Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day . . . What Not to Give

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. If you care enough to give a gift on Valentine’s Day, how bad can the gift really be? After all, it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. The official day dedicated to declaring your love for that special someone strikes dread in the hearts of men and anticipation in the hearts of women everywhere. Valentine’s Day has become a multi-million dollar industry where traditional gifts of chocolates and cards are exchanged by thousands of couples. For those adventuresome few who stray off the traditional path, there are certain gifts that are guaranteed to put a damper on your Valentine’s Day romantic celebration.

As a gift giver on Valentine’s Day, it’s important to understand the gift should represent your emotional bond with the recipient. So, even if your beloved has been hinting for months that the very gift she would love to have for herself is a new wok, Valentine’s Day is not the time for that gift. Far better to cave to tradition and go the sentimental card and candy route on this day, and then next week surprise her with the wok, than to risk having her think you value her only for her skills in the kitchen.

This approach works perfectly when it is the woman on the receiving end of the Valentine’s Day gift. Women, being emotional creatures, love the idea that they are cherished and desired. Men, on the other hand, may prove to be a different story. Oh sure, men appreciate the token card or even candy, but they also understand the value of the good, old-fashioned sensible gift. If you present men with a new drill for Valentine’s Day he is less likely to feel unappreciated than a woman receiving a vacuum cleaner might feel. In fact, you may find that he is quite pleased to see that you understand his needs and have actually been listening when he talks about the tools he would like for his workshop.

Gifting cleaning supplies seem to be a common mistake unknowingly made by men. While a new vacuum cleaner or dishwasher may seem like a gift that will bring convenience to a hectic life, these gifts are better left for Christmas or birthdays. Women don’t want to be reminded of their cleaning duties on such a special day. Valentine’s Day should be used as a day for romance and love, not convenience and ease of life. Kitchen appliances such as blenders or dishes are not romantic either. Cooking, just like cleaning, is a chore to most women, and therefore being reminded of their expectations does not set well as a romantic gesture. On the other hand if you were to purchase a new oven or set of pots and pan, then surprise her with a romantic candlelit dinner made by you using these new items, it would be a perfect way to incorporate such gift into a romantic gesture any woman is sure to appreciate.

It is never a good idea to purchase any kind of exercise equipment or gym membership for a loved one as a Valentine’s Day gift. Although the gift of health is precious, it will probably be taken more as an insult. No one wants to be told on Valentine’s Day that they need to lose a few pounds, and that is precisely how most women will receive such a gift. Unless you can turn it into a couple’s membership and present it as a way to spend time together getting healthy or utilizing some of the fringe benefits of a health club membership.

Valentine’s Day is the symbolic day of honoring the one you love with a small token of your undying esteem and love. As such, any gift worthy of presenting on this day must speak of love, not practicality. The standard gifts of cards, candy, flowers and jewelry may seem to be overused and commonplace but, let’s face it, they do get the job done. Many women will “ooh” and “Ahh” over delectable chocolates, a favorite bouquet of roses or a sentimental card. These gifts have become traditional for a reason. Few women will elicit the same reaction to a vacuum cleaner or a new coffee pot.

In order to make sure you don’t turn this Valentine’s Day into one to forget, make sure you don’t give a gift worth forgetting. The worst Valentine’s Day gift . . . you’ve probably guessed it by now. Though many want all days of the year to be Valentines Day’s women expect men to give a gift to them at least on Valentine’s Day. Men, the absolute worst gift you can give on Valentine’s Day is ‘nothing’. Don’t even try explaining this one since words will be futile.

Happy Valentine’s Day . . .

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  1. All men need tutoring from a woman on how to celebrate romantic holidays…don’t let your husband disappoint you. He doesn’t want to.

  2. Thank you for mentioning this on your blog …for years I’ve enjoyed going out to special Valentine’s Day dinner with my husband ..This year we cooked for my mother who just got out of the hospital and visited with his mother who just went into the hospital . It was a truly memorable day for me.

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