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Adlen Robinson: Unique gift ideas for that special Valentine
Adlen Robinson

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Have you ever been to the grocery store between 3 p.m. and dinnertime on Valentine’s Day? It is quite amusing. 

Stroll on over to the flower section and you will see a lot of male customers bustling around. They grab a bouquet of roses or other flowers, a box of chocolates and maybe a bottle of wine. Much like when you go to just about any retail store on Christmas Eve, all of these men are procrastinators. I am not judging — just observing. 

The other day when I was at the store, I noticed all of the Valentine’s Day candy, gifts, chocolates and cards. I well remember helping our four children address Valentines to all of their respective classmates. I wonder if they still do that? It was actually a rather stressful thing — especially with our two sons. 

Boys, for the most part, don’t really care about the whole Valentine’s Day card thing. Of course, they liked the candy part of the holiday, but not sitting down to address cards. 

When I was a little girl, we not only had to bring Valentine cards to school, we also brought in a shoe box/mailbox we made for the occasion. I loved that part of the day the best. My mother provided me with scraps of material, buttons, construction paper and markers. I worked feverishly on that mailbox. There were always a few extremely professional looking ones in the classroom. I didn’t know at the time but those kids probably had help from their moms creating those fancy mailboxes. 

If you haven’t gotten your sweetheart anything yet, there is still time.

Why not really surprise that special someone and think outside the flower/chocolate box this year? 

The key to being a good gift giver is to think of what your special someone likes to do. My husband knows I much prefer living plants and flowers as opposed to cut flowers — one year he surprised me with a giant cactus, which I absolutely loved and still love. I think of him every time I see it.

If your sweetheart has a serious sweet tooth, why not go to a specialty store and get her some fancy creations instead of a grocery store box of chocolates. 

If your special love likes wine, surprise them with a special bottle along with some imported cheeses and a bunch of grapes. This turns out to be a gift for both of you. 

If your sweetheart is a coffee or tea lover, put together some gourmet blends and a cute mug. Maybe get some cozy slippers and/or some pajamas or a robe. 

If you have young children, offering to entertain the children while your spouse goes shopping, takes a bath, or just has a break for a few hours is truly an awesome gift. On that note, any sort of pampering gift — a gift card for a facial and/or a massage, is sure to earn you hero status. 

Gardening lovers will appreciate any sort of thing to signify the approach of spring — some seed packets, gardening tools, gardening gloves and the like, are all things us gardener types love. Perhaps a new bird feeder and bird seed. 

For Valentine’s who love to cook, surprise them with new kitchen gadgets. Speaking as one who has a passion for cooking, I promise you can never have too many gadgets. New cookbooks are also always a welcome gift. For the serious grill-master, how about some wood chips, new grill utensils and maybe even a couple of thick steaks? My husband would definitely love that gift.

Speaking of cooking, instead of going out to dinner, why not plan on cooking your love a special dinner? Don’t forget to clean the kitchen after dinner. If you are not an avid cook, maybe pick up dinner from a nice restaurant. 

My favorite Valentine’s Day gift is a homemade card from Paul. It’s just a piece of paper folded up with a note from him to me. On the back of the note, he always writes “PaulMark.”

I saved all of those cards over the years and they always make me smile. Words from him instead of words from a stranger on a store-bought card, are always more meaningful. Just speak from the heart and your special someone will be touched. 

I hope this inspires you to give your special person something creative and personal. 

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody! 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at