10 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Thursday 14th October 2010
In this article
  • Great ideas on the traditional V-Day fronts.
  • Totally original (and fast!) ideas.
  • What to do if you blew Valentine’s Day and are reading this after the fact.
  • The SharpMan’s angle on why you should bother with V-Day, when we all know better.

Most women love Valentine’s Day. Many SharpMen, on the other hand, feel that it’s one heck of a manipulative holiday…another event created solely to sell merchandise. To that we say, "True. But get over it and plan something great."

The good news is, women who love Valentine’s Day tend to have a romantic traditional streak, so you don’t have to be entirely inventive. This translates into further good news: even at the last minute, you can come up with some great, sentimental favorites which will sure to please your lady-love (and we all know what THAT will get ya). Check out this SharpDating guide to last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts:

Editor’s Note: We know what you’re thinking: "Why do I have to buy something in order to make it a ‘great’ Valentine’s Day? Your advice just further underscores the disgusting nature of this so-called holiday AND if my gal expects me to buy something for her, then she’s a superficial person who doesn’t deserve me."

Point well taken. But rather than bucking something that the whole world seems to have come to terms with just because, well, the whole world seems to have some to terms with it and you don’t feel that you have any obligation to be a sheep, think of it this way: the promoters of Valentine’s Day have given you a break.

Without Valentine’s Day, you may fall prey to the more insidious expectation of coming up with romantic things on the fly and for no reason at all. You know those guys who your SharpWoman points out every so often, who seem to have no purpose in life but to do romantic things for their SharpWomen (your SharpWoman’s friends) and show you up big-time? By simply doing something for V-Day, you provide yourself with some measure of romantic insurance. She can’t say that you’re not romantic — after all, as a man who knows better than to buy into Valentine’s Day, you’ve done her the favor of playing along!

OK, so be a sport and just get something and put the whole thing behind you. On to the suggestions that will keep you in the clear:

