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I am a shopaholic and I love to buy gifts for others, and spend a large amount of time and effort to get the best gift for the person I am buying for. I do feel that valentine's specific gifts are rather in personal and overpriced and so with that in mind and a recession on these are my top tips on great gifts for my man specifically. Hopefully you may find one to suit your man too!
1) Being of a certain age we have grown up with the Diehard films and whilst some may think Bruce Willis is a little past it the latest Diehard is a must see and in our house going to the cinema normally involves two small children so this is a real treat and best of all I have saved our club card vouchers and my mother-in-law will babysit so a free evening out.
2) Vouchers are a great gift but personal vouchers are even more special I will make twelve special vouchers redeemable one a month and include things such as I will get up and walk the dog, funnily enough he redeems this when really cold and wet!!
3) I cannot go wrong with cooking his favourite meal a three course meal at home with favourite bottle of wine and no children is a great gift and one that is really appreciated.
4) I have in the past made photo books or just framed a special picture and these are a inexpensive way of giving a personal gift. In boots they have a photo machine and you can print a collage for 80p a truly thrifty gift that looks great!
5) Pampering and indulging are a great way of showing somebody you really care for them and easy and as cheap or as expensive as you wish to make them, a lovely bubble bath, glass of favourite wine, I buy my man his favourite wine and some Roquefort cheese a simple gift but one that is an indulgence and he appreciates, when I am sad he buys me a bar of fruit and nut and that in my eyes is romantic and caring! As they say it's the little things that count!!
6) Although we are not flush and when we do have spare cash the children need something! Occasionally we treat ourselves in the commercial way! To do this I save my Dooyoo points and then we go wild!
7) In my day a mixed tape of our songs was the greatest gift so I downloaded a special playlist on his I pod as a surprise which was received with nostalgia and laughter
8) I often make a treat basket containing favourite sweets, chocolate, cheese anything that the recipient likes as a little treat.
I think gifts should be thought about and given with the heart and if you do this very unlikely to get it wrong with that in mind I am off to make my Valentines card and just remember it's about showing your love and that doesn't need to mean a lot of money.
For those people in relationships, it is time again to think about Valentine's Day. If it is a 'new' relationship (ie new since the last Valentine's Day) it is time to start throwing those questions into the air such as 'Valentines Day? what do you normally like to do?' just those open questions to gauge whether or not your other half is going to be expecting a gift or just a card, or if they are morally against Valentine's Day so you are prepared.
Personally, I like to find out what the other person is expecting- so do they normally just get a take-away and stay in or do they like to go out for a meal or do they want card/ gift etc., I find men when in the pub, will spout the whole 'It's all commercial, women just use it as an excuse to get presents' spiel (trying to get out of buying anything for us?!)- but they secretly are expecting a card at the very least. So, I always try to manage expectations- let it be known if you like to make a big fuss of Valentine's Day or if you really (genuinely!- do not say you don't celebrate it then get upset if your partner doesn't buy you anything!) really do not celebrate it at all.
Once I have found out from a social (ie staying in or going out etc) perspective what the man would like to do; then I tailor the gift/ card to fit in with that. For me it would be overkill to buy card/ gift and a nice meal out. I normally err on the side of 'buy something cute and small' - one Valentine's Day I left a creme egg in my partner's shoe so he would find it when he was getting dressed for work. He didn't particularly love chocolate, but it is the thought that counts- make them feel loved.
So there are several options:
1: Small and cute- for the 'aww' factor- ie a Ferrero Rocher or a little Lindt Bear snook into their work bag or lunch box so they see it when you aren't there and know you have thought about them. Lottery tickets or scratchcards are good here too- cheap and thoughtful.
2: Surprise- buy them something they have been going on about for ages- you will know what is 'acceptable' for a price range for what you should spend without embarrassing them (if they have only got you a 99p card from a petrol station, you don't want them to end up feeling guilty if you have shelled out £50 for a bottle of man-scent cologne they've been going on about or a Blu-ray box set). It's a gift you know they want, but note if payday for them falls pre 14th February, avoid buying them anything they might just go and buy for themselves!.
3: Unusual- if you know their boss at work- contact them in advance to book your partner a day off work or a morning off so you get a lie in together or can spend a day off together on Valentine's Day- you can then surprise your partner when the alarm clock goes off and you say 'you aren't going to work today' (be on hand with 'proof' you aren't lying to reassure them it isn't a prank and note this will work best if they dislike their job).
4: Other- there are other options such as buying tickets for you both to a show or event or sports match (depending upon their interests) where the item won't have arrived, or the event will not be until later in the year- you can spring this on them by printing something out and putting it inside the card to show the plans are in motion.
