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Don’t forget your special Valentine

It’s Feb. 13, just one day before Valentine’s Day, and you haven’t gotten your sweetheart that special gift to express your feelings of love and affection. The question you may be asking yourself right now might be, “Is it too late?”

The simple and short answer is, no, it’s definitely not too late.  The good news is that last minute shoppers wanting to make a good impression on their wife, husband or sweetheart can still do so and, with a little creativity and luck, even come off looking quite good.

The key element of any Valentine’s Day is the card. Choosing just the right card can take time with the wide range of traditional cards available. E-cards have also started to become a new way to send your message of love. Cards vary in price but most are affordable for everyone’s budget. With the selection of cards becoming somewhat limited by now, you might want to show your creative side by making a homemade Valentine’s Day card to show how much you care. Those who decide to make their own card might want to add something unique and personal to it. This could include special photos of you and your partner and the special times you have spent together. Inside the card you could even include a message and a personalized poem. While a store bought card is always nice and appreciated, there’s something special about the personal touch.

Even if your card was made by a machine and not your two hands, find a way to make it special for the person receiving it. Don’t just sign your name inside. Write a message expressing your feelings. It will go a long way in expressing the one-of-a-kind love you have for the one who receives it.

Two Valentine’s Day gifts that are always popular and easy to buy are flowers and chocolates. However, even these traditional Valentine items can come off as somewhat predictable — especially if they are the gift of choice each year. It might pay to use one’s imagination and consider buying a more imaginative gift for the one you love on this special day.

Gift baskets are another popular present on Valentine’s Day. Many florists and specialty stores offer a wide variety of baskets to choose from, making it easier to find the perfect one to suit your partner’s personality and taste. For women and teens, gift baskets often include perfumes and fragrances. Others include tickets to various events like movies, plays or concerts; sweets; chocolates; and even champagne — a truly luxurious gift. If you know of something specific the person in your life likes, add it to the basket. They’ll love you for it.

Valentine’s gift baskets for men are becoming increasingly popular. It’s just as important for a woman choosing a gift basket for the man in their life to have an idea of the things he likes and enjoys. Typical gift baskets for men include sports items such as football, baseball, soccer and other sports items like tickets, scarves, mugs and T-shirts of their favorite team. Others may prefer books, DVDs or video games, depending on their individual interests.

Another creative gift idea is a photo album or frame. These are gifts that can be used for many years to come. Most people love to keep photos of friends, family and special events that can be taken out and treasured as time passes. Photo albums and frames  are available in a variety of sizes and colors and can be purchased for as little or as much as the gift-giver wants or can afford to spend. If you want to really want to make a good impression with your valentine, you might include a digital camera so they can take their own photos for their frames and albums.

Because the main image we associate with Valentine’s Day is the heart, heart-shaped gifts are especially popular. Jewelry, cakes, chocolates and flowers can often be found in the shape of a heart.

For those on a tighter budget, using your imagination is a great way to make this day special without having to spend a whole lot of money. If you’re an expert in the kitchen, preparing a romantic meal is an easy way to impress your sweetheart and adds a personal touch to the occasion, too.

If you have the money to spare, a different but enjoyable gift is a Valentine getaway offered by many local businesses. It could be an all expense paid trip to a spa, a professional back massage or a complete makeup do-over. The only limitation is your pocketbook and your imagination.

While the time is definitely growing short before the big day, you still have a chance to show all the love and affection you feel for that someone special in your life.

Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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