How To Turn Your Man Into A Super Gift Giver Just In Time For Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is creeping up - the holiday with roots dating back to around 270 A.D. at least.

Not to be negative, but I'd be willing to bet ever since that ancient time more fights between couples have been occurring on or shortly thereafter this hallowed day - due to dashed expectations and dismal disappointments. So prepare. Think Intrigue and Enticement. Catch-Me-If-You-Can scenarios.

Years ago, on behalf of the large number of us who are gift challenged, I did a very unscientific sampling of adults and asked quite straightforwardly, "What do you want for Valentine's Day?" and "What do you NOT want for Valentine's Day?" Surprisingly, there was a tremendous amount more vigorous vociferation surrounding "The Don'ts."

Here's a wrap-up of "Don't's" from the woman's point of view:
  • Not the same thing he buys his mother
  • Not the same thing he buys his secretary
  • Nothing at the last minute, without thought or planning
  • Not a wet vac or vacuum cleaner
  • Nothing with a bill to pay off
Remember: Most men are gift virgins. Even the thought of walking up to a fragrance counter makes them sweat, much less crossing the portico of Victoria Secret in the quest of the perfect piece of lingerie that will flatter and actually fit their beloved. Pass along to them these specific suggestions in hopes of jump starting their creative juices and assuring there's ample time for the gift giving process to enfold:
  • A handwritten note, poem or letter expressing kindness, appreciation and love - citing a specific detail or two to ward off the generic is strongly suggested!
  • Accompanying the note and befitting finances, one or more of the following works pretty well too:
  • Jewelry
  • Week-end Getaways - tuck in the name of a travel agent she can call to work out the details
  • Gift certificate to a professional masseuse, hairstylist, colorist, acupuncturist, make-up artist, manicurist/pedicurist, fitness trainer, reflexologist, astrologer, nutritionist, plastic surgeon (be careful with the latter as she may misconstrue your intentions)
  • A book she's been meaning to buy (Crazy Ladies by Michael Lee West and Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner are great reads, even though they were released years ago. The ladies aren't crazy in the first novel and the second novel has very little to do with anything that goes on between the sheets.)
Great gift guide for the male on your list:
  • If he's practical, buy him that new power tool he's been craving but have some fun with the presentation. Hide it in the dining room, where a candlelit dinner awaits him. Ditto for the bedroom.
  • Write down a list of all the nice things he's done for you in the last year and tuck it into a large basket filled with bath toys and bubble bath crystals. Then take a bath - together - and encourage him to read the list.
  • Give him an evening of beer, pizza and a classic adventure movie or a night out at the symphony with a chilled bottle of wine awaiting his return. This requires knowing what type of man you're wooing - bohemian, landed gentry, woodsy, hard core classicist, etc.
  • Buy him 10 magazines and let him choose 3 that you will send in for subscriptions.

For my own husband of 40 years, here's my public valentine message: Thank you for giving me the freedom to soar, the security to fail, and the love to sustain me as I do both. Gift to follow.

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