5: Co-presents- if their birthday is in the few month's after Valentines Day, you can get them a joint Valentine's and birthday present- this may be something such as a ticket or a gift experience that has cost a bit more than you would spend for their birthday- again, it is the thought that counts- here you wouldn't have to think of two different gifts, just one gift for two occasions.
6: Free stuff- even on a budget, you can do Valentine's Day on the cheap-- make a card (even if it turns out bad, it shows you have thought about them); wrap up a pair of their own (pick the 'nicer' ones) socks (and see if they notice it is a pair of their socks from their sock drawer!- the humour factor); bake them a cake or their favourite food, do something unusual for them- ie- give them a back rub or run them a bath or iron their clothes (if, like me, you don't iron that much).
Overall- it depends upon your partner, what they are 'used' to doing- do they have a routine that they like for Valentine's Day- is it an excuse to go for a posh meal for just the two of you; do they hate their job? - can you get them a day off-- it depends upon your budget and most of all- how much you want to make them feel special!
So, it's soon valentine's and here comes the pressure to find the ideal present for your loved one to show you care. We always try to do valentine's on a budget, coming so soon after Christmas and not long before our son's birthday. This means that we can't be as extravagant as we could in years gone by but, actually, I prefer it that way.
The gift options that I used to go for for my husband (or then boyfriend/fiance) would be the, perhaps, more typical valentine's gifts. These would be aftershaves and scents, personalised chocolates or DVDs of his favourite television shows or movies. These were always gratefully appreciated although not specifically a 'romantic' gift. But I find that all the 'hearts and flowers' gifts that are available for Valentine's tend to be aimed at the female market. I have previously bought cufflinks with our initials on, which are a little more sentimental and romantic.
This year, I think we will probably just treat each other to a nice meal - the romance is lost a little when funds are all pooled into a joint account for bills etc! Whether this will be at a restaurant or a nice home cooked meal/takeaway it doesn't really matter as the real gift is the quality time together and time for a decent, uninterupted conversation. You could take your fella out for a meal and do the driving if that is usually their role - the opportunity to have a few beers (if they are a drinker) is usually well received.
More extravagant ideas for gifts include experience days or tickets to something they love - whether it be their favourite band or to see their team play. I prefer to buy gifts that we can do together and create memories so this is not something that I usually opt for as I have no interest in going to a football game etc. You could, of course, make an effort to enjoy something that they enjoy for the day and share in their enthusiasm - perhaps this is easier if their interests lie in art or history and you can take them on a trip to a gallery or museum. If they enjoy cooking, perhaps enroll on a cookery course together - there are lots of good ones around and this can be great fun too.
Of course, you can always opt for vouchers for a store they like. Or make your own fun vouchers - for example for 1 hour of free time away from the kids to do what they like, a pass for nights out with the boys or a token for a romantic night in. They can then cash these in at will - a cheap, fun present.
A nice card with a personal message is perhaps the most romantic token that you can give them. I like to find simple cards that are not too soppy but either have heartfelt wording or a space for me to write my own. My husband isn't really one for cards but I like to make the effort to find one that he will appreciate.
Whatever you end up giving and receiving, just make sure that you spend time with the one you love and they feel loved and appreciated - that won't cost a thing!
I know a lot of people dislike the concept of Valentine's day but for me it is a nice day to celebrate your relationship with your other half. It's a little mean on the single people but a day we always recognise (although my husband wouldn't mind if we ignored!).
Over the years I have bought him clothes, a nice aftershave and CDs or DVDs. Anything that's a nice gift really that I know he will like to use. I am usually more organised than him when it comes to 14 Feb and prepare for the question from him around 12 Feb Q."are we doing VD this year?" A. of course we are!!!
We always get a card and I look out for something that's not too mushy but has a nice picture on it. It is pointless going for verse with my man as he doesn't read it, just glances at the picture and says thanks.
In more recent years we have opted for a night out on or around valentines. This is a lot more special now we have children and a rare night off is a true treat. We have many willing baby sitters so arranging cover is quite easy.
Obviously it's best to choose somewhere you both like so each is suited. We have a local college site with an amazing restaurant that is a business but also a teaching place so you get high quality food and many courses for a very reasonable price. The service is outstanding and on Valentines day (we've been for the last 4 years) there is a rose presented to every lady, champagne and oysters on arrival, pink confetti, balloons, candles and a general hoo ha that is nice and not at all cheesy. Last year we were both ill with the noro virus and struggled to enjoy the night (we would not have left the house if we knew it was noro!) so we are looking forward to making the most of it this year to make up for last year.
