Valentine's Day Etiquette

Romantic Dining
Show your love creatively on Valentine's Day. Lisa Thornberg / Getty Images

The big day of showing the love comes once a year, so you need to make it good. In the days leading up to February 14, if you walk into any store, you'll see hearts, candy, and pictures of Cupid adorning the shelves by the registers. There's a reason businesses like to get in on the love on Valentine's Day. People love the idea of love, and no one wants to be left out or come up short. In fact, it can be quite competitive when people compare how their loved ones came through for them.

During this holiday, couples, friends, parents, and children shower others with love notes, candy, flowers and more as a show of their love and appreciation for them. There are many opportunities to participate in the Valentine's Day festivities; however, not every gift is appropriate for every person or in every situation.

Here are some helpful suggestions for buying and receiving Valentine's Day gifts.

Married Couples

For married couples, the sky is the limit on what you can or should give. Some of the more traditional gifts include a bouquet of roses, diamonds, and candy. A fur coat or another extravagance is always well-received and usually very unexpected. For a unique twist why not try tickets to the theater, or a trip to the big city. You might want to hire a housekeeper for the week or sponsor a day at an expensive day spa.

Dating Couples

For those who are casually dating, why not try a gift that is not embarrassingly intimate or personal, but one that you know your special friend might like very much.

These types of gifts might include items such as flowers, a new clothing item he or she has been wanting, candy, a card, chocolates or another gift that isn't overly expensive and wont cause uneasiness or feelings of obligation that might be premature. Remember that your date may feel badly if his/her gift doesn't measure up to yours so you should keep this in mind.

Children

For children who are buying for teachers, you might want to purchase a nice pin or some stationery. You can also send a flower or a box of chocolates. For the class exchange, let them bring candy and little homemade or store bought notes. Keep them appropriate and find out how the teacher has specified they are to be distributed. He or she may want you to leave them unaddressed so that they can place them all in a basket so they can be distributed evenly.

Children and Parents

For parents who want to buy for their children or parents, the options are limitless. Most children love surprises. You might want to take them out to dinner and a movie. Children might also enjoy learning the history of the day and celebrating together with family and friends during a family dinner party in honor of love.

For older parents, perhaps you can send them on an all-expense paid trip or a romantic weekend in the country at a bed and breakfast. They might also enjoy a thoughtful card accompanied by a fruit basket or tickets to symphony. If your parents are sports fans, you might buy them some tickets to see their favorite team play.

Friends

It's also fine to give your friends gifts on Valentine's Day.

They'll appreciate anything you do, especially if they aren't in a romantic relationship. Some things they might like include themed gift basket, tickets to a concert, a spa gift card, or a book or album by their favorite artist. Whatever you do, don't give your friends something that emphasizes the fact that they are single.

Widows and Widowers

People who have lost a spouse through death may suffer from depression during the Valentine's Day season. It's always nice to think about these people and drop them a special note. If you are widowed, perhaps you can get together with other singles and have dinner out as a group.

The important thing to remember is to show love and appreciation for your loved ones. What a great opportunity to find unique and creative ways to bless them with your kindness, generosity and love.

 

Edited by Debby Mayne