhibit in town? What's her favorite park? Has she been talking about exploring a new part of the city? And I'm not talking your regular Chilli's dinner and a movie date (not that I don't like those!) But I'm saying - think outside the box a little. Also, listen to her. If you do, she'll probably give you an idea and she didn't even realize she was!
I personally think a picnic (outside or inside!) is a very cute and easy way create a date just for her. The planning and effort you take into preparing for the food and extra accessories before hand will really impress her. I found a great list over at Premeditated Leftovers on how to host the perfect (cheap!) picnic.
One more thing! This may sound silly but I believe presentation of the gift is
almost as important. But it's really, really easy. Many places like Victoria's Secret and Etsy stores will wrap your purchase beautifully so no worries. But if you're going to Kohl's or Marshall's, they will not. Just pop into your dollar store, Wal-mart, Hallmark or the equivalent of. Buy a gift bag and tissue paper that matches the bag. Yes, BUY THE TISSUE PAPER. Wrap the gift in the paper and put it at the bottom of the bag. Then on top of the tissue-wrapped present, put in 2-3 more pieces of tissue and fluff it. Make sure it is sticking out a little bit out of the bag. Like so:
If you wanna go crazy, stick a bow on the side of the bag or tie ribbon on the handles. Then buy or make her a card. Add a personalized message about how much you love and appreciate her. Maybe a favorite memory of the two of you. Write the date on the top (she might want to keep it and remember your first Valentine's together). Put that card in an envelope and write her name on the outside. Stick the card into the side of the bag and make sure it's peeking out. Voila! You're done! So easy, right?
At the end of the day, it's not important how much money you spent on her. What she really will be impressed with is how much time, effort and thought you put into selecting something just for her. Any guy can run into the store at midnight and grab a box of chocolate. But she'll smile when you tell her your epic story about how you chose your gift because it reminded you of HER.