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Gifts for Valentine's and all yearlong by Belisi

You either love Valentine's Day, hate it or tolerate it to keep the peace and make that special girl in your life feel, well, special. Of course you don't have to wait until V-Day to express your love or appreciation. Although most of you spoken for guys will inevitably drop a pretty penny or two this Valentine's Day.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) American's dished out a staggering $13.7 billion last year on Valentine's Day, with the average lovebug shelling out $100.89 total last year.

"Each year it seems that American's top themselves in spending for Valentines Day," says Jim Trippon, a CPA and one of America's foremost authorities on the money habits of self-made millionaires, who compiles an annual list of the most expensive gifts to give your significant other this holiday season. "I think most people forget that this holiday is about expressing your love for one another, not buying extravagant gifts that often produce money arguments the rest of the year."

For those willing (and able) to spend the big bucks on gifts, they might consider the following symbols of love from Trippon's annual top 10 list of the most expensive Valentine's Day gifts for 2007:

1. Bombardier Global Express XRS executive jet - $48 million
2. Phuket private island in Thailand - $23 million
3. Renee Strausse for the Bride diamond encrusted wedding dress - $12 million
4. Neil Lane sapphire and diamond necklace & diamond drop earrings - $2 million
5. Tiffany & Co. 7.5 carat diamond and platinum engagement ring - $845,000
6. SSC Ultimate Aero sports car - $654,500
7. Honma 24k gold and platinum plated golf clubs - $52,938 per set
8. Fendi Pink Crocodile Spy Bag - $25,700
9. Golf round at Sandy Lane in Barbados - $1265
10. Bling h2o water - $40 per bottle

Okay, so other than the bottle of water, most of these items are out of the question for the typical red-blooded lothario. Here are some realistic options for Valentine's Day or any other day of the year you want to score some points.

Pretty PJs

Whether she's snuggled up next to you or lounging solo, women feel sexy in satin like this Mary Green Satin Doll chemise with lace in Sweetheart Red and the Natori Flourish Jersey.

Lasting Memories

Hopefully you two lovebirds will live happily ever after but even if things go south, she'll still have the memories--and most importantly, the camera. Valentine's Day, birthday, or Green Day, she'll be smitten with the adorable (and sharp shooting) Sony Cyber-shot® DSC-T10 Digital Camera in pink.

Sweet Nothings

Maybe you don't have much to spend (or no time to pull out all the stops) but the knowledge this little book imparts will last a lifetime. How to Write a Love Letter revives the lost art of courtship. Try it, it's fun!

Flower Girl

Okay, flowers are a no brainer but instead of the cliche red roses, why not surprise her with a unique arrangement of gorgeous lilies or other exotic variety? Dazzle your darling with the rich color and intoxicating scent of extraordinary Sumatra Lilies from Flowerbud.com.

Rest and Relaxation

Give your girl the gift of supreme pampering and you'll get a get-out-of-jail-free card good for, well, one use. Most spas have customizable half day and daylong packages available. Here's a roundup of some of the best spas across the country:

NYC
Acqua Beauty Bar
212-620-4329
www.acquabeautybar.com

California
Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa
Kenwood Inn & Spa
707-833-1293
800-353-6966
www.kenwoodinn.com

Chicago
Red Door Salon & Spa
312-988-9191
www.reddoorsalons.com

Florida
Standard Spa
The Standard Miami
305-673-1717
www.standardhotel.com

Vino

If you really want to impress her, a Wine of the Month Club membership says I love you and think you're one cultured chick. Each month your sweetie will get a new bottle of in a luxurious gold presentation box. And if you play your cards right, she might just share with you.

Parfume

There's something sweet about giving perfume as a gift--that is unless it smells like something your Aunt Betty would wear. A trip to the perfume counter makes your head spin. You can't go wrong with these sultry scents:

The princess

Vera Wang Princess Playful, unpredictable and spirited this light scent is perfect for the modern day princess.

The flirt

DKNY Red Delicious This vivacious scent oozes sophisticated temptress.

The timeless beauty

Chanel No. 5 N°5 conjures up no precise floral scent and survives the passing of mere trends because it is beyond them—just like your special lady.

Like Water for Chocolate

Let's face it, the love market is competitive. Do you want to risk being dubbed ordinary by giving your sweetie chocolate from the drugstore? In case you hadn't noticed, chocolate has gone gourmet. You can even personalize it. Engrave your personal message on a diamond engraved brass plate on the box that delivers your bite-sized symbols of love.

If your girl likes lots of options, she'll get more than she could have ever dreamed of with the Dylan's Candy Bar, which comes with Sterling Chocolate Bars, truffles, and a fondue kit. If she frets about the calories, you can ease her conscience, the dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants (but we can't comment on the fat content).

You'll really show your true feelings with these exotic candies from Chocolat Celeste, where the flavors aren't what you'd expect: amaretto, chili pepper, key lime, cinnamon, and red raspberry. Plus they're so cute, she'll have no choice but to give you a big kiss--that is if she's not occupied eating all of the yummy chocolate!

