Valentine's Day: it strikes fear into the hearts of kids with crushes and married-fifty-years types alike. Why? It's just a day... Okay, a day fraught with overblown expectations and way too many stereotypes. That's why, this year, we're presenting gift ideas that will really mean something to the recipient and show them that you appreciate them for them. Over the next few weeks, we'll be suggesting gifts for the special someone in your life, whether they're the hunkamunk coworker you lust over from afar, your BFF, your new sweetie pie, or the sweet schmuck you've lived with for three years.
Mom and Dad: Valentine's Day certainly isn't just about romantic love. Take the opportunity to let the two people who've loved you since the moment you opened your wee eyes know how much you love them right back. You can relive the glory days of elementary school art classes and draw them a picture of a Pegasus with heart-shaped wings on a paper plate or treat them to something special they wouldn't spring for on their own. The great thing about parents is that they'll glow upon receiving either a DIY present or something luxurious just because it came from you.
Dream Big: Build a date for them. You know what they like to do together or could certainly come up with something they'd love to do and never have. Get them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, or pick one up from Restaurant.com and let them choose for themselves. But don't stop there - keep the evening going with tickets to something you know they would both enjoy - a comedian that cracks them both up, a show or play you think they'd get a kick out of, a round of laser tag, or an exclusive wine and cheese tasting. While they're out drop off a box of their favorite sweets at their house with a note from you (or that Pegasus paper plate) - it'll be the perfect ending to a wonderfully romantic evening and they will revel in every second of it.
Doable: If you're pockets aren't deep enough for something so elaborate don't fret - you can still play cupid just keep it on a smaller scale. Turn their dining room into a five-star restaurant. Fix them an astoundingly delicious meal yourself; if you'd like to recruit your sweetheart or siblings as servers it will make them feel even more spoiled. Still splurge on that box of Italian cookies from their favorite bakery or a dozen chocolate éclairs. Put a CD of sweet and tender songs you made on top of the box and leave quietly after you clear the dinner dishes. And you will have spent one evening doing for your parents what they did for you their entire lives - made them feel loved, appreciated, and wanted.