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How to avoid the ten most overdone Valentine gifts

Traditional Valentine Gifts
Traditional Valentine Gifts
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Valentine's day brings to mind images of hearts, cupid, candy and flowers. We are inundated with commercials encouraging us to buy, buy, buy. Our loved ones often hold either expectations or anticipations and we too often find that our efforts fall flat or just don't meet the mark of originality and extra thought. The reason for the Valentine failure is largely due to presenting the most overdone gift that inevitably represents a lack of personal attention and original thinking.

Giving a good or thoughtful gift isn't about how much money is spent, unless you're dealing with a gold digger as opposed to a genuine friend, spouse or mate who loves you and appreciates being loved by you. However a lack of thought that is glaringly obvious doesn't typically go over too well with those hoping to see some special effort that declares how much we care.

The overdone Valentine gifts include flowers, chocolates and other candy, dinner, perfume or cologne, sexy clothing, ties for men, a night at the movies, teddy bears and other stuffed animals, heart shaped jewelry and keepsakes, cards and champagne or other alcohol. While these can be great gifts and might also be greatly appreciated they run the risk of being viewed as typical, stale, unoriginal or lacking in a personal approach. The way to alter both the presentation and reception of gifts from any of these categories is to add a twist to how they are delivered.

The idea is to put some personal thought into the gift you want to present to the one you love. Thoughtfulness goes much further than a quick grab from a row of gifts planted in the front row at various counters all over the country. If you choose flowers, make sure they are the kind of flowers she or he favors. Also consider live flowers over a cut bouquet that soon shrivels and dies. Even better, offer to plant them and follow through or include a durable pot that will be seen year after year and summon fond memories. Along with the flowers you might include a handmade flowery card proclaiming your true feelings of love and affection.

If you choose candy, don't just go buy a box of heart-shaped chocolates. Goodness no. Also avoid supermarket chocolates if your beloved has a discerning tongue. There is nothing worse than a cheap, stale, or low quality box of chocolates presented to a real chocolate lover. Consider making queries about their favorite kind of candy, favorite makers of chocolate, special candy rarely self purchased. Again, the idea is to research, investigate and discover more about the one you want to please.

If you choose jewelry as a Valentine's gift you will want to make sure she or he wears rings, watches, necklaces and whatever form of bling you have in mind. You will also want to make sure you know their size preferences, short or long necklaces, simple or bulky earrings, gold or silver and so on. A heart-shaped item is certainly not essential and may be too cheesy for some recipients. Consider presenting the item in a love note topped box, by her bedside with a hot cup of coffee or tea or taped to the mirror. However, use caution and avoid putting things inside foods like cupcakes or some other place that can end up causing a trip to the dentist.

Perfume and cologne are so overdone that gifts in these categories can be difficult to summon some unique presentation filled with thought. However, if your beloved loves scent then it might be the perfect gift. Of course, again, find out what specific scent or what kind of scent they enjoy such as floral or earthy, spicy or fresh. Find thoughtful ways of delivering the scent beyond wrapping it in a valentine covered paper. Add a breakfast tray, a candlelit dessert at home with a pretty box at the center or amongst some satin sheets and your bare skin or some other wild and hot and crazy idea.

All of the most overdone gifts can be revamped and made a bit more fresh and original. It just requires a little extra time and thought to go that extra mile that could eventually lead to a gratifying and love-filled romance. There is nothing wrong with traditional gifts unless they are done without thought and at the last minute or by grabbing whatever is convenient. The key word here is thoughtfulness and it relates to Valentine's Day and all other days that involve understanding our loved ones in a way that will lead to more harmony, fun and love. In the end, the best gift of all is letting our loved ones know that we care enough to take the time to think about them, treasure them enough to learn more about them and adore them enough to make a traditional lover's day something uniquely crafted just for them.