LDS romance authors share advice on the best gifts for Valentine's Day

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 9 2011 5:30 a.m. MST

No one wants to give (or receive) a cliche Valentine’s 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’s Day gifts and gestures.

“I 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’t 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’s Day and has put a little effort into letting me know I’m loved. A card (even a homemade one) is sufficient, as long as love is the message.” Anita Stansfield, latest book, “Shadows of Brierly”

“I think the perfect Valentine’s 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’s important to think of the recipient and what he/she likes, but it’s also a great opportunity to try something new. And the bonus and best gift is time together.” — Michele Paige Holmes, author of “Captive Heart”

“Get 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’t afford a nice meal out, then, Dad, it’s 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.” — Jean Holbrook Mathews, author of “The Assignment”

“Cheapness isn’t 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’s favorite gifts was a playlist I made for him of the No. 1 hit song from every year since he’s been born. A custom playlist is a great update of the old school ‘mix tape,’ 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, ‘I love you.’” — Melanie Jacobsen, author of “The List”

“I 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’s mission and turned them into photos and made a scrapbook of his mission for him. Gifts from the heart last forever.” — Michele Bell, author of “The Butterfly Box Series

“When buying for your sweetheart, don’t spend money. A personal love note means so much. But when buying for me, I prefer hand-dipped chocolates and cash.” —Shannon Hale, author of the Newberry-Honored book “Princess Academy

“When my husband and I were first married we had very little extra money, especially for gifts. That year the song ‘A Rose and a Baby Ruth’ 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’s 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’s brought me real rose and a giant size Baby Ruth for Valentine’s Day.” — Carol Warburton, author of “Legend of Shannonderry

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