Divine Dinner Party

Good Gifts for Valentines and Anniversaries:
Make it Special!

Finding good gifts for Valentines Day or an anniversary can be more than a little frustrating... especially if you really want to surprise someone with that perfect something.

You want a gift that is special, personal, and out of the ordinary. But when mom's allergic to flowers, dad hates ties, and your lover won't give you any clues (especially if he's a man-- guys, you're difficult!) it's time to get a bit inventive.

Step one in your quest for good gifts for Valentines is to try to pin down the fundamental personality of the person you're buying for. The work-a-holic has completely different wants and needs from, say, the home body, shop-a-holic, or the adventurer.

Shopping for the men in your life? Click here for my guide to Valentine's gifts for guys.

Personal Valentine Gifts:
Gifts for 10 Types of Personalities

Sure, it's impossible to put a label on every person. We're all original! But it's true that certain kinds of people are well-suited to certain kinds of gifts-- for Valentine's Day or otherwise. Let's consider some of main personality types and some good gifts for Valentines (or an anniversary) for each one.

1. The Overachiever

Always on the run, this person needs gifts that adapt to their ever-changing schedule. The best gifts for this person help them to manage their busy day. Some good gifts for Valentines for these guys are:

    Inexpensive:

  • An insulated food carrier with several different sections
  • A good traveling manicure kit
  • A small hand held massager to get those kinks out of a weary neck.

    Expensive:

  • A Blackberry or iPhone to keep them organized
  • A nice laptop bag
  • A great new suitcase

2. The Hippy or Environmentalist

While most "hippy" types (and I mean that in a good way!) enjoy good fun, they also want to live their lives in an ecologically friendly way. So wrap your gift in recycled paper. If you can find items that have not been tested on animals, and that utilized recycled products in their making, even better. Organic goods are also another good choice, along with anything tie-dyed of course (for real hippies only!). Here are a few more good gifts for Valentines:

    Inexpensive:

  • Adopt an Octopus (this really exists!) or another animal, or make a similar nature
  • donation.
  • A Green cookbook
  • Any homemade Valentine gift

    Expensive:

  • Solar charger for gadgets
  • "Planet Earth" DVD Series
  • A folding bicycle

3. Your Stay at Home Partner

Does your husband or wife stay at home and take care of the kids, the house, and everything else? Then he or she needs a really good gift for Valentines! Here's a hint: the stay at home partner will probably want to get out for Valentine's day. Give him or her the day off and send them to a spa for much deserved pampering. Or try:

    Inexpensive:

  • A massage-- provided by you or a professional
  • Coupons for doing chores around the house (this one's free!)
  • An outdoor picnic
  • Tickets to a wine tasting or other interesting cultural event
    Expensive:

  • Hire a cleaning service to clean the house top to bottom while he or she gets a
  • special day out.
  • A special dinner out-- and splurge on it!!
  • A day trip at the spa (with the works!)
  • A weekend retreat for him or her and a friend

Whatever you do, don't get your stay at home partner a vacuum, broom, or any other cleaning implement unless he or she asks for it. Under pain of death!

4. The Tencho Magpie

The magpie loves shiny new things, particularly anything cutting edge. The latest and greatest in technology and gadgets are always going to be good gifts for Valentines for this person. Maybe a Blue-Ray DVD player or a headset for their game system. Techno gadgets don't always have to be expensive, like a new laptop or an iPhone. There are lots of items out there that won't cost you an arm and a leg! Any of the neat things you'll see below will be great for a Techno Magpie. There are a lot of cool gadgets out there that you've probably never even heard of! Have fun with it.

5. The Budgeter

The budgeter always worries about the bottom line-- and thinks of practicality before everything. Do not go overly expensive with this person as it may just make them uncomfortable. Instead, good gifts for Valentines on a budget are functional items-- inexpensive gifts that will see frequent use throughout the year. Think about:

  • Water saving shower head
  • Calendars
  • Useful clothing
  • Solar powered or energy-saving anything

6. The Intellectual

Can anyone say books on CD (or a membership to an audiobook site like Audible.com)? For a thinker there is no such thing as too many books. Or, hunt around and see if any good lectures are coming to the area and buy tickets. Interesting concerts, art shows, tickets to the theatre... pay attention to what's happening in your area and snag seats if you can.

Also, get creative! There are lots of places online where you can find t-shirts, mugs, and other items with literary, science, or other quotes and phrases that your partner will get a real kick out of. You might be amazed at all the good gifts for Valentines or anniversaries that you can find at sites like CafePress.com.

7. The Terminal Romantic

Valentines Day is all about romance! If your partner is a terminal romantic, personalized gifts will go a long way towards making them feel romanced. Consider items like:

    Inexpensive:

  • Personalized candies (Like personalized My M&M's)
  • Fingerprint jewelry
  • Homemade scrapbooks of your relationship (or any homemade gifts!)

    Expensive

  • A short, intimate getaway
  • Digital photograph frames with pictures loaded in
  • An engraved memory box or piece of jewelry

These are all items that really say, "I love you!"

8. The Sports Nut

Can't drag your partner away from the TV on game day? Are they always running off to a tennis match, a baseball game, or the gym? Buying a good gift for Valentines for your sports enthusiast may just get you some of that attention back! If you don't already join in hobby sports, get some equipment for two so you both can be packing off for the gym. Or, get tickets to some of the favorite games of the year, and go along with him or her.

Does your partner follow a particular sports team? Check online for sports memorabilia for his favorite teams, like hats, mugs, jerseys, throw blankets, mouse pads, you name it. A good place to check is Buy.com's sports fan store. They have stuff for every sport and every team. Also think about:

  • Sports movies on DVD
  • A subscription to a cable sports channel, on demand, or other television service
  • A TIVO or other recording device to catch the games he or she missed
  • New sports clothes or accessories

You'll find more ideas for good gifts for Valentines day for the guys in your life right here.

9. The Gypsy or Adventure Junkie

If your valentine has wandering feet that seek adventure --whether it be in your back yard or half way around the world-- then you need a gift that's caters to that adventurous spirit. Buy them a series of bungee jumping lessons, pick up tickets to an "extreme sports" event, or give them a GPS system so they can always find their way home to you.

10. The Fashion or Design Nut

This is a person with a deep esthetical sense-- they love to look at beautiful things. While buying specific fashion or design items for your partner might not be the best idea --after all, this person probably has very specific tastes-- there are still lots of great ideas for a lover of fashion and design. Think about:

  • Books about fashion and design, like "The Little Black Book of Style" by Nina Garcia (see below)
  • Subscription to a fashion or interior design magazine
  • Gift certificates to sellers of mod or funky furniture, etc.
  • Gift certificates to funky fashion boutiques
Sometimes good gifts for Valentines require you to take a little risk! So if you really think you know your partner well (or they've mentioned specific items they'd like to have), then go ahead and pick them up that fashion or design item of their dreams.

In the end, finding good gifts for Valentines or an anniversary is really just a matter of keying into the person you're buying for. A little psychology 101 goes a long way to picking out a gift that won't get ignored, set aside, or re-gifted... and that will bring a huge smile to your partner's face.



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