Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you’re currently in a relationship and the above three words took you by complete surprise, to quote “Full House” twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: “You’re in big trouble, mister.”
Ah, but have no fear. It is possible to pick up a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift that makes it look like you didn’t wait until that very last minute. In fact, experts will tell you that’s the key to a great V-Day gift here — making it look like you’d been planning it for weeks, if not months.
To that end, here are a handful of last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas that should successfully, but just barely, keep you out of the Romance Doghouse this year:
Have something engraved
It’s a fact: Getting a gift — no matter how cheesy — engraved with a personalized name or sentiment makes it look like it took some serious time and planning. At Things Remembered in the Newgate Mall you can get jewelry and jewelry boxes, snow globes, picture frames and much more — all of which can be personalized with your Valentine’s name or a heartfelt message.
A store employee says they can usually offer same-day personalization, but Valentine’s Day is especially busy so you’ll want to plan accordingly and get there early. (They open at 10 a.m.)
And be forewarned, Things Remembered is going out of business, so while they’ve got a killer sale going on right now, items are limited to stock on hand.
TOTAL TIME: 1-4 hours
Get something embossed
Like engraving, embossing implies forethought. At Deseret Book, you can buy all sorts of books, journals and other items and have them imprinted with a name or message in script or block letters, gold or silver.
Employees say they can often do the imprinting on the same day, if they’re not too busy. Otherwise, it’s next-day service.
Best bet? We recommend getting your sweetheart a personalized journal. Because nothing says “I love you” like essentially giving someone homework for Valentine’ Day. (“Here’s a personal diary. Write it in.”)
TOTAL TIME: 1-4 hours
What’s better than a dozen roses? Only a dozen of just about anything else, that’s what. So if you’ve got a free hour or so, consider giving a pair of personalized six-packs.
Pick up two of those cardboard six-packs of your sweetheart’s favorite bottled beverage, as well as a roll of something called “contact paper” — which, near as we can tell, is basically the duct tape of the crafting world. Contact paper comes in all sorts of colors and patterns, and it’s sticky on the back so it adheres to virtually anything.
Remove the bottles and cover the cardboard carriers in festive contact paper (perhaps personalizing them with your Valentine’s name on them), then replace the bottles. Or maybe go for something clever on the cardboard holder, like “Happy Valentine’s Day: I was going to get you a dozen roses, but then I remembered you can’t drink 12 flowers.”
TOTAL TIME: 45-60 minutes
Here’s a quick do-it-yourselfer for a classic Valentine gift involving two of the most romantic foods — chocolate and strawberries. Buy a carton of strawberries and a squeeze bottle of chocolate syrup. At home, arrange the strawberries on a plate and artfully drizzle syrup on top. Chill, and — voila! — watch the romance heat up.
TOTAL TIME: 15-20 minutes
Get a room
This one’s our favorite Valentine’s Day gift idea because it technically kicks the romance can down the road. Go online and find a hotel room for a romantic getaway later this winter or spring. For example, a cozy cottage or room at Homestead Resort in Midway — less than an hour and a half from Ogden — is anywhere from $99 to $149 a night. And there’s all sorts of hiking, skiing, shopping and other activities within easy driving distance of the resort.
Then, all you have to do is pick up a Valentine’s Day card and put a little note or certificate inside with your romantic-weekend getaway plan, and you’re all done. You can leave the details for later.
Are we geniuses, or what?
TOTAL TIME: 10-30 minutes
And finally, if all else fails
No time for any of the above gifts? Fine. Take the easy way out and grab a floral arrangement at the grocery store on your way home today. Sure, it won’t make it look like you spent a lot of time on your sweetheart’s gift, but trust us when we say it’s better than coming home empty-handed.
In addition to one of the store’s bouquets, you might want to pick up a teddy bear and a mylar balloon or two — quantity is your friend when quality fails you.
And as long as you’re already at the grocery store, you should grab a quart of your sweetheart’s favorite ice cream — which, near as we can tell, is basically the duct tape of the dairy world.
Because in our house? Rocky Road can melt even the hardest of hearts.
TOTAL TIME: Less than 10 minutes