No one wants to give (or receive) a cliche Valentine‚Äôs Day gift. Most people want to give something meaningful and thoughtful, but somehow they end up at the local floral shop or chocolate store at the last minute on Feb. 14.
Below are some favorite LDS authors' thoughts on the best Valentine‚Äôs Day gifts and gestures.
‚ÄúI believe the most romantic gifts are those that express to your loved one the fact that they really know and understand who you are and that some thought went into it. I don‚Äôt need expensive gifts or showy things. I just want to feel like the person who loves me most has remembered a special occasion like Valentine‚Äôs Day and has put a little effort into letting me know I‚Äôm loved. A card (even a homemade one) is sufficient, as long as love is the message.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Anita Stansfield, latest book, ‚ÄúShadows of Brierly‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI think the perfect Valentine‚Äôs gift involves giving an experience rather than giving something. That experience might be a night away, tickets to a play, concert or comedy club or a more out-of-the-ordinary activity, such as snorkeling at the Homestead Crater, ice- or roller-skating or visiting a new museum or gallery. It‚Äôs important to think of the recipient and what he/she likes, but it‚Äôs also a great opportunity to try something new. And the bonus and best gift is time together.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Michele Paige Holmes, author of ‚ÄúCaptive Heart‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúGet a babysitter, put on your best duds and have her dress up too. (No baseball caps on backwards, no wrinkled jeans, and no sweatshirts.) Take her out to the nicest restaurant you can afford. If you can‚Äôt afford a nice meal out, then, Dad, it‚Äôs time for you to put on your apron and fix her dinner. If you really want to win her praise, fix her dinner five nights in a row, even if it means you have to learn a few new recipes.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Jean Holbrook Mathews, author of ‚ÄúThe Assignment‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúCheapness isn‚Äôt decided by how much you spend on a gift but by the amount of thought you put into it. Inexpensive can still be priceless. One of my husband‚Äôs favorite gifts was a playlist I made for him of the No. 1 hit song from every year since he‚Äôs been born. A custom playlist is a great update of the old school ‚Äėmix tape,‚Äô and when you tailor it to songs that suit your spouse or the both of you as a couple, it shows that you put time, effort and thought into saying, ‚ÄėI love you.‚Äô‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Melanie Jacobsen, author of ‚ÄúThe List‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI always try to give my sweetheart something that has sentimental value. One year after we moved into a new house, I asked the owners of our old house where we'd lived for 13 years if I could buy the door where we'd measured and marked the growth of all four of our children. Another year I took all of the slides from my husband‚Äôs mission and turned them into photos and made a scrapbook of his mission for him. Gifts from the heart last forever.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Michele Bell, author of ‚ÄúThe Butterfly Box Series‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWhen buying for your sweetheart, don‚Äôt spend money. A personal love note means so much. But when buying for me, I prefer hand-dipped chocolates and cash.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒShannon Hale, author of the Newberry-Honored book ‚ÄúPrincess Academy‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWhen my husband and I were first married we had very little extra money, especially for gifts. That year the song ‚ÄėA Rose and a Baby Ruth‚Äô was popular. The song told of a teenage boy who only had enough money to give his girlfriend a rose and a Baby Ruth candy bar. On Valentine‚Äôs Day my husband came in the door singing that song and carrying a plastic pink rose and a Baby Ruth. I loved it, and I still have the plastic rose tucked away with my keepsakes. Twice since then he‚Äôs brought me real rose and a giant size Baby Ruth for Valentine‚Äôs Day.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Carol Warburton, author of ‚ÄúLegend of Shannonderry‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúMy husband and I don‚Äôt do much for each other on Valentine‚Äôs Day ‚ÄĒ we save that for our wedding anniversary that‚Äôs fairly close to the holiday. Instead, we use Valentine‚Äôs Day as a day to tell our kids how much we love them. A few years ago, I gave each of my kids a ‚Äėheart attack,‚Äô where I put paper hearts all over their bedroom doors and used the letters of their names to specify some things that their dad and I especially appreciated about them. They kept those hearts up there for months. Another year we filled little jelly jars with pink, red and white strips of paper that had either something we loved about them or a special memory we had of them. The free and timeless things have the biggest impact on them and us, and it‚Äôs a fun chance for us to do something as a couple to show them how they‚Äôve completed our lives.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒJosi Kilpack, author of ‚ÄúBlackberry Crumble‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúFlowers and chocolates are far too common to be considered romantic (although I‚Äôd never really turn down chocolate). For me, the perfect gift would be an arranged babysitter and a night out at my favorite restaurant. As long as the kids are in bed when we return, it would be the best Valentine‚Äôs Day ever. Now, how to get my husband to read this ...‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Rachael Anderson, author of ‚ÄúLuck of the Draw‚ÄĚComment on this story
‚ÄúThe best Valentine‚Äôs gift is always relative to the woman and what‚Äôs going on in her life. The ‚Äėone-gift-fits-all‚Äô of candy and flowers is a clear sign that the man is just not trying. Always give a woman what she wants most. One year for me, that was scrubbing my tile floors, grout and all (I was pregnant at the time, and grout was my nemesis). One year it was an evening of pampering. It doesn‚Äôt have to be expensive or overly creative. There‚Äôs just one rule: Pay attention. That‚Äôs always the key to a woman‚Äôs heart. Know your lady and then go from there.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ Shannon Guymon, author of ‚ÄúThe Broken Road‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI think the perfect Valentine‚Äôs gift is something that reminds you of all the reasons why you fell in love to begin with. A CD of the music that was playing the first time you danced together, a DVD of the movie you saw on your first date, a picture of the view you saw on the hike when he proposed. The gift doesn‚Äôt have to be expensive, but if it‚Äôs sentimental, it will be priceless.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒTristi Pinkston, author of ‚ÄúThe Secret Sisters Mysteries‚ÄĚ