Jewelry

Women love jewelry (I know, news flash). But you want to get her a gift with meaning--something she's not expecting. A personalized necklace is sentimental and shows that you put in some effort to get her name engraved on a piece of jewelry.

If your special someone has more expensive taste, she'll love anything from the Andy Gotz Fine Jewelry collection, like the Pietersite Enhancer Pendant worn by Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl on the cover of Lucky Magazine’s January 2007 issue. The Amethyst cushion ring also is sure to get her attention.

Looking for something that sends a stronger message of your love? I recommend the Pave Diamond Cuff Bracelet by Alexa Garner Sidaris.

Burn the candle at both ends

Girls love candles too; they set the mood every time, whether she's taking a bath, relaxing with a good book or staring into your eyes across the table. I love the Crimson Royale Filled Glass from Illume and the Diptyque Mimosa Candle.

Gifts for her pets

When it comes to a girl's beloved Fluffy, this is the only time a gift for someone other than her is permitted. Whether she's a dog or cat person, she'll love—and her favorite furry friend will love the Eloise Pet Pillow from dirtyboutique.com and the Kings Bed from Catsplay.com. And if you really want to show that you really do like her little dog named Tinkerbell, get her something from Paris Hilton new line of canine couture.

~A. Covington for Belisi Fashions

Chocolate Candy Candles Wine  Amethyst Bedelicious Princess PetbedPersonalizenecklaceSlipLucky

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Comments

  1. belisi on Feb 15, 2007 11:51:18 AM:

    I want to know - was your Valentine's Gift Fab or Flop? Comment on either the gift you received or the gift you gave.

    I'll start -

    My Valentine's Gift was Fab! My sweetheart fixed me a gourmet meal - we started with caviar, blinis, creme fraiche & champagne, then on to escargot. For the main course we had steak and lobster tails. Then, chocolate covered strawberries for desert. She bought me a Bible from 1867 and a vintage art deco Tiffany Crystal Decanter. I told her that in 16 years these were the best gift she's given me.

    Ok - your turn - was your gift fab or flop?

  1. JasonJ on Feb 15, 2007 3:56:13 PM:

    About nine years ago Valentine's Day, I took my honey to the Ritz Carlton Atlanta for a romantic evening. But our room wasn't ready -- it seems the Indiana Pacers basketball team was in town and had taken our room. Long story short, I met Larry Bird in the Lobby and we got a room upgrade. Nice!

  1. Emily on Feb 15, 2007 3:56:41 PM:

    Hi Peter, This happened years ago. A guy gave me plastic flowers for Valentine's Day! Definitely a FLOP!

    I know... it's the thought that matters but still ...

  1. Sarakastic on Feb 15, 2007 4:20:55 PM:

    I was single this Valentine's so I got to buy myself a present. I pretended to be surprised & got just what I wanted.

  1. Laura on Feb 15, 2007 6:29:34 PM:

    My Valentine's gift was splendid - chocolate and flowers, the old standby. I love both, so it was all good! My favorite Valentine's was a few years ago when my husband gave me a handmade card that was so mushy and sweet, I decided right then and there that I'd keep him forever. My WORST Valentine's was 5 years ago, when my ex-husband and I split up the week of Valentine's Day. D'oh! I don't recommend it.

  1. suni on Feb 15, 2007 8:00:45 PM:

    My hubby gives great gifts for V-day. Every year of the 5 we have been together has not been a disappointment. This year he got me a new cup and a sheet set. Both of which I wanted. I also got some chocolate that I like and a gorgeous card that I know he took the time to pick out so it was perfect just for me.

  1. Mike on Feb 15, 2007 8:21:39 PM:

    Hello Belisi!

    If you want to see some really tacky V-day gifts, check out my post. (Linked above.)

    We may be tacky, but at least we are in love!

  1. Ann on Feb 15, 2007 10:59:40 PM:

    Over the years, I've received mostly traditional Valentine's Day gifts - flowers, candy, jewelry, cards. Last year, since my husband had just died, the day approached with more dread than anticipation. However, my son brought me a single, long-stemmed red rose for Valentine's Day as a reminder that someone really did still love me.

  1. Cari Belisi on Feb 15, 2007 11:28:12 PM:

    I have to say that over the years, I have been blessed with lots of really fabulous gifts from my sweetie, both pre-and post-marriage, but this year was really sweet. We don't usually do gifts on Valentines, just a nice dinner and maybe some cards and flowers...but this year I happened to find (on Ebay) a retired Lladro figurine I'd admired for years. Not only did he "buy it now" after I emailed it to him, but he drove to a suburb 20 miles away in rush hour traffic to pick it up so it wouldn't get broken in shipping. He HATES traffic!

  1. Anais on Feb 15, 2007 11:54:30 PM:

    My Valentine's Day was totally fab! I received a few gifts of the likes you mentioned here and I felt very loved.

    I gave my husband some cheesy drugstore gifts, but they had a deeper meaning for us, and he appreciated them, so all in all - it was another great one for us.