I think it is unfair to make the man pay. Clearly if you have a joint account then it is halves, or if one has bought a gift and the meal is a gift from the other then that's fair enough. We save £2 pound coins, any cash back we have achieved through the year and I also cash in our change so we use money from this 'pot' for treats like this. We have only one rule with the pot money and that's that it must be used for doing fun things.
Every couple is different and so it's best you spend valentines doing something you both love to do, for us it's eating (!) but the most important gift is time and attention although it's nice when this comes with a nice gift and card too. Soft toys and gift shop tat are not for us but some people do love all this. You don't have to spend a lot for valentines but you should do something to show you care.
I think buying for men on Valentine's day is really hard, after all the day is all set up for women really, flowers, chocolates, a fancy dinner out, these are all really a man's realm (sorry, but it is) and so to actually find something for a man is quite hard. I don't really think men appreciate a bunch of flowers like a woman would and I think my husband would look at me quite strangely if I bought him a big cuddly toy with hearts all over it.
That's not to say you can't be thoughtful and romantic for your man and so here are a few of my tips.
1. A nice card. Sometimes words mean more than anything, especially to me so I either like to pick out a really special card that means something to both of us or I will make one myself and write some really nice words in it about how hard he works for his family, how much I appreciate him, etc.
2. Last year I made my husband some cookies and cut them out using some, "I heart U," cookie cutters. Then before he went to work that morning I put them in his briefcase before he saw and then he had a surprise when he got to work. He said they were yummy and even shared them with some of the other guys so I think he appreciated my effort.
3. A nice dinner - Now, I am a bit of an old romantic and I usually think its nice for the guy to treat his wife/girlfriend/lover to a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant for Valentines day but sometimes when the day falls on a week day and when you now have kids and other responsibilites its not always easy to find a babysitter or go out so sometimes I have made him a really nice meal at home for when he comes home from work. I usually get something a bit different from what we usually have and then I have some candles and set the table nicely so again he can see that I've got to a bit of effort for him.
4. I usually do get him a present too. We don't spend much on each other, he definitely spends more on me than I do on him though but I always think its the thought that counts. He loves music so I usually get him a CD that he has been wanting or I get him some nice chocolates from Hotel Chocolate or something like that.
Valentines for me is about showing the one I love how much I love him and I think that can be done easily and with some thoughtful preparation.
Every year I have been with my fiancé, we haven't spent Valentine's Day together due to me being away at university and him working during the week. Because of that, we have Valentine's Day at the first opportunity we get after the actual date. I find Valentine's Day to bit of a strange celebration because we say and show that we love each other every day. However, we do still do the traditional present giving.
I really hate to buy the traditional, red kinds of presents so I'm always on the lookout for something different. Last year, I bought my fiancé tickets to see War of the Worlds in Nottingham which went down really well. I think I'm very lucky that John likes going to see things at the theatre or shows of any kind so my presents for him can range to more than just normal man type things. If your man likes a kind of show, I think tickets are a great present and definitely something he probably won't be expecting.
This year, I have bought him a quite expensive watch. John usually wears a sports watch due to running etc. but I knew that he wanted something smarter for when we go out and for our wedding day. I was very lucky to find something at a good price in the Christmas sales otherwise I probably couldn't have afforded to get him this. I know that this is not the most romantic of presents but I do know it is something he wants and I don't want him to have to wait until September, his birthday, to have it.
I'm not sure that men really appreciate or like the fluffy, romantic things that the shops sell specifically for Valentine's Day, and I know John would much prefer for me to get him something else. One day, I would love to be able to surprise him with a weekend away somewhere special, although I have no idea where I would pick. He's Irish so that would definitely be a choice. If there is somewhere your man has always wanted to go, a trip away would be a wonderful choice of present. Also, it means you get something out of it too and you get to spend some romantic time away together.
Another thing I know John would really appreciate if I were spending the actual day with him is me cooking for him when he gets home from work. A lovely dinner, along with some candles and a film make a great night in together for Valentine's Day. If you're a couple saving as much as possible like we are, this is something that also doesn't have to cost a fortune and you don't need to get dressed up anywhere to go out.
Although I'm not the biggest lover of Valentine's Day, I make an effort for John and I am beginning to like it more and more each year that we are together.
===Gifts for MEN for Valentine's Day===
Well I will be writing this speaking as a woman so I will give you two lists - one relating to my husband and the other relating to men in general.
Can I begin by saying though that I believe both Valentine's Day and other celebrations have now become more a mass market selling spree and have often lost their original meaning - also I believe that you are either romantic or not - and that goes for the whole year and not just one day.
