Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine’s Day Gift Giving Etiquette - A Pressure Cooker Smothered in High Expectations

Talk about putting on the pressure, the Valentine’s Day gift giving ritual is smothered in high expectations. A seemingly innocent gift from an amour is subject to all kinds of scrutiny that may be dissected and analyzed for years to come. Whether you’re dating or in a committed relationship, the gift is a symbol of the amount of love in the relationship. It is an oil and water check telling us how things are going.  If the connection is in good standing or if we’re headed off a cliff.  Did your mate spend hours pounding the pavement or just a few seconds scouring an online store?  Have they listened closely to your likes and dislikes to select a gift that is most meaningful to you or did they choose something purely for convenience’ sake?  One thing is certain, no one wants to spend the day dedicated to love fighting, or worse, breaking up over a gift that felt insensitive or phoned in. With only two days left, we've compiled a quick list of the most popular Valentine’s Day gift giving dos and don’ts to point your cupid's arrow in the right direction and inspire a day of happiness and passion for all. 

Chocolates. Dark or milk? Plain or nuts? Sees or Godiva?
Don’t: Don’t tempt your loved one with a large box of fattening chocolates, especially if they've been working like a dog to stick to a diet. You want them focus to be on you not spending the night complaining about how fat they look in their skinny jeans.
Do: Opt for gourmet bite-sized dark chocolate morsels with sea salt instead.  These are not only more healthy and satisfying, they are an aphrodisiac too. 

Flowers. To vase or not to vase, that is the question.
Don’t: Avoid the supermarket route cellophane-wrapped flowers complete with the sticker still on. This is a dead giveaway that you waited until the last minute. 
Do: Find out their favorite flower and have an arrangement displayed in a striking vase or present them with a box of long-stemmed beauties. If selecting roses, stay away from the yellow friendship ones. Red is the symbol of romance. If flowers aren't their thing, take a cue from Rachael Ray and wrap up their favorite food item instead. 

Jewelry. This is an investment. Do your due diligence.
Don’t: Purchase CZ’s and try to pass them off as diamonds or splurge on something big and extravagant when all they want is a delicate pendant or handcrafted leather bracelet. Unmarried? Avoid presenting a ring in a box which might be mistaken for a proposal.
Do: Know their taste or confer with a close friend before making any major purchases. Find out if they prefer rose gold, yellow gold, silver or platinum or none of the above.  Getting exactly what they want will thrill them and elminate a next day return.

Lingerie. Who is this gift really for?
Don’t: Use this as an excuse to visit an erotic lingerie store or pick up a prop right out of Fifty Shades of Grey. They might question your sudden interest and doubt their performance in the boudoir. On the flipside, a conservative bathrobe might make them feel old.
Do: Find the goldilocks gift.  Something tasteful, yet sexy.  Know their correct size.  Nothing too big or too small.  Something red or pink sends a loving message that you're ready for a night of fun. 

Accessories.  A smart handbag, shoes or a scarf? Go for the luxury brand.
Don’t: Bring home a fake and try to convince them it’s real. All luxury brands come with a card of authenticity.  Go this route and your partner will think you are incredibly cheap.
Do: Splurge on an item they're sure to appreciate. If you are working within a budget, there are plenty of beautiful accessories in all price ranges. It is much more wise to find something small, yet sophisticated.

Gift Cards. Tread carefully with these plastic babies.  
Don’t: Purchase any old gift card at the checkout stand. While they may need to stock up on household supplies, a gift card to Target hardly screams romance. Nor does a gift card to Starbucks, AMC Theatres or any other practical venue.
Do: Purchase a gift card from a spa that offers a unique experience or opportunity for your honey to rejuvenate and relax. Compliment the card with a small accompanying gift and you’ll get brownie points for going the extra mile. 

No matter how your mate expresses their appreciation, your job is to receive all gifts graciously with a giant smile. Choose to be grateful for your relationship on this day celebrating love. Realize that above everything else, that is the greatest gift of all! 

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