February is here already and it looks like Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away. What a wonderful holiday; colorful hearts of red, pink and white are showing up in many places, and everything is looking just so pretty and cheerful. It’s definitely a happy and fun holiday.
The sweet treats...
For those ladies (or guys) who are married or otherwise attached, we know that our significant others will come up with something lavishly sweet (among other things) to dote upon us. So, what should a husband, boyfriend or partner get for his or her sweetheart? This is the question of the day for Valentines gifting! Many a girl (or boy) would prefer to receive a heart shaped box of candy filled with nuts and chews rather than those cream center chocolates with maple or vanilla filling (of course it's a matter of taste). If we must indulge it may as well be something chewy and crunchy. Adding the nuts makes those goodies just a little more wholesome. If we receive dark chocolates, all the better as they contain some nutritionally healthful antioxidants which are good for the heart an added + on Valentine's Day (Stibich, M.). Should your sweetheart prefer another delectable food item other than chocolates, a box of cookies will also be a good choice.
Just for girlfriends and boyfriends?
Cookies are not quite as romantic as a box of chocolates but they are also delicious and they may also be given to someone who is not your sweetheart, i.e. your mom, your aunt, your sister, the lady at the bank who always helps you with your account, etc. As long as the cookie container doesn’t have some kind of romantic print declaring, “You’re my sweetheart”, you should be okay with this gift for those with whom you are not romantically involved. The Mexican tradition of Valentine’s Day or Día de San Valentin is not just a romantic holiday but also a day for friendship (Barbezat). It’s a day to give gifts to boyfriends and girlfriends and to show that you care about your friends, neighbors and family.
Floral gifting and where to go
Another surprise that would light up someone’s day is a beautiful planter or flower arrangement. Cut flowers are lovely and make wonderful gifts. If you want to be romantic and say, “I love you”, a dozen red roses will do the trick. However, should your significant other be more on the practical side and prefer something that will last longer a potted flower arrangement would also make a nice gift. If you happen to be in the Sparta area, just northwest of Grand Rapids, you may want to stop by Jacobson’s Floral and Greenhouse. They are just off of M-37 and 13 Mile Road on State Street. They have a very nice indoor showroom with a wide selection of planters, lovely flower arrangements and other gifts. Their customer service is excellent; they go above and beyond the customers expectations.
A night out with friends on Valentine’s Day
For those who won’t be participating the typical Valentines Day events there are still things to do. A night out with friends at the Tip Off Sports Bar & Grill on Alpine Avenue NW is a fun place for people in their 20’s and 30’s + to hang-out and have a good time. They are reasonably priced, the food is good and besides the sports they have karaoke on Tuesdays.
Other fun things to think of on Valentine’s Day
The Japanese Valentine tradition is that the boys receive gifts from girls (Mizoguchi). Boys do not give Valentine gifts to girls in Japan. So, what should a young, Japanese man do if he’s living here in the Grand Rapids area and his girlfriend is a local American? A necklace with a heart shaped pendant is a very good choice and would be appreciated by almost any young lady. The Jeweler’s Workshop on Leonard NW in Grand Rapids has been in business for several years; they specialize in custom designed jewelry. Remember guys, ladies love jewelry and a custom made heart shaped ring or bracelet would make a very special and personal gift for your sweetheart.
No matter what you decide to do on Valentine’s Day, have fun and enjoy yourself. If you stay home, make a big cup of hot cocoa, put on some warm pajamas, curl up in a comfy chair and read your favorite book or watch your favorite TV show. What could be better than that? If you’re out and about on the town, remember, don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver and get home safe.
Barbezat, Suzanne. About.com: Mexico Travel. Unknown article date. Retreived on 31 January 2010 from website: http://gomexico.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/valentines_day.htm
Mark Stibich, Ph.D. About.com: Longevity. 26 April 2009. Retreived on 31 January 2010 from website: http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm.
Rie Mizoguchi, Representer. Must Love Japan: How to Valentine. 2008. Retreived on 31 January 2010 from website: http://www.mustlovejapan.com/howto/howto_valentine.