Valentine’s Day Gifts Review

The best and worst possible Valentine's Day gifts to avoid or look for this February

Natalie Fiorella, Managing Editor

Best

A bouquet of flowers is a staple Valentine’s Day gift for a good reason. They are relatively inexpensive so they are perfect if you’re on a budget, or if the flowers are one of several gifts. Flowers just say “romance.” (Make sure they are not already wilting before giving them by putting them in a vase of water.) Be sure to find out if the person receiving them is not allergic as well, or else you could be putting your relationship in jeopardy. If you’re feeling like taking a risk, try switching things up and get an Edible Arrangement-they still look just like flowers. If you go with this fruit bouquet, try your best to keep it refrigerated for as long as possible before gifting it.

If flowers seem too impersonal, a super sweet boyfriend or girlfriend would choose a present that lasts longer than a few weeks, like a photo collage. Print out pictures of you and your significant other and put them in a picture frame or on a poster (or whatever arrangement is the easiest to make in only one trip to the nearest Hobby Lobby or Michaels). With a little more planning, beat the procrastination bug by arranging the collage to tell the story of your relationship. Gather photos or memorabilia from every couple of months of your relationship to make a timeline. Cupid couldn’t do a Valentine’s Day gift any better than this personalized one!

Jewelry is a more serious gift, but if you are willing to spend a little more money and take that risk, it’s worth it. To play it safe and avoid wasting money on a gift your sweetheart would never wear, shop for smaller items. For necklaces, look for something with a small charm or pendant. Be cautious when looking for earrings and choose ones that are meant for daily wear, such as studs and small hoops. While rings are a hard gift to go wrong by as long as it’s simple, they require knowing the person’s ring size or an in-person fitting. Rings also tend to signify a long term commitment and might scare people away if they interpret it as a promise ring. Regardless of the type of jewelry though, sterling silver is the easiest and most inexpensive material that also won’t tarnish quickly. While jewelry does take more of an effort, it’s definitely worth it.

The most thoughtful and personal gift is definitely an experience. This does not have to be a mini-vacation or anything expensive, but rather a planned day of each other’s favorite activities and destinations. These places could include each other’s favorite restaurants, the location of your first date or somewhere your sweetheart has always wanted to go to. Believe it or not, there are plenty of places in “the bubble” that could allow for a great trip together, Prairie Fire (for the first time since middle school), Heritage Park, Deanna Rose Farm, the Arboretum, or even a playground. Try also going north of 435 and checking out some of the popular places Kansas City is known for, such as the Nelson Atkins Museum, the Plaza, Downtown Overland Park, Union Station or the Kansas City Zoo.

Worst

One popular gift that’s a big NO is a giant teddy bear. While it seems like an adorable idea and a cute gesture, it’s obvious you are trying too hard and nobody likes that. It’s cliche, takes up space and, even if you’re enjoying a long-term relationship, they won’t be able to take it to college. Stuffed animals and toys can be a pretty cheesy gift that not everyone will like, so especially stay away from them if this is you and your significant others first Valentine’s Day. A smaller stuffed animal or even a fun date to Build-A-Bear would provide for a memorable Valentine’s Day, if the toy route is the way you want to go. An unnecessarily large furry friend is just desperate.

The biggest, most avoidable mistake is to “re-gift.” Good luck com- ing back from this one if you get caught. Your valentine would rather you stop at Quik Trip and buy a 32oz. drink than give them something that’s already laying around your house or, heaven forbid, something someone gave you a year ago. If a hand me down present really seems like your last option, either quit now, or grab a piece of construction paper, cut a heart out, and write a note inside. Cards are a smart choice to put in any gift no matter what though, but at least this way your romantic side has a chance to shine. Or at least make an appearance.

Steer away from all gifts that you know nothing about. Makeup, while something that most girls would love to receive, is tricky to buy for someone else as you don’t know what products they al- ready have and what they would like. Additionally, face makeup such as foundation and concealer comes in that needs to be an exact match. Other eyeshadow and any lip products are a choice, unless you know the exact product. Another gift that is too individual for someone to buy your someone else is perfume. Everyone has a different preference that is too hard to guess. A pack of different rollerball perfume samples is an alternative to this.

Nothing would be worse than putting time, effort and money
into a great gift, only for it to be wasted because of the bad timing. Even if your Valentines’ favorite food is ice cream, do not surprise them with a carton of it before school, or anytime where they will not have immediate access to store it. The same goes for chocolate, try to keep it indoors for as long as possible. Another example of a gift that’s ruined by poor timing that isn’t a food, is a surprise date. While this spontaneous idea does sound exciting, nothing would be worse, and more awkward, than having an entire night planned only for the other person to already have plans. Additionally, not everyone enjoys surprises, either because they prefer to be the planner, or they don’t want to risk not enjoying whatever activity is already planned. To avoid any awkwardness, make sure to plan ahead when you’re delivering gifts, and at least give your date a heads up before planning a day out.