After we have now been married for over 35 years Valentine's Day passes unobserved - as does our Wedding Anniversary if we can get away with it too. Hubby would also like Birthdays and Christmas to be ignored if possible as well.
As you can see he is not the most romantic or demonstrative person and whilst we did exchange cards and gifts for Valentine's Day when first together and then newly married it did stop - and now I cannot even remember when. He was never one to like any sort of event anyway and just ignores Birthdays and Christmas.
Over the years I think I have stopped bothering in relation to him - mainly because I know he would not appreciate any effort I would put into a card or gift.
Having said that I do feel Valentine's Day is a bit pointless - unless you are courting and newly in love - when it might be a bit more significant.
I know these days my husband does not want or expect anything - for him a nice evening in when he left alone to watch whatever TV programme he wants without having any distractions - or perhaps if I did have to get a gift he would like some unusual herbs and spices for his experimental cooking. But when people are married for many years I am sure most do not bother with Valentine's Day - it must be nice for those that do I suppose - but I have come to the conclusion that some men just think spending money on anything like cards and gifts is a complete waste.
===Gifts for Men in General===
I am sure there are some really romantic men but I do not seem to know any!
For most it seems they have enough trouble coping with anyone's Birthday - let alone events like Anniversaries and Valentine's Day.
Often after work all men like is a beer, a nice meal (perhaps steak) and some peace and quite in front of the telly - and possibly some football for some. Also a little quality cuddling time is probably appreciated too!
I would say most men are not very impressed with Valentine's cards or any of the 'cute' and tacky gifts on sale all over the shops at this time of year.
If you are giving a gift of some sort make it thoughtful and applicable to who will be receiving it - but do not spend a great deal.
I am sure some magazines for a hobby they have, some sports related item or even some cans of beer would be more appreciated than an ornament or cuddly teddy.
Plan a day out for them, or buy some tickets to a football or rugby match - make sure if you are organising anything 'for them' that is is actually what they would like and not something you fancy for yourself.
Even leaving your hubby or boyfriend go for a day's fishing with his mates would be appreciated - especially if you are the sort who normally hates him going!
Personally I would not buy the following for a man:
* Cuddly toy
* Joke underwear
* Expensive meal at crowded restaurant
* Soppy DVD
* Male items such as pens, passport holders etc.
If you are lucky enough to be with someone you love you could make their day by just spoiling them a little - make them a nice meal and leave them to relax afterwards.
There are also gifts that cost nothing - put together a picture album of photographs of you both together or have one enlarged and framed for him.
The list is endless but please use your imagination and not your credit card.
I have been with my fiance for nearly 10 years and love him dearly. When it comes to Valentines Day, we aren't crazy for it as we prefer birthdays, Christmas and Mothers/Fathers Day but we usually do make a little effort to celebrate it. When it comes to celebrating Valentines Day, I do not believe in going overboard and spending a fortune though others may prefer to spend a little more. We simply don't have the spare cash to spend on each other as we would rather spend it on our child. I do have a few ideas for what you could buy/do for that special man in your life.
Me and my fiance are quite equal when it comes to going out somewhere especially if its an occasion for both of us rather than a birthday. Most places including the cinema and restaurants are fully booked on February 14th and I would avoid them like the plague. We do like to make the effort to plan a day or few hours out the house near Valentines Day and usually this happens when our son is at nursery. A nice lunch at a local Chinese or an early afternoon film perhaps. You can set a budget and spend some quality time together.
~Something A Bit Naughty?~
A little book of IOU's is likely to please a man providing that you promise to honour them! I'm sure most men would be pleased at the idea of having 'sexual vouchers' for different 'activities'. Or perhaps just make a bit more effort in the bedroom with some sexy undies or a sensual massage? Us ladies benefit from this too! You can buy lots of kinky treats from online stores.
~Food For Thought?~
Going out isn't always an option and it certainly isn't for us this year as we are saving hard for our holiday. Preparing a nice meal at home for your partner is an option to consider. You can buy something special in or cooking something nice from what you have in the cupboards/fridge. Enjoy a drink together and watch a film snuggled up. My fiance enjoys me cooking for him.
Whilst a box of chocolates is a perfectly suitable gift idea for men, baking something is more personal. I have made cupcakes and sponge cakes for my fiance for Valentines Day before and these were well received and inexpensive to make.
If you are looking to spend a little more then a bottle of your partners favourite aftershave is a good option. Search around online for special promotions in the run up to Valentines Day.
I enjoy spending time with my fiance all year round so Valentines Day doesn't play a massive role in our lives. It doesn't have to be expensive or commercialised. I find that spending quality time with your partner is much more important than some of the cheap, cheesy tat that is available in card shops. I do feel women are easier to buy for when it comes to more meaningful, lovey-dovey gifts.
