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A Valentine’s Day Last-Minute Gift-Giving Guide

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow – a Saturday – which means expectations will be running higher than usual and everyone giving a gift will have one less excuse for it to be thoughtless and tragic.

Talk about pressure!

Not to worry. The trick to satisfying the “it’s the thought that counts” philosophy of gift-giving is meeting a minimum standard of thoughtfulness, which is easier than you think – even at the last minute . All you need to do is go one level deeper than you normally do. Here are some tips to help you avoid slipping up with the usual gifts:

Flowers

1. Skip the roses unless they are the recipient’s absolute favorite.
2. If you don’t know, don’t guess. Go with something else, or use flowers as an add-on.
3. Consider a bloom that won’t die over the cut flowers that will.

Chocolates

1. Don’t go for the Whitman Sampler from the drugstore unless it’s for your grandma.
2. As with flowers, hopefully you already know what's preferred.
3. Heart-shaped boxes tend to look tacky, if not downright suspicious.

Stuffed Animals

1. These are great for kids – and only kids.
2. Opt for the real puppy whenever possible.
3. If you’re going plush, hang a diamond necklace on it.

Jewelry

1. Never buy jewelry in the same place you buy your groceries.
2. “Champagne” anything will never be in style and is never a bargain.
3. If you’re going big, do your research.

DIY Gifts

1. Play to your creative strengths.
2. Give yourself enough time to do it right (which may be more than the few hours you have left).
3. Baking and cooking are safe bets when well-executed.

Red Flags & Warning Signs

1. A gift card is often considered worse than nothing.
2. Clothing gifts require exceptional gift-buying prowess.
3. Never re-gift on Valentine’s Day – you will be caught.

Keep these easy tips in mind and you can’t go wrong. You may not blow any minds, but you won’t blow a hole in your own canoe, either. Happy Valentine’s Day, and good luck!
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