Gift ideas: Think outside the box on Valentine’s Day

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    By now, you probably already know the rules. Whether it’s getting that all-important reservation at the fancy restaurant weeks in advance or raiding what’s left of Walgreens around Feb. 12, time is a factor. Here are a couple of alternatives to the Valentine’s Day box of chocolates/flowers/card combination. Remember, creativity may take time. Don’t scrap your idea after the first draft doesn’t work. When it comes to any handmade personal message, keep it short and simple or you run the risk of losing her attention or creeping her out by droning on for too long.

    Good Non-traditional Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

    Personal IOU – Unless you’ve been completely bankrupted by the economy, I wouldn’t rely on having this as your only gift, but a coupon for, say, a personal back massage or some other favor would be a nice addition to a Valentine’s Day gift for her.

    Handmade card – If you are artistically-inclined and can pull it off, a handmade V-Day card would be a nice departure from your average store-bought card. With a card like this, you can say what you need to say without having a Hallmark-approved syrupy-sweet poem inside. Honestly, anything’s better than just “Love, so-and-so” at the bottom of a generic card. Well, almost anything. Which leads to.

    Bad Non-Traditional Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day:

    A Tattoo – Nothing says you love Jane like literally writing the words “I Love Jane” on your arms. However, if you end up breaking up with Jane, you will need to look for a way to change that message into an awesome skull and crossbones or another ode to the fairer sex: “I Love Mom.”

    An Appliance – You should try to say something with a gift, and that something shouldn’t have anything to do with a blender or a vacuum. Giving a gift like this sends the message that she’ll be having to clean up the rose petals off the floor on Feb. 15.