  1. Doris on Feb 16, 2007 4:09:47 AM:

    It is a nice one this year... at least I got a gift! My hubby thinks V-day is 'the' day for consumerism so it is hard to convince him to celebrate this occasion.

  1. Martin on Feb 16, 2007 5:04:07 AM:

    My wife and I don't exchange gifts on Valentine's Day these days. The tipping point for us was when we decided to go to a relatively expensive concert instead oof exchanging Christmas gifts. The concert was in the late Autumn and the holiday season was more relaxed without all the pressure and frantic efforts.

    This Valentine's Day, there was kissing.

  1. Drew on Feb 16, 2007 7:45:57 AM:

    This year I got my wife a Canon SD600 digital camera and it went over very well. also got her some flowers and a gift certificate to a knitting store. Her new hobby is knitting. I made sure that this year her gifts matched her interests so she would get use out of the gifts all year long.

  1. Jersey Girl on Feb 16, 2007 8:24:23 AM:

    This year, because we were on vacation from Feb 1-12th, we counted that as a Valentine's Day present to each other. I actually paid for the vacation myself to surprise my husband. It was his first time to Florida, and being from NJ where it's 20 degrees this week, having warm and sunny 70's for temperatures, it was a treat to be outside together. It certainly kept us in the mood for love!

  1. iamskinnyboy on Feb 16, 2007 11:18:54 AM:

    My V-day was great! As part of her gift I got her a gift card for Chipotle! We ate there and enjoyed the buy one get one free! Yeah buddy!

  1. I.M. Cupnjava on Feb 16, 2007 11:57:06 AM:

    One year hubby gave me a pair of handcuffs. A wonderful gift that kept giving! LOL! That gift was a fab, flip, flop, squirm and whole bunch of other wonderful things. ^_^

  1. shoppingmum on Feb 16, 2007 1:10:53 PM:

    My best gift was from hubby, it's a Valentine's card made by him. It's nothing fancy, but he folded a rose that would flip up when I opened the card. He's not good at handcraft, but it looked nice to me.

  1. Amanda on Feb 16, 2007 1:24:41 PM:

    My boyfriend gave me an angel he made in ceramics class along with a bookend with a black cat sculpted onto it because I'm a book freak. He also gave me a card and called me before I woke up for school to tell me he loved me so it was a great valentine's day overall. All I needed was him but the added appreciation and expressions of love made it 10x better.

  1. Shannon on Feb 16, 2007 1:41:38 PM:

    I had the best Valentine's Day ever!February 14, 2007 was my SOON TO BE husband and I's 7 year anniversery. We are planning our wedding so we decided to apply for our marriage license on V-day therefore our license will always have 02-14-2007 listed as the applied date. It was fun and exciting. Our wedding is 3-11-2007..I can't wait!!!!!

  1. Robyn on Feb 16, 2007 1:43:14 PM:

    The best Valentine's Day was 1998! We had a newborn asleep upstairs. My husband came home to find a trail of candles with notes. Each note had him remove and leave an aricle of clothing at each candle. The trail ended...at the shower (get your minds out of the gutter, folks!!)He took a hot shower, put on his "lazy" clothes and came downstairs for a steak and shrimp dinner! Now there's four of those kid things - and nothing like this gets to happen very often! But it was awesome!!

  1. Jean Bauhaus on Feb 16, 2007 2:28:16 PM:

    Our first Valentine's day together after we started dating, my husband gave me a card containing a beautifully written love letter. He poured his heart and soul into telling me how much I meant to him. It hardly cost him any money at all, but I never felt so loved. The next year I responded with a card of my own containing an original poem, along with a box of homemade cookies. My poem brought tears to his eyes, which in turn made me cry. This year a hectic work week has forced us to postpone our Valentine's celebration until the weekend, but I can't wait to see what he's got in store.

  1. Sandra on Feb 16, 2007 2:59:45 PM:

    This year I didn't get a lot, just two little craft foam hearts with little craft foam decorations glued on them, a lacy heart doilie on one and a painted heart on the other... Valentine's Day gifts/cards from two of my grand nieces. I'm not sure what more anyone could ask for than a handmade Valentine from your grand niece. (They made ones for my mom and dad too - their great grandparents.)

  1. Rox on Feb 16, 2007 4:08:22 PM:

    The best Valentines I ever had was a couple of years ago. Hubby had the room set up with candles, rose petals on the bed, wine, cheese etc. It was very sweet! We havent celebrated yet this year (tomorrow evening!) but it would be really difficult to top that!

  1. ranee on Feb 16, 2007 10:29:20 PM:

    This was my worst Valentine's Day ever! My husband has not forgotten me in the 11 Valentine's we have shared until this one. Sure, we had a blizzard and all, but he used it as a total excuse to just not celebrate!

  1. Stuart on Feb 16, 2007 10:34:14 PM:

    My Valentine's Day gift this year was sweet. It was a traditional Chinese symbol that represents properity in the coming year. It was my girlfriend's way of wishing me success in my endeavors in the future.

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