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Most Popular Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Cupid’s magical arrows worked, and you’re in love. You may have a happy, healthy relationship year round, but there are still plenty of ways (and reasons) to celebrate the one day of the year designated to honor coupledom. And there could be ramifications if you don’t; both men and women still look forward to (and expect) the small and large gestures on Valentine’s Day that demonstrate they are loved and valued by their partner.

Maybe you just finished sending holiday sentiments a couple of months earlier, but February 14 is an enormously popular day for exchanging cards. Valentine’s Day cards are second only to Christmas when it comes to giving cards, including those given to a romantic partner and those exchanged between elementary-school classmates. In fact, statistically speaking, the majority of us will give a Valentine’s Day card to someone.

Book early for Valentine’s Day if your beloved has an affinity for the menu or ambiance at a particular restaurant. It’s likely to be crowded. About 44 percent of us will spend the evening dining with a date. The majority of males seem to prefer dinner out for their Valentine’s Day treat.

Don’t forget the candy! A 15th-century Aztec emperor believed that consuming chocolate made him friskier so he could better please his harem. It’s not clear if that’s the reason for our love of bonbons on Valentine’s Day, but heart-shaped boxes of chocolate fly off the shelves this time of year. There’s also the option of the “Be Mine” candy hearts. Today you can find boxes of candy hearts with all kinds of messages to give your partner, as well as those that are more appropriate for friends.

Many women expect to receive flowers from their man on this day and, most commonly, they get red roses by the dozens. But there are other choices, depending on what he wants to say. Flowers and the color of flowers have different meanings, so guys who want to get creative can personalize their delivery. Peach roses or purple lilac, for example, might be a better choice for a newish couple who haven’t quite committed to forever. You can mix and match, too: Consider a combination of red and white roses to the long-term love of your life.

If chocolate, flowers and an elegant meal aren’t quite enough, and you’re ready to say “I do,” Valentine’s Day is a common day for couples to get engaged. It’s also a big day for weddings (which might give wedding guests a good excuse for not planning their own evening out.) More than $2 billion is spent annually on jewelry for this holiday.

However big or small you plan to go on Valentine’s Day, do plan something. A majority (but just a slight majority) of women say they would consider ending a relationship if their man didn’t do something to mark the occasion. That’s bad news for the 64 percent of guys who neglect to plan ahead for the day. Valentine’s Day gestures, from the simple to the extravagant, simply show that a couple appreciates one another and likes to take time to acknowledge it.

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