Thanks for reading :)
My husband was born on Valentines Day - so it is his birthday as well. Because of this, I insist that it should be celebrated as his day rather than a couples holiday. I don't think he should have to worry about making a special day for me on his birthday - and I honestly think one of the gifts men might enjoy most is just a bit less pressure. We all know the restaurants will be crowded, parking may be hard to find, and lets face it Valentines Day is on a Monday - many men will be coming home from work tired and still need to make plans. So my first suggestion would be a nice meal at home. If you can make a favourite home cooked meal all the better, but if not most supermarkets now offer some very good selections for quick heat and eat meals.
I think a lot of fellows would much rather come home to a lovely home cooked meal, a DVD and perhaps a bit of candlelight later than rush about going out on week night. In our house a Birthday Cake is also on the menu but obviously this will not suit most families.
If spending the night in a small supply of his favourite drink is a good idea. My husband is recovered alcoholic - so real drink is out. He still enjoys the taste of beer. Beck's alcohol free lager means he can still enjoy a cold beer and everyone who has tried this thinks it tastes like the real thing. The absolute best was when his mate thought he was drunk after a few of these. He was stumbling and everything - he got some stick for that one. If you're planning an alcohol free night for any reason - I can't recommend this strongly enough for those who enjoy lager. But if alcohol isn't an issue - if it is a night in than a nice bottle of wine might be in order.
My next present would be to keep expectations simple. A huge box of chocolates and a dozen roses doesn't prove love. I think we have too many commercial occasions where people are expected to demonstrate affection through material goods. I think if gifts are exchanged on Valentines Day - they should be kept simple. With the pressure off to find just the right gift a man can relax and enjoy the night more. I've told him to skip any gifts for me on Valentines Day - as I've said it's his day. We don't do anniversary gifts either - but if we see something just right throughout the year we may pick it up without any reason.
Because Valentine's Day is my husband's birthday gifts tend to be combined. So any gifts he is getting are both Valentines Day and Birthday presents. The good thing about buying for a man - is they don't expect you to just know they want - if you aren't sure - you can just ask. I tend to choose PS3 games for my husband - and he says I choose better games than he does - mainly because he grabs the first one that has a picture he likes, while I will spend hours reading reviews - even messaging members here for more details if needed to find just the right one. This may not involve spending vast amounts of money - but I think the time spent trying to get it right says somethings as well. If you happen to be married to man who is also in love with X-box or PS3, and also have children - another gift would be to busy the children in another room for a few hours, leaving him plenty of uninterrupted time to get into his game. The same applies to books - if he loves to read a few uninterrupted hours to go with the book might be just the thing - or time with his guitar smartphone or anything else. As it is his birthday too - I will be nice and leave his favourite snacks and drinks withing reach of the PlayStation to avoid him having to make the terrible choice of staying hungry or pausing the game.
Speaking of smart phones - if you know how to do it without breaking anything - how about sneaking his phone away and buying some music downloads of his favourite group, a couple paid for games apps or perhaps an audio book if he has a long commute to work? If I was capable of altering photos, I'd also do him a framed photo with one of his catches fishing made into a something the size of a small whale - or I might just be wicked and shrink them to minnow sized. He actually loves his fishing pictures - it is proof that on the odd occasion he has actually caught something - so a digital keyring or even photo frame with these could works as well.
I think a DVD you know he will like also makes and excellent Valentine's Day gift, especially if you are planning a night in rather than out. If the DVD is a gift it should be his type of movie. Even if it is just a rental - as Valentines day is really meant to be for both people - the film should at least be something both people can enjoy. It doesn't seem fair to make a fellow watch an rom-com just because it is meant to be a romantic day - and I'm not at all sure men find that type of film romantic anyway.
If you know your husbands hobby well enough - a small package with a few hobby related items such as golf balls or fishing tackle with a suggestion he spend the next weekend out enjoying himself if weather allows - or perhaps a few quid saved up for a few drinks out with the boys. Any items like this that are not very large could easily be arranged in novelty mug. I read a review on this site mentioning a cup with the slogan " Don't Say I Never Lift A Finger Around Here" - and a certain finger lifted which suited my husband so much I just had to buy it.
Our gifts do not tend to be fancy, we don't have a lot of money to spend, and most of what we do have goes to the children. But I know my husband is just happy enough not to have the pressure making Valentines Day perfect and to have some time for what he wants. I'm sure there are other men who prefer more of a fuss, but my husband prefers things simple - which suits me to a T.