  1. On the Flower Front. Roses remain a crowd pleaser (see how easy this is?). And you still can still prove you’ve given Valentine’s Day some thought by making sure you send the roses to your lady in a public venue; her place of employment works just swell. It’s a great idea to spend an extra few bucks and get a long stemmed roses ARRANGEMENT, rather than sending a dozen roses in a long white box. Imagine her delight as a behemoth floral arrangement winds its way down the hall to her office or cubicle, fairly shrieking HE LOVES ME. Any florist worth his or her snapdragons will have plenty of roses on hand for Valentine’s Day…but, seeing as this is LAST MINUTE, you may have to pay your buddy to deliver them. Alternatively, assuming birds of a feather flock together, and he’s waited to the last minute too, offer to deliver his flowers in exchange.
  2. On the Candy Front: OK, we know you have a an actual job, and don’t have time to play "This Old Candy House, " but for extra points, try making your own last-minute candy box, instead of buying the heart-shaped box of chocolates (which may be traditional, but is fattening, potentially boring and possibly hard to find). For the brave among you, we offer the following super-easy chocolate making steps:
    EZ Chocolate Drops: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Space vanilla wafer cookies 1-inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Set a Hershey’s® Chocolate Kiss on the center of each cookie. Bake at 200 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press a candy heart into the center of the softened Kiss. Allow to cool completely to let the chocolate harden again. Even after decades of feminism, she’ll be impressed that you would bother turning on the oven to make something this romantic for her. While the candy is still fattening, the idea is adorable of you.
  3. On the Eaterie Front: Forget about last-minute reservations at that fabulous bistro…it’s not gonna happen. But a romantic picnic in the living room will make her swoon. She’ll never guess that you waited until the eleventh hour to throw the thing together. Just remember the candles and the wine and you’re good to go.
  4. On the Lingerie Front: Here’s some good advice, be it Valentine’s Day or not. Forget the "slutty" get-ups. It’s one thing for her to buy the outfit, but it’s quite another to buy it yourself and risk getting the wrong size or an unflattering cut that may cause her to be too self-conscious to enjoy herself (but if you must, see our article on buying lingerie, Buying Her Lingerie. The good news for you is that a beautiful silk kimono will be fabulous and if you run out to the mall right now, you’ll still be able to find one.
  5. On the Music Front: There is no time to make a lovely compilation CD of all her favorite music…maybe next year. But you can fake it. Download her favorite tunes from Itunes.com or Musicmatch.com and burn a CD. Draw some hearts on the CD with your SHARPIE® and you’re golden. (This works best if your lady is not quite as computer savvy as yourself — she’ll think you spent hours on the endeavor.)
  6. On the Movie/Theatre Front: Grab a beautiful card and write her an I.O.U. for the movie or play of her choice. If you’re tough and have a good poker face, you’ll be able to carry this off. The I.O.U. might hint that you forgot Valentine’s Day and waited until the LAST MINUTE, but the fact that it’s her choice makes the whole thing logical…you couldn’t possibly get tickets in advance to something of her choice, right? Remember: that’s your story and you’re sticking to it!
  7. On the Jewelry Front: On one hand, I wouldn’t recommend LAST MINUTE jewelry purchases…they tend to be made in a state of hysteria and turn out to be more expensive than the occasion warrants. On the other hand, I’m sure your SharpWoman would not want me to steer you away from the jewelry store, due to the fact that, since you waited till the LAST MINUTE, these purchases tend to be made in a state of hysteria and turn out to be more expensive than the occasion warrants. Just remember, if there is even the teeniest possibility that your gal might be expecting an engagement ring, stay away from jewelry. She’s not going to like anything else.
  8. On the Travel Front: The Internet is once again your friend. You can surf the web for airline tickets, cruise tickets, hotel tickets, just about anything that involves ticketing can be yours in the click of a mouse…and you can download the paperwork and present it with a single perfect rose. Expensive, you grouse? Hey, you’re the one who left this till the LAST MINUTE–you should be grateful!
  9. On the Ultra-Personalized Front: You’ve read about those handmade coupon books, right? In your mind, you’re probably envisioning hand-printed coupon book for steamy sexual favors…and if your gal has left Valentine’s Day until the LAST MINUTE like you, you might even get one! But this is about her. Did you ever see "Exit to Eden" with Rosie O’Donnell? She plays a detective disguised as a dominatrix on a "Pleasure Island" — all whips and chains. A blond S&M male slave sinks down at her feet and says something like, "I am here to fulfill your every desire" and Rosie replies "Paint my house." You get the idea. Coupons should include things like make dinner, take the car in for repairs, change all the light bulbs and toilet paper for a year — and a few for steamy sexual favors.
  10. On the Ultra-Romantic Front: If you and your object of affection are officially in love — or married — a great idea is to take your beloved on a Tour of Love. You probably won’t be able to get reservations anyplace, since you’ve left things until the LAST MINUTE, so make this a driving tour. That way, you don’t actually have to stop anyplace. Drive by the restaurant you went to on your first date, or the first time you felt you were an official couple. Drive by your friends’ house, where you first introduced her as your girlfriend. This one might involve a bit of inventiveness, since you probably don’t remember all of it. Things could REALLY fall apart if she remembers and you don’t. If this is the case, try to stick to really obscure things that she can’t possibly know (this might involve some actual lying, but it’s for a worthy cause) such as, the street corner where you first realized you were in love with her or the hardware store where you first considered kissing her in public. Even if you started your romance in another city, you can still take a trip down memory lane…just be inventive. Regardless, just make sure you’ve got the right girl! A Tour of Love really falls apart if she turns to you after you drive by Mel’s Diner, with you blithely announcing that’s where you knew she was the one…and she has never been there.

SharpMan’s Guide to After-the-Fact Valentine’s Day Gifts

Ok, let’s suppose you just…somehow…forgot Valentine’s Day. What to do?

Well, the good news is, reservations will be available at her favorite restaurant and the florist will be available to deliver that dozen…make that two dozen…roses to her office. You can still use any of the tips offered above (the sooner the better, too), although now it will really help if you are charming and handsome…or if you are there for her every other day of the year…or if she really loves you. After all, isn’t that what love and Valentine’s Day are all about, anyway?

This article last updated on Thursday 14th October 2010
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