Valentine’s gift guidelines

Although this rosy assortment of seasonal decor is tempting, try swapping the generic drugstore gifts with some personal touches. Graphic courtesy of Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash.

REECE BUTLER | OPINION COLUMNIST | rmbutler@butler.edu

It’s that time of year again: the snow will soon melt to a grayish sludge, the air will be both unseasonably warm and bitterly cold. Name a better time to celebrate romantic love.

Now for those of you who are prone to procrastination, I have decided to compose a comprehensive gift-giving guide to stun your significant other on this upcoming day of romance.

In order to properly advise you on how to celebrate Cupid’s birthday, I’ve enlisted the help of three love-struck Butler students, as I myself will not be honoring Feb. 14.

First up is the lovely Lily Lindemann, a first-year biology major who made a case for adding a personal touch to your present.

“I feel like just anything from the heart [is best]… [such as] something sentimental, little moments or inside jokes,” Lindemann said.

In fact, all of our radiant romantics made an appeal for incorporating special moments into your Valentine’s day plans, even if their love language leans more towards quality time than gift-giving.

For the best ideas, focus on your person as an individual: narrow down your ideas based on their personality type, love language and individual interests. With this in mind, try to avoid scouring Pinterest or TikTok for “unique” ideas. I know it may seem deeply romantic to copy off of a stranger’s idea, but giving the same gift as hundreds of other well-meaning admirers is not, in fact, the move.

Max Lippmann, a senior dance pedagogy major, said that while he prefers experiences to physical gifts, the same rules apply.

“If it’s unique and not something generic … but unique to them and what they like, that’s what makes something special to me,” Lippman said.

Lippman’s right, too. Putting in time, effort and thought into your Valentine’s day gift is far more important than the amount of money you contribute. Think back to that one Office Christmas episode where Jim gets Pam a teapot full of inside jokes — that’s the vibe you want to emulate. 

As for the most unique gifts our invested interviewees — I’m really running out of acceptable alliterations, sorry folks — have ever seen, one in particular stood out.

Lindemann and Grace Whitacre, a junior biochemistry major, expressed a soft spot for unfolding photo boxes. Whitacre explained that the time and skill level involved showed how much the giver cared.

Now, you may not be up to the challenge of constructing an art project with that level of intricacy — I personally am not — but the same rules apply. And speaking of rules, let’s cover some major guidelines.

  1. No pets

Unless you are in a committed relationship where you are living full-time with your partner, I don’t want to see anyone giving or receiving animals for Valentine’s day. That is a recipe for disaster. When something dies — be it the relationship or the gift — things get awkward.

  1. No regifting

This should go without saying, but Valentine’s day does not abide by the same principles as your estranged cousin’s wedding shower. It’s genuinely weird and a little foreboding to give your partner something that wasn’t originally intended for them at the time of purchase.

  1. Add a card

I am begging you, don’t just get a gift and leave it at that. Even the most thoughtful, personal gifts should be accompanied by some sort of letter explaining your feelings for the recipient. Keep in mind that the card is a gift in and of itself and therefore all of these rules apply. Instead of picking out a store bought card, consider making a personalized card from scratch.

  1. Consider love languages

As our darling and talented interviewees demonstrated, there are many types of gifts when it comes to showing someone you love them. For instance, Whitacre’s favorite Valentine’s day gift was going to Chicago and touring museums and Lippman had fond memories of simply sitting down for a Valentine’s day dinner with his beau. Make time for the person you love in whichever form they most prefer.

  1. Run your gift by me 

I mean, they don’t let me write these articles without thoroughly testing my aptitude for love doctoring. My email’s at the top, you can use it.

Now that that’s settled, out of obligation for my fellow singles, I also ask that all y’all happy couples keep it to yourselves as much as humanly possible, but I suppose I can’t really police that one. 

Regardless, I wish all of you remarkable readers — the alliterations are back —  a lovely holiday, whether that be with the person who makes your heart soar or in your dorm room bed watching horror movies and deleting your social media for a day, as I will be doing.

Just remember — let it come from the heart and if all else fails, blindly take my word for what to do.

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