This mid-week post is all about Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s if you’re a single gal). I will be celebrating the holiday of love with my boyfriend but I haven’t decided what to wear yet – mostly because he won’t tell me where we’re going or what we’re doing. That alone is enough to give me a complex but not being properly dressed for the occasion would give me nightmares for weeks. When I do get more details about our plans, I will definitely do a post on my outfit. Stay tuned!
Of course you want to look good when you’re going out with your S.O. on Valentine’s Day but the most challenging part of the holiday (especially for us ladies) is what to get him as a gift. So many questions arise when you start to think about it. Have we been together long enough that he’s expecting a gift? Are we even dating? What if I get him a gift but he doesn’t get me a gift because we never discussed it? And so on. It’s enough to give you a panic attack! Men aren’t always the easiest to shop for to begin with but it seems like the pressure is really on for Valentine’s Day. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a long-term boyfriend for the past few holidays so I had it easy. Last year, for example, we put a price cap of $20 on gifts that we could get for one another since we were going to a really nice restaurant for dinner. I printed one of our favorite pictures of us where we looked our absolute best and put it in a nice frame for him to put on his desk. I accompanied that with a great card I found on Etsy that perfectly summed up our relationship to a “T” – it had a picture of a closet and his side was small yet neat and my side was large and a mess and the caption said “Your side, my side. Thanks for loving me anyway, Valentine.” The inside was blank so I was able to write a cute note inside and I signed it with a kiss using my favorite lipstick. I know, feels. He absolutely loved it.
Valentine’s Day Veterans
But maybe you’re not the creative type or you don’t have the time? I’ve got you covered. Men are practical when it comes to gifts. Why do you think Christmas gift commercials for men always have tools and cars in them? Get them something that you know that they’ll use! If you’re out and about and he points out something he really likes – there you go! Instant gift idea. And you know he’ll love it because a) he picked it himself and b) it shows that you paid attention. But if you’re still stuck, here’s a few gift ideas that CCB would buy (or has bought) for her S.O. A nice shaving kit is a great idea if you know he loves a great shave every morning or a gift certificate to The Art of Shaving for a little pampering session and a great shave. You could also get him a dress belt (I like this one because it’s reversible) for when he can’t wear his favorite canvas belt with his slacks. You can’t go wrong with a nice wallet (this one from Coach is great quality at a reasonable price point) or a money clip if he thinks wallets are too bulky (I like this Tiffany’s one because you can also personalize it) for when it’s time to retire the velcro wallet from college. But if he’s more of a low-maintenance guy or wouldn’t want you spending too much on him, Herschel makes great canvas wallets that are durable yet stylish. Ties are always a winner (I’ll leave that up to you as far as style and pattern) and you’ll get bonus points from him if you know how to tie the tie as well – I’m partial to the full Windsor knot myself.
Valentine’s Day Newbies
The above gift ideas were more for the “we’ve been dating for 6 months or more” crowd. To all of you who are in new relationships or the guy you just started seeing has asked you out for Valentine’s Day, this section is for you. If you haven’t discussed gifts, you can offer to pay for half of the date. For example, if he’s got dinner covered, you could pay for drinks and dessert at your next destination or pick up the tab at the movies. The way to my heart is a giant bag of Sour Patch Kids at the theater – just sayin’. Or if you only have time for dinner, you could split the dinner check. I know, this is a touchy subject. Only bring it up if you’re comfortable though – you don’t want him to feel like you’re emasculating him at the dinner table. Or, talk about it beforehand. That way you’ll both know going in what the expectations are for the evening and dinner won’t be awkward. Another great gift idea is concert/theater tickets. If you know you have similar tastes in music or theater and one of your faves is playing, score some tickets to the show and then get a small bite afterwards if the show lets out late (you got the tickets, he covers the late night trip to Shake Shack). If you have discussed gifts, my best advice would be to try to keep the costs low. The last thing you want is to walk in with a $300 cashmere scarf for him and all he got you was a dozen roses and a teddy bear. Awk-ward. Discuss a price cap or parameters so that you’ll both not only be happy with your gifts but it’ll also make you think long and hard about your gift choice, making it that much more special. I had a boyfriend many moons ago who gave me a beautiful mason jar full of handwritten love notes, one for every day of the year. He even sprayed them with his cologne so that they smelled like him too. I thought it was so sweet that he put so much time and effort into my gift. To this day, I still think of it as one of the most romantic gifts I’ve ever received.
Valentine’s Day with the Gals
Ahhh, there’s nothing like Galentine’s Day where you know you’re spending the holiday with your BFFs. There’s no gifts to buy (unless you decide to treat yourself to something nice in which case I’d buy myself these) and you know you’re going to have a great time no matter what shenanigans you ladies get into – whether you’re cooking dinner together with great wine at home or heading out to a fabulous restaurant dressed to the nines. Enjoy your time together. These ladies have been with you through it all and they love you no matter what happens. And cherish the time you have together because who knows how many of these get-togethers you will have left. One of you might be married by this time next year. Or have a baby. Or move to another city. Okay, I need to wrap this up before I start crying.
In summary, no matter what your plans may be, live it up and have fun! And the best part is, no one has to get up early on Monday for work because it too is a holiday. I’ll drink to that!