Beyond the Rhetoric


Last Minute Cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts

February 13th, 2009 by
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Valentine's Day

You’ve got less than 24 hours and your wallet is running on empty. In case you haven’t noticed the marketing blitz at your local shopping mall, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Unless you plan on sleeping on the couch (again), it may be in your best interest to do something for your significant other on V-Day, but this doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank nor does it mean that you need to spend hours on end concocting something completely unique.

Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but when you’re working on such a tight schedule, you don’t exactly have all that much time for thinking. Of the three hearts above, you don’t want to get impaled like the one on the right or hang yourself out to dry like the one in the middle. You want to be the one on the left. Make a run for it and go get something. What’s that something for Valentine’s Day? Let’s see what you can do.

Re-Framing the Gift to Yourself

This isn’t exactly the same concept as re-gifting, but it can be just as viable if you are able to pull it off. Is there something that you’ve been wanting to buy anyway? With a little creative framing, it may be possible to present that gift to yourself as a gift to your significant other.

Is this a cop-out? Absolutely! Will it work? That depends on you. For example, you may be trying to get your girlfriend into video games. It could be hard to talk your way out of Call of Duty, but you may be able to sweet-talk your way through Guitar Hero. “I bought this for you, honey, so that we could spend more quality time together. You like Oasis and Nirvana, right? You’re my wonderwall….”

“When I Saw This, I Thought of You!”

Beggars can’t be choosers. Don’t let yourself get bombarded with too much information, because you want to buy something and you want to buy it now. Waltzing into your local bookstore, you may be quickly reminded that she’s into vampires and teen fiction. You’re never too old for vampires, so The Twilight Saga Collection could be a good choice. If she likes cooking, grab a cookbook.

Go into (almost) any store with no preconceived notions, nabbing the first thing that can be remotely related to her interests. As with the first strategy, you may need to explain your “romantic” gift. “I know how much you like YouTube, so I got you this mouse to make it easier for you to watch those funny videos.”

Spa in a Basket

Forget about flowers and chocolates. On a last minute basis, there’s a good chance that you’re going to get ripped off. By contrast, if you go into one of those bath and beauty shops (like Fruits & Passion), they’ll have a lot of those gift baskets that are almost designed to be a spa in a box, basket, or bag.

In these tough economic times, it may not be all that affordable to treat her to a full day at the spa, but one of these gift baskets will surely be appreciated by the stressed-out girlfriend. “Baby, you need some time to just relax. Spoil yourself with these bath salts.”

The Last Resort

Have you found yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place? Or rather between a potentially enraged girlfriend and the increasing likelihood of sleeping on the couch? There’s always the strategy of saying that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday concocted by the greeting card industry. You express your loving devotion to her the other 364 days of the year, so you don’t need the overpriced industry to tell you what to do on February 14th, right?. Work up that rhetoric, son, because you’ll need to do some serious convincing. Seriously.

  Category: Marketplace  

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Michael Kwan Freelance Writer

25 Responses to “Last Minute Cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts”

  1. Ray Ebersole says:

    I make my own cards with MS Publisher, pick up a flower at Publix and spend $35 on dinner at our favorite Sushi place. It’s the small touches that I believe the ladies like the most, not the over the top things.

  2. Dylan says:

    I laughed when I saw “Last Minute Cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts” in my RSS reader. You’re quite the romantic, aren’t you Michael?

  3. Nick says:

    Thanks for the tips, I still have some shopping to do…although, this post reminded me of something that I thought of a couple weeks ago but had since forgotten…now if I just have time to put the plan in motion :S

    So what are you getting your sweetheart? And why don’t we ever hear much about her?

    • Michael Kwan says:

      I’ve mentioned Susanne a couple of times, but I largely keep her out of the public realm at her request. In terms of what I’m getting her… I can’t say. She reads this blog so she might find out. πŸ™‚

      • Nick says:

        Fair enough…perhaps we will find out after-the-fact πŸ˜›

        It’s a shame that she’s so shy that she won’t let you talk about her! I had the opposite problem though, Tammy used to get upset when I wouldn’t mention her on my site πŸ˜›

      • Ray Ebersole says:


        Did you take advantage of the free Dot Com Pho Shout Out for VD that @JohnChow tweeted about Saturday afternoon?

  4. Don’t have to worry about Valentine’s gifts this year, which is kind of a relief. But on the other hand, I’ll just go out and buy myself some candy.

    • Ray Ebersole says:

      What about your Mom? I saw a son give his mom 3 roses yesterday while she was working at a store I was in. She started crying and gave him a big hug.

      I found out afterward while checking out that the three roses were actually one from each son. But the touching part was that one of the sons passed away 4 years ago and the other two sons thought enough to include him in their gift to their mother. She was very touched that they cared enough about their brother and her to remember him.

  5. Kathryn says:

    Aw how sweet. πŸ™‚ If you end up feeling obligated to do something that’s actually sweet, a love letter is a good last minute no-cost gift that will actually be appreciated.

  6. betshopboy says:

    There are no rules cast in stone that says couples must submit themselves to the commercialism of Valentine’s Day.

    Here are some ways you can keep the romance affordable and yet still have a fabulous V day.

    If all else fails, there’s always Plan B.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  7. Deborah Dera says:

    These are great tips, albiet I’m obviously slow to the punch as I’m playing catch-up today. My man and I decided to buy each other things we needed – but we agreed to this in advance. He got new computer speakers and I got a new winter jacket; we spend our $$ on things we liked and needed but didn’t buy things that would die in a week or destroy our diets!

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