Saturday, February 14, 2009

How to Give the Perfect Valentines Day Gift

Photo by anhsangtim

How do you say "I love you" in French? Italian? Japanese? For that matter, how do you say it in English? How do you say "I think you're pretty cool" or "I really wish we could hang out more" - how do you say "I would throw away everything just to be with you?" in a way that truly conveys it? Valentines Day seems to be the absolute best day to say these things, whether we say them in French, Italian, Japanese, or English, but the question is always what do we give to convey all these swirling, spinning, mixed-up emotions? What tiny, red-wrapped package could ever say all these things? Take a deep breathe, forget the bouquet of red roses, and go for a little more personal approach - quite simply, here's the Cocoa guide for finding those perfect gifts that say exactly the right words. 

"I'd like to get to know you better"
Have you happened upon someone thoroughly intriguing mere days before February 14th, either wandering the street or sitting next to you on a plane or in that itsy-bitsy coffee shop you religiously frequent? You're in luck! Now is the perfect time to further your friendship with a charming little trinket or a small excursion out with this newfound friend! Keep in mind that Valentines Day isn't all about over-the-top romanticism, so keep your gift simple and fun, especially at this stage of the relationship - track down a CD to a funky little band they might enjoy or pick up a book that they mentioned they've been meaning to read. Humorous gifts are great for Valentines like these, too, so feel free to find a parody of something they said they did or didn't like and present it with great extravagance. Despite standard V-Day traditions, though, avoid jewelry at all costs! You've just met the person and don't want to give the wrong impression!
For Last Minute Gift Givers: Put your skills to the test and make them something using Origami, whether it be a paper crane, an ice cream cone, or a slice of pizza.

"Thank you for being there"
It's important to remember that V-Day is not just about lovers in love, but it's a day of appreciation for everyone that you've cultivated a relationship with - that means mothers who have stood by your side during the good times and the bad, fathers who have always held your hand when checking for monsters under the bed, friends who have never let you down and were always there to cheer you up when the hard times came - don't forget that these are the most important people in your life and they deserve to be celebrated too! Try making hand-made paper lace valentines for these incredible folks, complete with personal letters and maybe even a few pieces of candy. If you're looking for something a little more modern, too, track down a gift card to their favorite coffee shop or movie theatre or restaurant and tuck it inside.
For Last Minute Gift Givers: Compose a poem and perform it with eccentric theatrics, professing your appreciation for them and everything they do in highs and lows.

"I think I'm falling in love with you"
"Valentine's day is in less than a week and I have someone really special in my life that I would like to make a gift for. He's my best friend, confidante, and the reason why I'm almost always happy...He's not my boyfriend, but I have feelings for him, and I was hoping that this Valentine's day, I could finally tell him."

This has to be the most difficult gift of all, especially to those on pins and needles wondering whether or not their Valentine will say those three simple words in return. If there's an opportunity for romanticism and extravagance, this is it - find something truly meaningful to the person in question, whether it be hard-to-get concert tickets or a little slice of nostalgia from their childhood, and make a whole day of the gift-giving ceremony. Take them out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, taking a tour of the city you live in whilst doing so, or just visit meaningful places to the both of you. For those like the lovely bunny above who want to go the handmade route, do so with intimacy! Knit a big warm scarf for your Valentine to wear on those especially cold days, cut little hearts out of paper or fabric or whatever else you can find and string them together in a six-foot-long daisy chain, cross-stich "Be mine?" with little checkboxes underneath reading "Yes" and "No". Whatever you make, be sure that it comes from the heart and be especially sure to have lots of fun whilst making it!
For Last Minute Gift Givers: Don't be afraid to be cliche! If you've got a guitar and a little bit of musical talent, stand outside your Valentine's window and play their favorite song (or at least one of the songs you know how to play!)

"I'm definitely in love with you"

If you've been with someone for a while and have already been through all the tiny, romantic instances of Valentines Day, then just have fun on February 14th! Don't stress out over getting a meaningful gift or tons of chocolates or the biggest bouquet of flowers you can possibly find - instead just enjoy the time spent with your Valentine! In this case, your gift can be something as simple as a tiny little diary, for those Valentines who love to write, or a vintage apron for the epicurean connoisseur. Be simple in your gift and instead make the day spent together spectacular!
For Last Minute Gift Givers: Make paper dolls that look just like you and your sweetie and trade them so you can both carry each other around all the time.

Stay beautiful, angels, and have the most beautiful, love-soaked day possible.

Penelope ♥


My Stifled Laughter said...

Aww, Valentine's day! :) And I found this to be a cute article. My day was mostly spent at a percussion contest, but I did spent a couple hours with my boy.

Sarah Von said...

Gorgeous! I love every single one of these ideas.