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Five Tips for Valentine’s Day Gift Bliss

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I received a question this week from “No Thanks” at “” wanting to know my thoughts on what to get a man for Valentine’s Day.  Since I am an expert on this subject (I am a man, after all), I figure I can rise to the request of Ms. Thanks.  So with plenty of shopping days left; here are five ideas for this year’s Valentine’s Day (in no particular order):

  1. Do nothing – yes, I said it.  Valentine’s Day, Schmalentine’s Day.  The holiday is a hype-filled day (made even more hyped by jewelry stores and flower shops) all about showing love and all that stuff…why should you (or anyone) only do that once per year?  If I’m not showing my lovely bride how much I love her every day then I’m failing as a husband.  Yes, I know sometimes I do disappoint when it comes to being the loving, understanding and patient man God called me to be so I have to remind myself to stop being a jerk and get back on track.  So maybe your Valentine’s Day gift can be to get back on track at being a loving spouse every day, starting TODAY.  By Valentine’s Day, no gift will be required because he’ll be so happy to have a loving and supportive spouse he won’t want anything else.
  2. Take him on a “man date” – This should not be confused with a mandate!  What I’m referring to is to take him to his favorite place to eat (probably not so crowded on V-Day anyway since they probably use paper towels for napkins), let him order ribs or steak or some other manly food, and then pick up a manly movie to take home and watch.  Valentine’s Day puts a lot of pressure on the guys to pick out the perfect gift.  How refreshing it would be if this year you could totally throw him off by telling him you want to make all the plans and turn it into a fun evening learning about him.  WARNING: To any men reading, if she tells you she wants to plan the evening of Valentine’s Day there are two possibilities: 1) it’s a trap!  Think of an escape plan quickly! …or 2) She is an awesome woman and should be thanked relentlessly for the next several days/weeks.
  3. Make him something – Stacy and I often agree on a budget for gift-giving holidays and so I will sometimes be able to stretch that amount into something a lot nicer if I can make her something and use the budget to just buy the supplies.  Over the years I’ve made everything from wind chimes out of plumbing pipe (on our copper anniversary) to a solid-oak blanket chest from my wood shop.  Be creative and make him something he would like that shows you took the time and energy to express your love.
  4. Make out with him – Without being crude here, if there are specific dates on the calendar here that should automatically be a given for a man to be able to have a passionate encounter with his wife, those dates should be (at a minimum): 1) his birthday, 2) his anniversary, and 3) Valentine’s Day.  What you do, where you do it, etc. is all up to you, but please don’t underestimate the value of spending some romantic time with your husband.
  5. Show appreciation – Taking a hint from the couples I counsel who are on the brink of divorce, there is way too little appreciation shown for husbands (and wives) in most marriages.  Whether you feel you do well in this area or not, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like a little more affirmation.  As the old saying goes, “how can you tell if someone could use some encouragement?  They’re breathing.”  For you, this may mean you write a nice letter for him to treasure.  I still have most of the notes Stacy has sent me over the years.  It may simply mean you look him in the eyes and reaffirm the things you promised on your wedding day and thank him for being there beside you.  Trust me, though it may sound cheesy, every man wants to hear his woman say something encouraging to him.

Did you find this advice helpful?  What tips would you offer?  I’d love some ideas to use myself!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers! This post is also linked at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable and at Finer Things Friday on Amy’s Finer Things.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Barry

Barry is the husband half of the Stacy Makes Cents team, responsible for all the marketing, website development, sanity management and taste testing. Barry writes about personal finance issues, helping people get out of debt, live on a budget and make the most of every cent that comes into their hands. He is the author of From Debtor to Better: The Details of Debt and How to Get Out! and writes periodically on his own site, Debtor to Better.


  1. WOO! Making out is by far the most fun one! *cough* Hubby and I have 4 kids for a good reason.

  2. My husband says the very same things that you have posted above! Maybe there is some truth when he says he doesn’t want anything that we have to buy!!! We usually cook dinner and spend the evening together, unless it falls on one of his work nights! Even then, the older guys usually send him home early to spend time with me! Most of them have been married for 20+ years, they must know something we don’t to send him home early! Thank you for the great website!

  3. I hate V-day. I always thought it was the absolute stupidest holiday ever created. haha. I know, I sound so harsh. :-/ I’m not a prude. I love hard. And I love having an excuse to be with my hubby. But I do not get gifts, flowers, candy, or whatever on this holiday. I just don’t get it. Cannot get my mind wrapped around it. So all of that to say, I don’t have any tips. But we’ll be creating a romantic evening at home. Cooking together, pulling out the fine china (the fake kind from the thrift store), and putting the boy to bed early. We might even do dessert. We’ll see. 😉

  4. Our anniversary is a week and a half after Valentine’s Day (mostly because red roses fell drastically in price the day after V-Day!!) so we always combine the two. It gives us a larger budget to do something nice like go out to eat (or like this year, we’re taking our 5th anniversary trip a year late:). I love these tips, btw! I’ve been thinking that we should just write each other notes instead of buying those ridiculously priced cards (my husband said they run $5 now for the good ones! Yikes!); this just confirms it:) Great ideas!

  5. LOVE THIS!!!!! I told my hubby I protest the buying of flowers and crap on V-day…for the exact same reasons stated above…everyday you should show your spouse you love them!!! Why wait for a holiday? I just want quality time, and I’m a happy camper…I know he likes the corny homemade cards I do randomly thru the year, so I made him yet another one for V-day this year…my corniest yet – I’m excited!!!! And thrilled because I know he and my brother (in-law) made plans for the 4 of use to spend some time together, which we don’t get to do often…it’s gonna be a great day!

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